Jakarta Street Food: Asinan (salad)

Indonesians do salad differently, as you can see here.  First, bamboo shoots, then carrot (wortel), lettuce, mustard greens, cucumber, then it starts to get interesting – peanuts, krupuk, peanut sauce (yummo!), chili sauce and finally gula jawa!  Gula jawa (also known as gula merah) is a syrup made from coconut flowers.

You see, Indonesian people (particularly the Javanese) have a very sweet tooth.  But you can tell him not to add the syrup.  In fact, you can tell him to add or subtract any of the ingredients as he makes your salad, he won’t mind.  Actually, it’s something to try to remember whenever you’re ordering drinks – if you don’t have a sweet tooth, ask them not to add syrup.  Otherwise they will ruin your tea, coffee, coconut juice and any other fruit juice by making it sickly sweet.


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