Christmas cuisine is inseparable from Christmas celebrations. Eastern Indonesia has a large Christian population and also many special Christmas dishes. A cook from Manado said, “A typical Christmas cuisine is usually related to the European menu but not all Indonesian enjoy this food. This has resulted in its own special dishes for Xmas”.
Already curious about specialty Eastern Indonesia dishes to serve for Christmas?
Chicken or Fish with Rica-Rica (Manado)
The word ‘spicy’ in Manado, North Sulawesi has similar meaning to ‘rica-rica’. This Christmas cuisine is served with chillies or spicy seasoning. People from Manado commonly eat Rica-rica with rice, with additional toppings of fried onions and cucumbers. Add a squeeze of lime to add a fresh taste and neutralize the spicy flavors.
Jaha Rice (Manado)
As it is implied by its name, this Christmas special is cooked with variety of spice herbs. Made from sticky rice and coconut milk, baked in bamboo stalks covered with banana leaves. The Jaha word is derived from Nasi (Rice) and Jahe (Ginger). Jaha rice is similar to Lemang rice from Java region. It is often served with shredded venison, beef, or Cakalang (skipjack tuna) fish and curry.
Originated from Dutch colonial period, it is a customary to eat this at Christmas. This tart is made from coconut, flour (wheat flour), milk, butter, and eggs. Apart from Christmas celebration, Klaapertaart is also made for other feasts, including wedding, birthday, events, etc. The flavor of this cake has evolved from original to various taste like Cheese, Chocolate, Blueberry, and Durian flavor.
Yellow Sauced Fish (Ambon)
Usually this Christmas special is a accompanied by Papeda, one of Indonesian staple foods from the east regions, including Ambon, besides rice. It is made with Mubara or tuna fish and its sauce is seasoned with lime and turmeric. The yellow sauce is a specialty for the people of Ambon and classified as one of mandatory cuisine for Christmas celebration in Ambon.
Kohu – Kohu (Maluku)
Kohu-kohu is one the favorite seafood family dishes in Maluku. What makes this Christmas dish so favorable is the rich amount of protein, mineral, vitamin, and omega 3. To make Kohu-kohu is pretty simple. It is made with shredded mackerel tuna mixed with finely grated coconut, bean sprouts, eggplant, raw long beans, lime juice, red onion, cayenne pepper and basil.