Besides the dazzling view, Lake Maninjau at Agam District, West Sumatra also has the fishery products that can be transformed into the delicious food. What are the typical Maninjau cuisine that we can enjoy?
- Pensi (mini scallop)
Pensi is a mini scallop or a very small clam which live at the bottom of Lake Maninjau. The size is about 1-2 centimetre with two symmetrical flat shells in black or brown colour. It’s fleshy tiny tasty and chewy.
Pensi can be processed in two ways. For pensi without shell can be processed into curry or gulai to be eaten with rice. Usually pensi cooked with gulai pakis (fiddlehead ferns cooked in a rich coconut sauce spiced with chilis, galangal, and ginger). Pensi can also be made balado (spicy) with pare (bitter gould). Sometimes people make rendang pensi.
Meanwhile for the pensi with shell, it can be boiled or fried with ingredients such as onion, leek and celery with abundant sauce. It tastes fresh and delicious. The pensi contains calcium from its shell. People believe pensi can increase the stamina.
- Ikan Rinuak (very tiny fish)
Rinuak is a kind of fresh fish living at Danau Maninjau. Rinuak, meaning very tiny in Minangkabau language. Like its name, Rinuak fish is very tiny, only just as small as a match, with yellowish white colour, very similar to Teri fish of Medan (North Sumatra).
Rinuak fish still will not survive except only on the Lake Maninjau, although it has been moved to an oxygen-filled shelter. Therefore, fresh Rinuak fish can only be found around Lake Maninjau.
The tourists who want to bring them as food souvenirs could buy them as processed food like fried Rinuak, salted fish Rinuak, palai or pepes (steamed fish in banana leaf), or peyek (deep-fried savoury cracker made from flour with other ingredients).
Rinuak can be processed into some food such as:
– Palai Rinuak (Pepes Rinuak) / steamed rinuak fish in banana leaf
Made from rinuak fish, which is mixed with grated coconut, added with onion, garlic, green onion and cayenne pepper as ingredients, then wrapped in banana leaves and burned with embers. Palai Rinuak is perfect to be enjoyed with warm rice.
– Rinuak Goreng (Fried Rinuak)
It looks like fried bakwan (Indonesian fried meal consisting of vegetables and batter). The way of making is the same as making bakwan. Fresh Rinuak, after being washed and sliced, seasoned with garlic, pepper, salt and a little rice flour. Then fried, spoonful after spoon in hot oil. Fried Rinuak is so tasty, making people cannot stop eating it.
– Rakik / Kerupuk / Peyek Rinuak
Peyek rinuak which has been salted can last long, even up to several months because it has dried and salted. Usually tourists buy them as food souvenirs. The price is 10,000 rupiahs per big wrap, 5,000 rupiahs per small wrap.
– Dendeng Rinuak (Jerky Fish)
Dendeng rinuak is a processed food by mixing rinuak fish with rice flour, orange leaves and some spices. It formed into very thin slices like jerky. It tastes delicious and savoury.
- Ikan Bada (Small Fish as small as index finger)
Bada is a type of fish that looks like the fish Bilih found in Lake Singkarak. When compared with Bilih fish, Bada fish has a finer and lighter scales, with only the size of an adult’s little finger and its length is only about 5cm. In terms of taste Bada fish is more savoury and sweet. Bada fish can be processed into several types of food such as:
– Ikan Bada asap / Bada masiak / Salai ikan bada (Bada Smoked Fish)
– Fried Bada
– Curry Bada
The very special menu of this Bada is The Smoked Bada or Bada Masiak or Salai Bada, the fish which is dried by smoked with coconut leaves or overlaid on the coals of fire so that the colour is slightly blackish yellowish.
The smoked Bada is a superior product of citizen from Lake Maninjau. It is a commodity of craftsmen and fishermen since long at Tanjung Raya County, Agam District. The smoked Bada from Maninjau is considered to have an unmatched taste. Since it is one of the most desirable food from Lake Maninjau, especially for people outside Maninjau area, no wonder the price is very expensive. In Jakarta, the price of one portion of smoked bada is more expensive than beef rendang or dendeng.
Smoked bada is very in demand during the holidays, especially Lebaran (Ied Mubarak) holiday, because at that time many migrants returning home. They also often made smoked bada as a souvenir so that the price of it was skyrocketed.
Normally the price of smoked bada is about 100,000 – 120,000 rupiahs per kilograms. On holidays or Lebaran days, the price will be skyrocketed to 180,000 – 200,000 rupiahs per kilograms. Meanwhile the price of fried bada is only 150,000 per kilograms, and the fresh bada fish is about 30,000 per kilograms.
- Langkitang (a kind of water snails).
Langkitang lives in the lake, river and estuary. The shell is black and elongated, as small as a little finger. It can be processed to be dried curry with thick coconut milk and green chili. The ingredients and the coconut milk will be seeped into its shell. It tastes savoury and delicious with the scented aroma.
- Ikan Nila (Parrot Fish)
In addition to typical fishery products, Maninjau also cultivates freshwater fish using keramba (floating cages). Usually they are parrot fish and gold fish. They can be cooked as fried fish or spicy sour fish.
- Ikan Sisiak (Tuna Fish)
The fresh tuna can be obtained from the catch of the fishermen. If there is no full moon the tuna fish will be very abundant. The fish can be cooked as curry or gulai.
Variety of food can be created from the fish harvest of Lake Maninjau. On the edge of the lake there is Gasang-Maninjau Village, Agam District, many simple food stalls can be found. They sell various typical food from Lake Maninjau like Rinuak in banana leaf, Fried Rinuak, Smoked Bada, Fried Bada and Pensi. You can eat them at the place. Or you can also bring them as souvenirs. Beside pensi they can last more than a week.
If you were in Lawang Park, you can find numerous restaurants which provide the typical Maninjau food. The best part if you happen to have friends or relatives in Maninjau, you can ask them to cook the special menu for you. The Maninjau culinary which is cooked in a special spice blend is really tempting. This delicious taste is like not going from the tongue.