The Famous Padang Cuisine

Mostly, cities in Indonesia have Padang Restaurant, or at least Padang hut. It is popular too internationally. Do you know it? The cuisine of the Minangkabau (a land of around West Sumatra province) people is commonly called Padang cuisine, due to it is the central and largest city of the region. Padang food is famed for its spicy and unique way it being served. All the dishes are displayed at a glass counter near the entrance for customers to select their favorites. I think this is an ancient tactic to whet one’s appetite.

Ordering at a Padang restaurant couldn’t be easier: sit down, and watch the dozens dishes with highly flavored foods pile up. It is served in small portions of various dishes, but constituting, with rice and insipid tea. Eat what you like, ladies and gentlemen, then pay only for dishes you’ve actually consumed. Don’t worry, the waiter knows exactly what have missed there. 🙂

You’ll soon look at rendang sapi (spicy curried beef cooked until the sauce is dry), soto padang (crispy beef in spicy soup), ayam pop (popcorn-like of chicken), curried fish, sate padang (beef satay in curry sauce), fried chicken, etc. Padang dishes can be used unusual ingredients, including internal organs like hearts, lungs and brains.

And don’t forget sambal, the spicy sauces ubiquitous at Indonesian tables. Specially in Padang restaurants, it is obligatory to serve sambal ijo (green spicy sauce). Usually sambal is red or orange, but sambal ijo is naturally green. Not spicy on my tongue, so don’t hesitate to try it.

Because Padang cuisine is dominated by meat and coconut milk (which means cholesterol risky), I strongly recommend you to balance them with vegetables. They’re delicious too. So, bon appétite! [photos from Masakan Padang in Facebook]


12 Replies to “The Famous Padang Cuisine”

  1. skylashtar

    Mmhhh… yummy. Tapi aku selalu sakit perut euy kalo makan rendang. Enak sih enak, tapi segala sesuatu yang bernama masakan padang emang nggak cocok bagi perutku. Lagipula, nggak terlalu suka pedas.

  2. Brahmanto Anindito Post author

    Wah, sayang sekali, Sky. Tp nggak semua makanan Padang pedas kok. Ayam gorengnya, contohnya. Lagipula tingkat kepedasan masakan jg tergantung (kebijakan) restoran/warungnya. 🙂

  3. indira p.

    padang resto in singapore is quite famous too, so i thought the origine was singapore. but when i visit indonesia there are a lot more. and the city exist also. can u explain me which padang cuisine/resto is good, which are not. because i heard also some of them, sorry to say, aren’t hygiene.

  4. Nahwi

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future. Thank you

  5. Brahmanto Anindito Post author

    Thanks, Indira & Nahwi. About its hygiene, like other food stands, it depends on the management. Of course the good Padang cuisine tastes good. Made according to traditional recipes (passed on one generation to other) and by fresh ingredients.

    How do you know this? No, you don’t. Unless you have gourmand tongue. So, I suggest, just look around. If the resto or hut is always crowded, usually the foods there change everyday. Means, it always fresh.

  6. Heathy

    Hi, nice post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for sharing. I will definitely be subscribing to your site.

  7. Sudradjat

    Dear Brahmanto,
    “Consumption of total fat or saturated fat, including that from coconut, was not a predictor for Coronary Heart Disease in this food culture.” That is the result of study by Lipoeto NI from the Faculty of Medicine of University of
    Andalas. Check also Marry Enig, she said that coconut oil, coconut milk contain lauric acid that second to mother’s milk and could kill bacteria even virus. So go ahead eating coconut oil.

  8. Sudradjat

    Dear Brahmanto
    Can I comment about meat eating culture?
    There is a Masai tribe in Sahara. They eat cow meat, blood, milk,fat. Their cholesterol are remarkably low,they don’t have Coronary Heart Disease, they don’t have diabetes like us. Yeah they don’t have caries even they don’t brush their teeth. Many cultures subsist from meat and they are healthy. American Indian they eat meat, Inuit Eskimo they eat meat,fat never eat carbohydrate and they don’t have CHD, diabetes.
    Why should we avoid meat?

  9. Brahmanto Anindito Post author

    Thank you Sudradjat. Well, I don’t know about that. Must be something missing about what (else) the tribe eats. Since I’m not competence person to say about healthiness, I just copied what most doctors have said. Anyway, yeah, why should we avoid meat? Just consume with moderation 🙂

  10. Sudradjat

    Dear Brahmanto,
    In short, don’t be afraid to eat cholesterol such coconut milk, meat, rendang. Our ancestor eat coconut and rendang for hundred years,they don’t have any CHD, heart disease disease found in the year 1920, and becoming problem in the year 1953 after Mr Ancel Keys of Minnesota University issued “Study of Seven Countries”

  11. Ronald

    They have a few in Malaysia under the name Nasi Padang Sungai Udang. Can google it on maps or add at Facebook (Nasi Padang Sungai Udang). A good 50 dishes just for lunch.. should try it..


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