Rice: A Favorite Indonesian Food


Rice: About a Favorite Indonesian Food by Polyanski Kesuma

Rice is a main food in my country, Indonesia. Indonesia is located in Southeast Asia, which gives Indonesia tropical weather, perfect weather to grow rice. Rice is also a main crop grown in Indonesia. In many places in the world, rice is the staple, or main, food. It is a plant that requires plenty of water and heat. Java Island, where the rains are so plentiful, produces the most rice crops in Indonesia.

Back many years ago time when Indonesia was still under Japanese colonial control, many people suffered from hunger and a lack of food. Growing rice was an easy thing at that time because all you needed was an empty field, seeds, and banteng (native oxen) to pull the wooden plough. As time went on, rice became our cultural dish, and right now even a big elite social event uses rice as a main part of the dishes served. Rice is no longer just the food of the poor.

Rice fields are called paddy fields. They have low walls around them because they have to be flooded with water. In hilly areas, the paddy fields are terraced down the hillsides. In spring the soil is ploughed in order to stir up the soil ready for planting the seedlings. In Indonesia, while banteng, or native oxen, pull the wooden ploughs, in some other Asian countries, water buffalo pull the ploughs. After ploughing, the paddies are flooded and the seedlings are planted by hand. Several weeks later, flowers appear on the plants and then the plants produce grains in husks (a coating over each grain). In late summer, watering is stopped and the rice is harvested. Workers each use a sharp knife and cut off the stalks at ground level.

For Indonesian people, rice is like “mashed potatoes” for American. Indonesian always have rice with their meal at lunch and dinner. They eat rice with other foods, such as meat, vegetables, etc. Many Indonesian think that having a meal without rice is like having a piece of bread without peanut butter and jelly. There are many types of rice that many people, usually western people do not know about. There are Thailand rice, Japanese rice, Indonesian rice, and other types which are similar in appearance. In my opinion and based on my experience, the best type of rice I think is Thailand rice. The reason I say that because Thailand rice has a better shape, longer shape, and has a better fragrance. Even Indonesian people, most of them think that Thailand rice is better than their rice. Thailand rice costs more too.


“Nutritional Information

Rice is an extremely healthy food for a number of reasons. Rice is a complex carbohydrate, which means that it contains starch and fiber. Complex carbohydrates are digested slowly, allowing the body to utilize the energy released over a longer period which is nutritionally efficient. Rice has low sodium content and contains useful quantities of potassium, the B vitamins, thiamin and niacin. An average portion of rice (50g) provide about 11% of the abut estimated average daily requirement of protein. On portion also has only 245 kcal. Those looking to reduce their fat and cholesterol intakes can turn to rice because it contain only a trace of fat and no cholesterol. Rice is also gluten free, so suitable for coeliacs, and it is easlily digested, and therefore a wonderful food for the very young and elderly. Rice is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, with brown rice in particular complementing vegetarian and vegan dishes.”

(http://www.pechsiam.com/allabout_nutrition.htm)

Here is one recipe that I got from my mom :

Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice)

Ingredients - Serves 4
2 cups of rice
2 T tamarind paste (substitute with lime juice after the dish is done)
2 eggs
4 T Oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 Garlic clove; minced
I fresh red chili finely chopped
1/2 c Shrimp, popcorn; cooked/peel
2 T Soy sauce
I large tomato sliced
11/2 teaspoon of dried shrimp paste
1/4 c Celery; chopped
1/2 c Onion flakes, dried
white pepper
salt


Preparation
1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a pot. When boiling add the rice and tamarind. The rice should be cooked in 10 minutes, when all the liquid should be absorbed. Turn off the heat, remove the rice.
2. Add 2 T. oil and fry onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add tomato shrimp paste and chili. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Saute. Add celery and soy sauce. Saute again. Set aside..
3. Beat the eggs. Heat a skillet and grease it with a few drops of oil. Make thin omelets. Put aside to use as garnish.
4. Heat one tablespoon oil in a heavy frying pan over medium high heat Stir fry the rice for 5 minutes, add seasonings
5. Garnish with sliced omelet and onion flakes.


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thailand rice

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rice crop

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