Nasi Padang: The Savory Dishes from Minang Land

delicious nasi padang

For many years, Indonesia has been renowned as a beautiful country. But those who have visited Indonesia will also find that the country is not only bestowed with breathtaking nature but also savory dishes. Thanks to the myriads of herbs and spices grown throughout the country that makes its dishes flavorful. Actually, Nasi padang is among traditional dishes that insist the foreigners to make their second visit to Indonesia.

What is actually nasi padang? While it literally means rice from Padang, the traditional dish is more complex than you think. Unlike the other Indonesian traditional food that comes as a single dish, nasi padang is a package consisting of steamed rice and a number of side-dishes. So, you can choose two or more of the dishes as desired.

Nasi Padang: How to Order

Due to the many available dishes on the display, most foreigners find difficulties during their first order. How should I place an order? Before making your first order, you should know this simple guide. Actually, ordering nasi padang is much simpler than you think. It is basically divided into two options: the mixed and the served style.

For the mixed style, you will find the different dishes and rice are all served in one plate. This style is suitable if you are eating alone or with a companion. When placing an order, simply point to which dishes you would like to have on your place. This serving style may look a little messy and quite disturbing for foreigners.

But if you are eating in a group, the second style will be the best option. The served style or also known as hidang is much more practical. You can find it in different plate. If you want a neat serving, this is what you need to choose. When placing an order, you need to inform how many people will be eating with you. The server will provide you with the right portion.

When it comes to choosing the dishes, it actually depends on your taste and appetite. You can choose and mix anything you like. But to get the best taste, it is advised to get a balanced flavor and texture combination. You should choose meat-based dish, vegetable dish, and side dish to accompany the steamed rice.

Another interesting point of nasi padang is the use of coconut gravy. Most local people love to douse the gravy over the rice. Not only does it give a stronger taste but also it makes sure the rice is not too dry for you.

Popular Dish Selections for Nasi Padang

As mentioned, nasi padang consists of several dishes served together with warm steamed rice. Beginners should know the variety of dishes typically served on the display. Getting to know more about the dish options allows you to find one that will give a kick to your taste buds. So, what dishes are available in nasi padang place? Check this out!

1. Rendang

According to CNN, rendang is one of the world’s best authentic foods. The traditional food of Minangkabau descent is made of tenderloin. The chef usually cook it slowly with ginger, garlic, galangal, and other ingredients. The myriad of herbs and spices explain the flavorful taste it offers. Though the cooking process takes up to 3 hours or more, the result is worth the effort.

Rendang is a must-have dish in nasi padang restaurant. It is commonly served with the gravy which texture is like a thick paste. You can eat it with steamed rice only or with vegetables.

2. Tunjang for Delicious Taste of Nasi Padang

Tunjang is a special dish commonly found in nasi padang restaurant. The dish is made of tunjang or beef ankle cooked with thick coconut gravy. The texture of beef ankle is a bit chewy, which gives a different sensation when eating the whole dishes.

The beef ankle dish is typically cooked for several hours to ensure the perfect texture of the ankle. Chili sauce can be a perfect condiment that enriches the flavor of nasi padang and tunjang itself.

3. Cincang

Cincang is another popular dish served in the restaurant. It also becomes another favorite, following rendang and tunjang. Gulai cincang is actually quite similar to tunjang as it comes with thick coconut gravy. The only differences are in the color and main ingredients used in the cooking process.

Cincang comes in reddish color which represents its spicy flavor for it uses more chili to enhance your appetite. In addition, cincang typically uses fatty meat that becomes the secret of its savory taste.

4. Dendeng batokok

When you are visiting nasi padang restaurant, be sure not to miss this dish. Dendeng batokok is a special dish of Minang land which is made of tenderloin or sirloin meat. To cook the dish, you have to slice and deep fry the meat. Then, sauté with chili sauce or known as sambal lado mudo.

Batokok means to pound. This represents the cooking process, in which the sliced meat must be pounded to make it thin and a bit crispy. It also allows the herbs and spices to be well-absorbed by the meat.

5. Ayam bakar

Ayam bakar or also known as grilled chicken is another popular dish in padang restaurant. This side-dish has special aroma that increases your appetite. The aroma comes from the unique grilling process that uses coconut shell and charcoal. Not to mention the mixture of herbs and spices that gives palatable taste to this dish.

Besides, you can also find ayam pop which is similar to fried chicken. Ayam pop is a great alternative if you want to enjoy fried chicken with softer texture.

6. Gulai otak

Indonesian people do eat beef brain. The peculiar ingredient can be transformed into a dish with luscious taste. Gulai otak or gulai banak is cooked with thick coconut gravy. To get the best texture, the brain must be cooked with slow cooking method.

All in all, nasi padang has become the pride of Indonesian, particularly West Sumatra. The variety of dishes displayed together allows you pick one that suits your taste. Now that you know several selections of dishes in the restaurant, you should know what to order.

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