Nutritious, Simply Available, and Affordable Foods Around Us.
We all understand how important it is to get nutritious food for our body. The food should ideally be easily available around us and affordable so that it does not create difficulties to obtain.
There are some dishes which are quite popular in my country as well as in other Asian countries like Malaysia, the Philippine, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, and Thailand. Those foods are considered practical to make, not to mention their nutritious ingredients, so that many places ranging from hawkers, food stalls, to big restaurants put them on their menu. Here are some of them :
Mung Bean Porridge.
Providing our family with nutritious food doesn't have to be costly and making so many efforts. Mung been porridge can be one alternative for nutrition supply based on the fact that it is rich in important vitamins and minerals. The main ingredient of this porridge is mung bean (Vigna radiata) and it is admitted to be an important source of vitamins and minerals like protein, calcium, phosphor, low fat, and fibers.
Protein in mung beans.
Mung bean plays essential role as vegetable protein supply to our body. The protein in mung bean is considered the best vegetable protein compared to other kind of proteins specially that it's very beneficial for pregnant women and their babies. There is a recommendation often given by nutritionists during a pregnancy to consume more mung beans to support the baby's physical growth, good immunity against diseases, and black, thick hair growth on too.
Mung bean contains unsaturated fat which is considered good fat. This kind of fat lowers total cholesterol and Low Density Lippoprotein (LDL) cholesterol so that it is good for your heart and your health in general.
In addition to protein and good fat (unsaturated fat) contents, mung beans also contain essential vitamins like Calcium and phosphor which are good for bones development , vit B1 (Thiamin) , vit B2 (Riboflavin) which are needed for protein absorption in the body.
How to make tasty mung-bean porridge in a practical way.
Mung beans : 300 grams.
Water : 3 liters
Brown sugar : 500 grams
Salt : 1 teaspoon.
Pandanus leaves (Pandanus ammaryllifolius) : 2 pieces.
- Wash the mung bean cleanly. Throw the bad, floating beans away.
- Put it in a saucepan add 2.5 l water and boil it until it's done. You can know it's done when you see cracks on the beans' surface.
- Put 500 grams of brown sugar on another pan add some water and boil it until the sugar is totally soluble.
- Strain the soluble sugar and pour it to the bean.
- Give some pieces pandanus leaves into the bean pan and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir the mixture.
- Continue cooking the bean to make it softer. Stir regularly during the cooking.
- The mung porridge is done when you see it's reached softness you need.
Baso campur (Mixed meat balls) .
Baso campur consists of Meatballs together with noodle or rice vermicelli and bean curd which is served in hot, spiced broth. Often fried or steamed wontons, green cabbage are also added to the mixture.
This savory dish originally comes from China but has been modified to be suitable with local people's taste, culture and preference like the use of chopped pork is been substituted with chicken meat.
Baso campur has become one of the most popular foods and been consumed by all walk of people over the country. There many food stalls and restaurants which specialize in Bakso dishes and there you can enjoy meatballs in various sizes from marble-size to as big as tennis ball sizes and the shapes can be round, square, and flat.
Nutritionists have no doubt about nutrient contents in bakso campur. The meat used in meatballs surely gives rich protein and fat. The tofu provides vegetable protein and calcium, while the beansprouts are the source of Vit. E and anti oxidant. Green cabbage added to the dish also enriches it with fibers.
How to make Bakso (Meat balls).
- 1 Kg of minced beef.
- 300 grms tapioca flour
- 2 eggs
- 6 cloves of garlics
- 1 shallot
- 1 teaspoon of white pepper
- 2 teaspoons of salt.
Mix garlic, red onion, salt, and white pepper using a mortar or mixer then put the minced beef, eggs and tapioca flour in the spice mixture and knead them. Add some water and keep on kneading to make it smooth and soft.
If you think it's been smooth and soft enough, roll the kneaded mixture in to small meatballs.
In larger saucepan, boil around 2 liters of water. Slowly plunge the meatballs into the boiling water one by one. You'll know they are done when the meatballs float to the surface.
The Bakso soup :
- 1 liter of chicken bouillon
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 shallot
- Salt and pepper.
Chop the shallot and garlic finely and saute them for some minutes. Add some salt and pepper too.
Mix down the sauted garlic and shallot into the bouillon and add 1 cup of water.
Heat the bouillon until it boils and put the meatballs into it. Simmer it for some minutes and it is ready to be served.
Gado-Gado (Vegetable Salad)
If you love eating vegetables or if you're a vegetarian, then gado-gado should be the preferable choice in coping with your hungry feeling.
