Raja Ampat is known as a diving and snorkeling paradise. The city that offers the beauty of the underwater world has become one of the favorite places for water sports lovers. Besides enjoying its natural beauty, don’t forget to taste the local cuisine. Raja Ampat’s cuisine is famous for being unique and strange, but it is a favorite of travelers who vacation there. Below is a list of unique and strange culinary delights in Raja Ampat.
- Insonem or Sea Worm
In Raja Ampat, precisely in the Ayau Islands, there is a unique food called sea worms or insonem. Sea worms or insonem are different from earthworms in general because they have a lighter color. Sea worms have high protein which is good for body health. Sea worms or insomnia is believed to be good for male vitality. In addition, the nutritional content in insonem is also good for children’s brain development and health.
The Papuan people usually process it with balado seasoning or make it stir-fry. To add to the taste, will usually be added with various vegetables and other spices. Besides being cooked, insonem is also often cooked by smoking and then drying to make chips. Even the people of Papua often make Insonem satay as a daily side dish. Insonem has a texture that is not mushy but chewy, like octopus meat. If you go to Raja Ampat, be sure to try the chewy and savory sensation of these sea worms.
- Sago Caterpillar Satay
Another Raja Ampat dish that is quite popular is sago caterpillar satay. Sago caterpillars by local people are called Koo. Koo is an amazing food that is a favorite food for Papuans, including in Raja Ampat. This large and fat caterpillar is also only found on dead sago stalks.
Indigenous Papuans generally eat sago caterpillars raw. But if you are disgusted, Koo is also usually processed using satay. The taste of this Koo satay is very distinctive and delicious, even tastier than beef satay. In addition to making satay, sago caterpillars can also be cooked by sauteing. Sago caterpillars are believed to contain very high protein, so it is good for increasing energy.
- Manokwari Grilled Fish
One of the normal dishes that you can eat while in Raja Ampat is Manokwari Grilled Fish. This food has a very distinctive taste because it is made from fresh tuna. The delicious taste of tuna combined with a distinctive chili sauce will make you addicted. The presentation of this grilled fish is also unique because the sauce is spread directly on top of the fish. The tang sauce used is not a smooth chili sauce, but a coarse chili sauce. Because of this rough sauce, the taste of Manokwari grilled fish is very distinctive and different from the others.
- Wrap Fish
Besides grilled fish, you can also try fish wrap in Raja Ampat. The shape is the same as Pepes fish in other areas, but the taste is more distinctive and very prominent. The difference between wrapped fish and Pepes fish is in the seasoning. The wrapped fish seasoning is added with quite a lot of bay leaves so that the taste and aroma are distinctive.
The spices from the wrapped fish are made using chopped spices such as cayenne pepper, red chili, galangal, lemongrass, bay leaves, and tomatoes or starfruit. Before being wrapped, the fish is coated with fine spices such as turmeric, shallots, garlic, candlenut, and coriander. The fish used is also fresh sea fish which tastes very distinctive. This wrapped fish dish will be more delicious if eaten during the day with warm rice.
- Chicken Barapen/ Barapen Ayam
Raja Ampat turns out to have a special food made from chicken called barapen ayam.
In Papua, barapen is a traditional and unique way of cooking with a stone-grilled cooking technique.
After being seasoned and mixed with vegetables and sweet potatoes, the barapen chicken is grilled on a stone stove. Because of this unique way of cooking, this chicken has a distinctive taste. You can find this chicken barapen in the Papua area, especially in Raja Ampat. You can enjoy this dish at restaurants around Raja Ampat.
Vacation is more than just the food, and it’s about making long-lasting memories. Discover more adventures in Raja Ampat by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.