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Papua's 12 Most Unique and Popular Legendary Foods

Papua's legendary food

Looking for a list of legendary Papuan foods? Come check out our recommendations, starting from Manokwari Grilled Fish to Sago Caterpillar Satay.

Legendary Papuan Food – Papua is an island off the East Coast of Indonesia which is famous for its extraordinary natural wealth and enchanting culture. This island serves interesting and unique dishes that culinary lovers must enjoy.

In contrast to other regions where rice is the staple food, Papuan people rely on sago as their main food. So it is not surprising that Travela will find a variety of traditional Papuan culinary delights with distinctive flavors that are rarely found in other areas.

Even though sago is the main ingredient in Papua's staple food, there are still many other typical culinary delights that can be tasted, including those made from marine animals.

Want to know what legendary Papuan foods are unique and addictive? The following are recommendations for typical Papuan food that Travelers must try!

Legendary Papuan Food

1. Typical Papuan Dish: Manokwari Grilled Fish

Although most Indonesians eat grilled fish with soy sauce or peanuts, Papua, especially Manokwari Province, eats grilled fish with coarsely ground spices.

Before grilling, the fish is smeared with lime. Once cooked, they serve it on banana leaves topped with chili sauce and coarsely ground raw spices.

The taste of this legendary Papuan food cannot be denied, especially when served with hot rice.

2. Cheating Shrimp

Still discussing legendary Papuan food with sea animals as the main ingredient, another dish that you must try is Selingkuh Shrimp.

As the name suggests, shrimp is the main ingredient in this dish, but unlike most culinary places, the shrimp used are freshwater shrimp from the river.

So, why is this shrimp considered cheating? That's because it looks like a shrimp, but has claws like a crab. Locals believe that shrimps have an affair with crabs.

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3. Bagea Cake

Travela, Bagea cake is a typical Papuan dessert made from sago flour. Bagea cake, a legendary Papuan food, is made into small rounds similar to dry cakes, but unlike most cakes, the texture is hard because it uses sago.

Bagea cake typical of Papua
Bagea Cake (Source: Endeus TV)

Don't be fooled by the hard texture of this food, Travela. Even though it is hard, bagea cake melts in your mouth when you eat it.

4. Wrapped Fish

The next legendary Papuan food is fish wrap, still using sea fish as the main ingredient. As the name suggests, this menu consists of spicy fish wrapped in leaves.

At first glance, it looks identical to Pepes. Wrapped fish is made with taro leaves, not banana leaves which are usually used in pepes dishes. So, when eating this menu, Travela will be greeted with the aroma of taro leaves which is different from pepes dishes in general.

5. Aunu Senebre

Legendary Papuan food is not only made from sago flour. There are rice-based dishes, such as Aunu Senebre.

So, Aunu Senebre, a classic Papuan menu, combines anchovies with rice. This dish has a traditional and simple appearance, but its delicious taste will make anyone who eats it feel special.

This culinary delight that is abundant in Papua is even more unique because it is nominated for Anugerah Pesona Indonesia (API) II 2017 in the Popular Traditional Food Category.

6. Papeda

This legendary Papuan food is the most famous menu in almost all levels of society. Papeda is a traditional Papuan culinary dish made from sago flour.

typical Papuan papeda
Papeda (Source: Wikipedia)

This dish does taste a bit bland, usually served with grilled fish, clear sauce, or yellow fish sauce. Papeda is a common staple food in Papua and other areas of eastern Indonesia.

That's why Travela can find this typical Papuan food everywhere during your holiday on this island.

7. Sago Plate

Travela, Sago Plates is the next famous sago-based food from Papua. Plate sago is known not only in Papua, but also in Maluku, Riau and Kalimantan. This Sago Plate recipe is similar to the technique for making wet bread.

Although bread is generally made from wheat, Sago Plates are made from sago. Papuan people often produce sago plates for personal consumption, so this food is rarely available for sale in Papua. This legendary West Papuan food is best eaten when it is still warm.

8. Sago Caterpillar Satay

Travela, Sago worm satay is a typical Papuan culinary dish that attracts extreme culinary lovers. For some people, sago worm satay is an extreme dish.

However, among the Papuan people, this culinary dish is often consumed and is a favorite because it is high in protein and provides energy and is low in cholesterol.

As the name suggests, this legendary Papuan food uses sago worms from the sago tree. To get this main culinary ingredient, Papuan people cut down sago trees and let them rot.

9. Sea Worms

Furthermore, sea worms are known as Insonem by people living in the waters of Raja Ampat, it has become another typical Papuan culinary dish.

Raja Ampat residents in the Pantura Raja Ampat area traditionally eat sea worms. The residents of Pantura Raja Ampat have a tradition of hunting insonem which is often done during the day or night when the sea is low.

Unlike earthworms, sea worms are white and long in shape. However, once cooked, the color will become dark to brownish. The spices used usually have a sweet and savory taste. The texture is chewy and rough, like octopus.

10. Lontar Cake

Travela, a typical cake from Papua Island, especially West Papua, is delicious and suits the tastes of Indonesian people. Lontar cake is a typical West Papuan food. The shape is similar to the popular milk pie or cheese tart.

Travela can buy this typical West Papuan cake at Angel Bakery which is located on Jalan Basuki Rahmat, Sorong City, from 09.00 to half past 22.00. Get ready to be addicted after tasting this typical Papuan lontar cake!

11. Petatas

This legendary West Papuan food is often consumed in the daily lives of local residents. Petatas is Papuan for sweet potato.

Petatas is a typical West Papuan menu as a substitute for rice, because Papuan people are used to processing sweet potatoes into a delicious dish. In Papua, petata is considered a daily staple food.

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12. Colo-Cola

The majority of Indonesian people like chili sauce. So it is not surprising that traditional chili sauce is very popular in Papua. This is Colo-colo, a typical and delicious Papuan chili sauce that can be used with various kinds of food.

This colo-colo chili sauce is very spicy and sour. The sour taste of this chili sauce comes from lime juice. Surely chili lovers are curious about how it tastes, right?

Interested in a holiday to the tip of the island in Indonesia? Apart from the unique and appetizing culinary delights, the tourist destinations are also very impressive, let's include some of the list of legendary Papuan foods that we mentioned above. bucket list yes, Travela!


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