Gado-gado consists of steamed vegetables with peanut sauce dressing plus fried shallots and crackers on top of it. There are other similar foods like Pecel and Karedok as they also use peanut sauce dressing, but pecel uses more coarse peanut sauce whereas karedok uses raw vegetables.
Gado-gado is consumed nationwide and because of its popularity various food hawkers, food stalls up to five-star hotel and big restaurants serve gado-gado.
To meet common people's tastes,as most of us believe: It's not called a meal unless it is served with rice, gado-gado is often eaten together with rice or lontong (steamed-rice wrapped in banana leaves) with crackers are put on top of it.
Most of gado-gado sellers always prepare it freshly by orders. They prepare the peanut sauce right in front of the costumers to meet their taste in its spiciness.
How to make gado-gado (vegetable salad) :
The gado-gado vegetables :
Water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica)
Young jack fruit
Peeled boiled egg
All vegetables above are chopped, shredded and steamed.
The peanut sauce :
Ground fried crunchy peanuts (+/- 200 grams)
2 grams of Coconut sugar/brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of shrimp paste (belacan)
1 tablespoon of tamarind or lime juice.
1 teaspoon of Salt
200 ml boiled water.
Crackers/bullet chips (fried chips made of Gnetum gnemeon)
Mix the chopped and steamed vegetables and put them on a plate. Cut the boiled egg into two parts and put them on top of it.
Grind fried, crunchy peanuts together with chillies, coconut/brown sugar, salt, shrimp paste and tamarind in a mortar finely. Add some water to make it thick sauce.
Pour the peanut sauce on the vegetable then add some fried shallots and crackers on it.
The gado-gado is ready to serve.
Sate / Satay.
Sate is another nutritious dish in my country which has gone international. There are several kinds of sate coming from various parts of the country and one of them and the most famous nationwide is Sate Madura or satay originally from Madura island.
Sate Madura mainly consists of chicken or mutton which is dice sliced. The meat is skewered on bamboo skewers and grilled on charcoals. Sate is served with peanut sauce as the dressing.
With the ingredients it uses, sate is one of the main sources of protein which is served in favorable preparation. Sate sellers can be found almost everywhere from mobile sate seller at the street to high class restaurants with various modifications in servings.
How to make Sate.
Sate can be prepared in simple way and the ingredients are easily available. The following recipe can be served for 20 people.
1/2 Kg of chicken meat or mutton without skin and bone.
75 ml sweet, low sodium soya sauce.
2 lime oranges
20 bamboo skewers.
125 gr of fried peanuts
4 cloves of garlic
2 leaves of kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix)
- Cut the meat in dice shapes. Skewer all the meat with bamboo skewers, 4 or 5 dices on every skewer.
- Ground fried peanuts, garlic, onions, chillies and some salt in a mortar finely.
- Mix it with soya sauce, water and kaffir lime leaves, fry it in low heat while mixing it until it's done and oily. The peanut sauce is ready.
- Smear the skewered meat with soya sauce evenly.
- Grill the meat on charcoal and continually rotate them one by one while grilling to get them done homogeneously. Keep smearing them with soya sauce to avoid burnt meat.
- After they have done completely, dip them in peanut paste and put them on a plate.
- Give the sate some lemon drops, now it's ready to be served.
Sate can be enjoyed together with rice or lontong (rice cooked in banana leaf wraps) as main courses.
R u j a k.
Rujak is made like fruit salad but the dressing is mainly made brown sugar ground together with other spices and salt instead of using mayonnaise as it's been normally known.
How to prepare Rujak :
The fruits : The fruits should be chosen the ripe ones and mostly consists of sweet fruits like papaya, ripe mangoes, star fruits, apples, plus sour fruits combined with some sour neutral tastes from water apple, grapefruit, cucumber, jicama, sweet potato, etc.
Wash the fruits and peel them. The fruits are sliced and placed on a plate.
The dressing : Besides the fruits, the rujak dressing also gives significant sensation in enjoying it. The materials needed for the dressing are :
250 gr(ams) of peanuts.
250 gr brown sugar.
One teaspoon of salt.
50 gr tamarind
10 gr shrimp paste (optional).
To prepare the dressing
Prepare a pestle and a mortar to crush the ingredients. Put some boiled water and the peanuts in the pestle and grind.
Add brown sugar , salt, tamarind, chillies, and shrimp paste respectively. Continue the grinding add more boiled water if necessary to make it perfect thick dressing.
Pour the paste onto the sliced fruits.
Now the rujak is ready to be served.
I hope some foods described in this hub give you more information about Indonesian local foods which I think can contribute to general people's need for simple and nutritious dishes.