Welcome to the (Rijst) tafel!

yummi The rijsttafel as it is called in Dutch, is one of the most famous Indonesian/Dutch dishes known (rice-table in english). It is a Dutch colonial adaptation of the Indonesian dinner, and popular only in the Netherlands. However, a growing number of restaurants and hotels in the tourist areas in Indonesia serve rice table. It is shall we say like a chinese buffet but instead of getting all the food items, they are brought to your table and placed around a huge rice bowl, in the center of the table. The rijsttafel as the Dutch call it is a huge feast of many kinds of dishes and can include pork, beef and chicken to name a few from the meat department and fish or shrimp from the seafood gallery. Coconut milk and garlic are two ingredients which are a must in the preparation of the meal. Fried bananas (pisang goreng) and egg rolls(loempias) are part of the course. Bean sprouts and shrimp toast (kroepoek) which you can dip in the deliciously made peanut sauce are some of the favorites. The very hot and tasty Sambal spice delivers an exotic flavour. Several other sauces are put in side dishes scattered all over the table. The best drink to go with this meal is beer. (Eet lekker:)

 

My Mom

makes the most delicious rice-table ever. When I was a kid and later on in my teens, I can remember the smell when I came home from school. The smell of trassie, the dried shrimp paste that is used in the preparation of a lot of Indonesian food. The stuff would get rock hard if you did not seal the package. The smell of the peanut sauce and the meat which had been marinating in garlic and brown sugar for over a day. I would quickly make some kroepoek (the weird long flat plastic like sheet that, when you would throw it in the deep fryer, would expand like crazy) and steal some of the delicious peanut sauce and dip and dip till I was full. My mom would say:"Doe dat nou niet jonge, je kan dan je eten niet op"; which means:"boy, don't eat that now, you will not be able to eat dinner later".

and dad

met my mon in WWII. She was a nurse and he a luitenant. Dad spend about a year and a half in Indonesia and Bali working for the Dutch government. He spend 6 weeks traveling on the m.s.Johan van Oldenbarneveld, a ship going from Rotterdam to Batavia. I think that is where the love for Indonesian food started and it has never weakened thru the years. Now, you all think my mom is Indonesian, right? WRONG. She is as Dutch and white as my dad and me but probably cooks Indonesian food like she were. My dad brought home a lot of interesting souvenirs, like Bali dolls made from wood, very nicely carved wooden boxes made from dark cherry wood and more. To this day we still have them in the family.

 
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