Thinking what is one dish that you must try in Medan town? Ask anyone from Medan and you’ll probably get just one answer: Lontong Sayur.
This traditional Indonesian dish is, in fact, a combination of two different dishes – Lontong and Sayur. It is so versatile that you can have it as a breakfast item, while it can also be served as your main dish for lunch or can even be treated as a snack.
What is it ?
Lontong Sayur, just like most other popular Indonesian dishes, has rice as its base. Lontong is simply a kind of rice cake that is prepared by boiling rice until it is partially cooked. It is, then, rolled tightly with banana leaves and secured with a wooden needle, made from the central rib of a coconut leaf, locally known as lidi semat. Finally, it is kept in boiled water until cooked. Once it is cooled, Lontong is cut into small pieces and served as staple food. It is a common substitute for steamed rice dishes.
Lontong is usually served with a coconut milk soup called Sayur lodeh — hence, the dish is commonly known as ‘Lontong Sayur’. Along with shredded coconut, some of the other ingredients used in Sayur include tempeh, tofu, hard-boiled egg, sambal.
Ketupat Sayur is another variant of this delectable paired dish, commonly seen in other parts of Indonesia. In Malaysia, Lontong Sayur is known by the name, ‘Nasi Himpit,’ which simply means pressed rice.
If you’re travelling in Medan, get a local tour guide with Locaguide to guide you through this culinary journey. The advantage of having a local guide is, he can guide you to the best food stall or restaurant serving the most authentic version of Lontong Sayur in town.
The taste, coupled with the ease of making this Indonesian delicacy in larger quantities, makes Lontong Sayur one of the favourites at wedding receptions too. So, if you’re planning a tour to Medan or nearby regions of Indonesia, don’t forget to get a taste of this lip-smacking delicacy at least once.2