(Fish Meat Balls)

Indonesian Cuisine: Tekwan
Side dish: Sambal (mixture of peppers)

Not being a fan of highly “fishy” foods, I was a little hesitant to try tekwan (tay wan), but wanting to experience more of Indonesian life, I attempted it, and I’m happy to say I was very pleased with the outcome. Tekwan is very spicy, but the flavors were very delicious and it only had a hint of fish flavor–and for me, that was perfect!

Indonesian dishes contain many different ingredients to add a variety of flavor, which most American dishes lack. Needless to say there is a lot of time involved with the making of these dishes. Women are honored, admired, and respected for their ability to cook.

Ingredients in Tekwan

  • Tekwan—is the main ingredient, from which the dish gets its name. The tekwan balls are made with a mixture of dough (flour, salt, water, and tapioca) mixed with fish, similar to pempek. The dough balls are then boiled or deep fried.
  • Mushroom—the very dark brown ingredients seen in the picture are the mushrooms.
  • Bihun—rice vermicelli is also included. Some people call this “angel hair.”
  • Timun—cucumber.
  • Celery
  • Shallot—many Indonesian dishes uses these onions.
  • Jicama—this tasteless ingredient adds crunch to the soup, sort of like a water chestnut.
  • Fried onions—the small brown ingredients seen in the picture is fried onions.
  • Peppers—finely chopped.
  • Green side dish—this is “sambal” (hot sauce). It tastes like Jalapeno peppers but about 5x hotter. People will stir it into their broth to make the dish suit their taste for spiciness. Though I enjoy spicy foods, the soup would have been spicy enough without the sambal!
  • The broth—I like salty foods, so for me the broth was salted to perfection.