Gado-gado, Tahu Gejrot and other Indonesian food

One of the best things about being home is the food. There is such a wide variety of Indonesian food I’m always in for a treat.  It’s quite strange no matter how hard they try, Indonesian restaurants overseas cannot seem to quite replicate the rich flavors you find locally.

Gado gado eaterySo, the hungry pair (my dad and I) went out for some Gado-Gado after our hospital visit. If you’ve never had Gado-gado, you can call it an Indonesian salad of sort. It’s a mixture of cooked and raw vegetables such as kang kong, bean sprouts, lettuce, along with tofu and eggs topped with a spicy peanut sauce and kerupuk (prawn crackers). There’s a little eatery famous for its Gado-Gado near our place and when we got there it was crowded.

The place is quaint and old-fashioned, and even though it was not air-conditioned, no one seemed to mind. While I was there, I picked some some “Penyek”, a crispy cracker with peanuts. This place has one of the best Penyek I’ve ever eaten. It’s light, crispy and very fresh.

While waiting for our food, I went outside to chat with some of the street vendors. Parked right outside was a bright pink cart containing “Tahu Gejrot”. Tahu Gejrot is a sour tofu (beancurd) with a spicy sweet and sour paste. The vendor usually uses a pestle to grind the paste ingredients on the spot and then adds the tofu in.

Tahu GejrotI just love brightly colored street carts. It makes such great photo fodders and of course, I was already taking out my camera trying to snap a picture. The vendor was more than happy to pose for me, in fact, he kept asking me to take more pictures. When I went to approach other street vendors, he even told them to pose for me.

When the “Tapei” man came carrying his goods on his back, the Tahu Gejrot vendor happily told me, “That guy is already 70! And look at him, he can still carry so many things.”

Tapei is fermented cassava with a sweet alcoholic taste. I’m not a big fan of it, although my dad loves it. But hey, street food is awesome. Just be careful where you buy it, some places might give you a stomachache. I remember an incident where my three siblings and a friend ventured to a street food stall that we knew weren’t so reputable. Needless to say, all of us visited the toilets multiple times later, but we also agreed, it was the best damn street food we ever had. Sadly, we’re not going back, at least for a while…

Photo yields of the day here.