When we discuss about food from West Sumatera, Rendang and Nasi Padang probably will pop in our mind first, as these are the highlights of of West Sumatera culinary heritage, and Rendang is also acknowledged as the most delicious food in the world according to CNN. But actually, there are a wonderful variety of vegetarian West Sumatera dishes that you must try.
West Sumateran dishes are mostly spicy—not only because of the chilies used but also the spice and seasoning. The ingredients used also vary, from vegetables to beef, or combination of both.
Here are our pick of vegetarian West Sumatera dishes!
Balado Terong is one of the most-wanted menus at Padang restaurants. It is made from chunks of eggplants that are sautéed in hot Balado sauce. Balado sauce is practically a kind of Sambal, as it is made from chilies, shallots, and tomatoes. The red color of this dish will surely excite your appetite!
Gulai Pucuak Ubi
As the name implies, this dish is made from pucak ubi or cassava leaves. The leaves are cooked in thick coconut milk, mixed with chilies and other specialty Minang spices. Usually small anchovies are also added into this dish to enhance the flavor. Gulai Pucuak Ubi is best consumed along with Sambal Lado as condiment.
You can find Gulai Cubadak in all Padang restaurants, as it is one of the ‘mandatory’ condiments of Nasi Padang. The main ingredient of Gulai Cubadak is Cubadak or unripe jackfruit. Cubadak is then cooked in coconut milk and other spices such as shallots, candlenut, ginger, chilies, and bay leaves. It is said that the cook needs special skill to process Cubadak so it tastes good and not bitter.
The main ingredient of this dish is jariang (jengkol). This is also one of the most favorite West Sumatera dishes! Just like other Gulai from West Sumatera, Gulai Jariang is cooked in coconut milk, chilies, and langkok-langkok (special West Sumatera spices).
Also known as “Gulai Pakis”, Gulai Paku is classical Indonesian dish that has unique flavor. It is made from ferns that are cooked in coconut sauces. Usually, Gulai Paku is served during Lebaran and consumed along with Ketupat or Lontong (rice cakes). Gulai Paku is one of the Padangnese vegetarian menu that worth a shot.
Karupuak or Kerupuk Sanjai is one of the light snacks from West Sumatera that you must try. Karupuak Sanjai is made from sliced cassava that is deep-fried in coconut oil until crispy. It is then seasoned in salt, palm sugar or Lado (chili) seasoning. Usually people not only consume these chips as snack, but also as condiment of other West Sumateran menus.
Bubur Kampiun is one of the most favorite sweet dishes from West Sumatera. Usually, Bubur Kampiun is served as tajil (‘appetizer’ for breaking the fast during fasting month). Bubur Kampiun is actually a combination of several desserts that is served in one bowl. In one bowl of Bubur Kampiun, you can find Kolak Pisang (banana in sweet coconut milk), Bubur Candil (sticky rice cake dessert), Bubur Sumsum (rice porridge in palm sugar sauce), and Bubur Ketan (sticky rice porridge).