Banyuwangi in East Java is not only home to breathtaking mountains and gorgeous beaches. It also offers a multitude of tasty culinary possibilities, such as Rujak Soto and Nasi Tempong. Here are some of the foods that must be tried when travelling to the region.
1. Rujak Soto
For those familiar with rujak (chopped fruit and vegetables served with spicy palm sugar dressing) and Soto (aromatic soup), the title of this particular dish may sound somewhat confusing. It is a combination of Rujak Sayur (vegetable rujak) and Soto Babat (beef tripe soup), leading to an unusual taste. The food consists of various types of veggies, peanut sauce and petis (shrimp paste).
The peanut sauce is blended with salt, brown sugar, fried peanuts, pisang batu muda (a type of banana with seeds inside), and tamarind fruit. That concoction is then mixed with boiled vegetables such as kangkung (Chinese water spinach), long beans, cabbage and fried tofu and tempeh. Usually priced around Rp10,000 (less than US$1), it is often served alongside a bowl of savoury beef tripe soup.
2. Pecel Rawon
Suppose you will order this dish in Banyuwangi, you should expect to be given a plate of Nasi Pecel (rice with the nut-based sauce mixed with vegetables, such as bean sprouts and spinach), and also a bowl of Rawon (black nut soup). Pecel Rawon comes with tasty extras, like fried prawns, fried beef, fried cow lung and rempeyek kacang (peanut wafers) too.
Usually available for between Rp5,000 and Rp10,000, Pecel Rawon not only provides a rich flavour of spices but also a rather sweet-yet-subtle taste of sambal pecel (pecel sauce).
3. Sego Cawuk
Usually served during breakfast, this food can easily be found in Banyuwangi, especially in places populated by the using tribe. It is composed of steamed rice with a bowl of soup and young grated coconut, grilled baby corn, cucumber, chilli, red onion, garlic and some tamarind. The final result is a refreshing, spicy flavour.
Sego Cawuk usually goes for between Rp7,000 and Rp15,000, aside pepes ikan laut (steamed sea fish wrapped in a banana leaf), dendeng (beef jerky), kikil (cow trotter), and telur pindang (Javanese braised egg).
4. Jangan Kesrut
Famous for its bold red colour, spicy, and fresh aroma, Jangan Kesrut consists of steamed rice, crunchy tempeh, a piece of thick, and kala gepuk (shredded grilled chicken), a speciality of Banyuwangi. For the filling, the dish is usually offered with two choices: meat or kikil.
The soup itself consists of different ingredients, such as large chilli, cabe rawit (bird’s eye chilli), tomatoes, scallions, terasi (shrimp paste), salt, sugar and bilimbi. Note that very few restaurants serve this dish. Try Warung Olgha at Jl. DI Panjaitan 49 Lateng if you want to try it.
5. Nasi Tempong
This dish is essentially steamed rice with Banyuwangi-style sambal (chilli sauce). The sambal is always fresh because it is only made-to-order. Nasi Tempong is usually served alongside a bundle of fried side dishes, like tempeh, tofu, perkedel jagung (corn fritters) and salty fish. Priced around Rp12,000 to Rp15,000, expect to receive three plates when ordering this particular food, such as the rice, assorted boiled vegetables and a few side dishes.
A Vacation to Banyuwangi is more than just-food. It’s also about making long-lasting memories. Discover more about Banyuwangi and Indonesia by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.