Freaky Food: Naniura
In the spirit of being FREAKY, FreakMagz also took the theme to experience a yummy freaky cuisine straight outta the Batak sub-ethnic group: Mandailing. We met Astrid Enricka Dhita, owner of one of Jakarta’s tastiest Ayam Tangkap restaurant, located in Jl. Ciranjang (south Jakarta) called: Ayam Tangkap Atjeh Rayeuk. Astrid told us about this freaky experience she had with a local mandailing dish called: Naniura. She also showed us the process of making the naniura and have us taste the freakiness of the dish. Here’s a little bit of Astrid’s story, and the ingredients to make one for your fancy. We even included a funky video of the process just for fun.
Jakarta is filled with people with different backgrounds who have tons of interesting stories to tell. One of them is Rahung Nasution, a mandailing-bataknese guy from North Sumatra. He was like "Have you heard about Naniura? It's a stunning dish from my hometown, Batak." I was like, "No I haven't….and yes, I would very much like to try!"
And hence, the beginning of my love affair with the Batak specialty dish called: Naniura, which means "uncooked fish". It's a Bataknese version of the Japanese Sashimi or Peruvian Ceviche. It's basically raw fish, "cooked" by acidic citrus. One might ask, what's so special about this dish? Well.. I imagine the freshness and fishiness of sashimi, meets a beautifully arranged indigenous Bataknese spices. It's hot, it's sour, it's pungent, it's salty…. to me, its like inhaling a breath of fresh air!
Naniura was actually food for the kings. Today, however, naniura is no longer prepared exclusively for kings. It's a treat to be enjoyed by everyone who finds naniura fascinating and salivating.
Visually, the naniura spice paste has a yellow color. If you're guessing it's turmeric, then bravo! You're correct! But actually, there’s a lot more stuff that goes on in a plate of the tangy Naniura. It has candlenut, chili, asam jungga (Citrus hystrix DC) also known widely as: Batak Citrus that serves to "cook" the fish, and andaliman (Zanthoxylum acanthopodium DC). Andaliman is a type of peppercorn that smells citrusy, but tastes like it's from another universe. It makes your tongue goes numb.
In Batak cuisine, andaliman is believed to increase the appetite. Andaliman is not only used to cook Naniura, but also to cook other common Malay food, like gulai. Other distinct ingredient is Rias/kencong/kecombrang (Etlingera elatior), that is also included in as ingredients in the naniura dish.
So if you’re looking for a local-based Indonesian freaky dish, then naniura is one freaky dish for sure. Go and try making one, for those of you living in Jakarta, most of the local bataknese ingredients like: andaliman etc., are available at Pasar Senen. Good luck and have a freaky experience!
- 500 gr tuna fillet
- 4 pcs asam jungga (Citrus hystrix DC) also known widely for Batak Citrus
- 1 torch ginger flower (Etlingera elatior)
SPICE PASTE, GROUND:
- 30 gr roasted candlenut
- 1 tsp roasted coriander seeds
- 10 gr fresh ginger
- 5 cm turmeric, roasted
- 20 gr galangal
- 70 gr roasted shallot
- 10 gr roasted garlic
- 10 gr andaliman (Zanthoxylum acanthopodium DC).
- 20 gr birds eye chili
- Cut tuna fillet in 5" cubes.
- Squeeze asam jungga to thoroughly marinate tuna fillet.
- Marinate tuna fillet with spice paste, leave in the chiller for 1 hour. Enjoy the chilled spicy tangy naniura!