Sean On Leave

Changing the World…One Vacation At A Time.

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Breakfast in Jakarta

April 24th, 2009 by Sean

Indonesia is filled with people selling food.  I can’t overstate this.  Absolutely everywhere you go, there are men pushing or carrying everything they need to make a quick hot meal.  And if you’re looking for something a little more permanent in your eating establishment, the next step up is a Warung.  The best I can do to translate this word is “Café”; but even that isn’t quite right.  Warungs are almost always open-air shop, usually tiny and often one or two person operations.  However, Warungs also stray into what we would clearly consider a restaurant in Canada.

In Indonesia, the restaurant is often referred to as the Rumah Makan – or Eating/Food House, although the term “Restoran” is also commonly used now.  On our first morning in Indonesia, my father was interested in exactly one thing and it wasn’t going out for breakfast.  He wanted breakfast to be brought to us…and he wanted Bubur Ayam.

Bubur Ayam is Chicken Congee (a porridge made with rice).  In Indonesia, this is a common breakfast food and vendors with a cart or small rig on the back of a bicycle wind their way through narrow neighbourhood streets calling out or clanging a spoon against a porcelain bowl ringing out the announcement of morning among the rooftops.   Dad was very excited with the prospects of Burbur Ayam for breakfast…but we waited and waited and nothing.

Just as we had given up, I heard a call that sounded enough like “Bubur” for me sound the alarms <grin>.  My dad jumped up and ran downstairs from the bedroom, where we were hiding from the already grueling morning heat of Jakarta in the only air conditioned room in the house, to see if he could catch us some breakfast.

He was successful, and I was able to watch the vendor assemble our breakfast on the portable kitchen he had set up on the back of a motorcycle.

It was a much more involved process that I imagined, and I’m really grateful I was able to watch him.  It was great to see how Bubur Ayam is assembled, especially since it is a favourite at breakfast buffet’s here…so I’ve been able to put together my morning porridge like a pro here.

Here is the finished product:

On top of the Bubur is fried shallots, Jah Quay – a type of chinese fried bread, cut into think slices, green onions and shredded chicken.  This is, of course, served with spicy Sambal – a sauce made of chili peppers and probably has the best claim to being the national food of Indonesia.  Along side the porridge and the chili Kropoek, a crunchy cracker made from tapioca flour and then deep fried is also served.

The Bubur was savory, delicious and wonderfully silky smooth which was a great counterpoint to the crunch and chewiness of the toppings.  Burbur Ayam is one of the many things my dad has added to the list of things I need to learn to cook while I’m here.

If we’re lucky, I’ll even manage to grab step by step photos of a cooking lesson and I’ll blog the whole thing.

Tags: 4 Comments

4 responses so far ↓

  • That is quite the stand. I was laughing when I first saw the picture…the back of a motorcycle! :)

    I am glad you are getting to finally eat the stuff your dad has talked about for years! :) and I am sur you have the pictures to prove it! LOL

  • Nice! I am horribly hungry now. Do you think you could FedEx one of those here? That looks really yummy. Now that’s the food pr0n I’m talkin’ about. :-)

  • You will have to make it for us next time you are down in this part of the country!

  • That looks so ridiculously delish…