Magelang, nestled in the highlands of Central Java Province, Indonesia, is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes. However, it’s not just the scenery that captivates visitors; the city’s culinary delights, particularly Nasi Lesah or Lesah Rice, are a must-try when exploring the area. This dish stands out with its unique presentation using bamboo and banana leaves, offering a distinct flavor unlike any other rice dish.
The following are 5 unique facts about Lesah Rice from Magelang:
1. Lesah Rice Sellers Are Increasingly Rare
In the ever-changing culinary landscape, Lesah Rice sellers have become increasingly scarce. According to Warung Pak Badut, one of the few surviving vendors since 1990 on Jalan Singosari, numerous Lesah Rice sellers have closed shop due to dwindling demand. Today, there are estimated to be fewer than 50 Lesah Rice traders remaining, with the dish now mainly found as a side item on restaurant menus.
2. Unique Process of Making Lesah Rice
The process of crafting Lesah Rice begins by cooking rice with an array of spices, including bay leaves, lemongrass, galangal, and other flavorful ingredients. Afterward, the rice is steamed within meticulously cleaned bamboo tubes, enveloped by banana leaves. This steaming process infuses the rice with a distinct aroma.
3. Ingredients in Lesah Rice
The spice blend for Lesah Rice comprises shallots, garlic, turmeric, salt, and a selection of empon-empon, a group of aromatic herbs. To enhance the rich flavor profile, free-range chicken is used, resulting in a savory and immersive broth. Additionally, fresh bean sprouts and celery contribute to the dish’s delightful composition.
4. Tempting Presentation and Accompaniments
When served, Lesah Rice is accompanied by an array of tantalizing side dishes, such as slices of bacem tofu, soun noodles, bean sprouts, shredded chicken, celery leaves, and a sprinkle of fried onions. A delectable coconut milk sauce is poured over the dish, further enhancing its flavors, with fried onions acting as a mouthwatering topping. The infusion of coconut milk gives Lesah Rice a delightful taste, taking its deliciousness to another level.
5. Akin to Soto, Yet Uniquely Distinct
At first glance, Lesah Rice may bear resemblance to Soto, a traditional Indonesian soup dish. However, the distinguishing factor lies in the sauce. Lesah Rice features a delectable coconut milk mixture, elevating its taste and providing a distinct culinary experience. Moreover, unlike soup dishes typically served in bowls, Lesah Rice is elegantly plated, making it visually appealing and enhancing the overall dining experience.
Recommended Nasi Lesah Warung
Warung Makan D’Lesah
Address: Jl.Kalingga no 33, Kota Magelang
Open : 07.00-16.00 WIB
Phone/ Order : 08122966995 / 08157930213
Warung Pak Badut
Address: Jl. Singosari No.16, Rejowinangun Sel., Kec. Magelang Sel., Kota Magelang, Jawa Tengah 56214
Open: Everyday 17.00–01.00 WIB
Nasi Lesah Sanjaya
Alamat: Jl. Sriwijaya No.58, Rejowinangun Utara, Kec. Magelang Tengah, Kota Magelang, Jawa Tengah 56111
Open: Everyday 17.30–23.00 WIB
Magelang’s Lesah Rice offers not only breathtaking natural beauty but also a culinary journey worth savoring. With its scarcity of sellers, unique preparation method, thoughtful composition, enticing presentation, and distinct coconut milk sauce, Lesah Rice promises a memorable and delightful dining experience for those fortunate enough to taste this regional specialty.
Have you tried Lesah Rice when you visited Magelang? Share your experience in the comments section below.