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» Ketan Bakar
Ketan Bakar
by: Emma Kwee

Rice, as everybody probably already knows, is the staple food of Indonesians young and old. It is sometimes eaten three times a day, and Indonesians never seem to get bored with it. There are several ways of using rice to make dishes totally different in taste. In the morning for example, bubur ayam (rice porridge) is the thing that will give you a head start. Another rice based snack is lemper, ricerolls filled with chicken. The rice people use to make these dishes is called ketan, or sticky rice, and as the name suggests, the grains of this rice stick together after cooking.

Another favourite snack that is home to the Lembang area near the Tangkuban Prahu volcano, is ketan bakar. This tasty little dish basically consists of a block of sticky rice that is barbequed and served with peanut sauce and serundeng (a mixture of peanuts and coconut). From the look of it, ketan bakar doesn't seem all that special but this simple snack is delicious and certainly worth trying.

The rice is crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside and the spicy peanut sauce together with the crushed peanuts and coconut unite all taste buds both in texture and in flavour. Sometimes, instead of peanut sauce, another West Java specialty called oncom is added. Oncom is made of fermented beans and adds a spicy kick to the dish.

Ketan bakar can be found everywhere in Lembang, but it is unfortunately quite rare outside of the area. This is an odd phenomenon that is pervasive in Indonesian society. Each area has their own specialty, be it shops such as tailors or spanduk sellers (textile banners) or food, such as cendol (a sweet drink) and ketan bakar. As a result, each neighbourhood is sprawling with a particular item which keeps competition high and prices low and sometimes it makes it very hard to find these objects outside of their home region.

Consequently ketan bakar is very specific to Lembang, so be sure to try it when you're passing through. Although this snack looks small in size, it's actually quite filling. That coupled with the price (ketan bakar costs around Rp. 3000 per portion), makes it understandably one of the most popular snacks for visitors of Lembang.

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About The Author

Emma Kwee

Emma is a Dutch born and bred Indonesia lover who after years of traveling stranded and lost her heart to the same country her father was born in.

Emma writes for Streetdirectory Indonesia. Robert J Steiner manages Streetdirectory.co.id & FlowerAdvisor.co.id, well known for for online Flowers & Gifts in Indonesia.

She is currently living the good life in Bandung, writing for streetdirectory.com while sipping fresh coconut juice under a palmtree, she's planning on staying put for a while.

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