Aceh Traditional Dishes, the Delicacy of Northernmost Sumatra

Heri Sisworo

Heri Sisworo

On English

Aceh, the westernmost province of Indonesia, is a unique place. It has a very long history of assimilations by many ethnics and countries from the whole world. Today, Aceh is a province with a strong Islamic value, being the only one in Indonesia which applies sharia law. This province
is also rich in culinary delights as there are lots of Aceh traditional dishes you can enjoy.

A serving of Mie Aceh. via Instagram/laparlagimakanlagi

One of the most popular ones is, of course, the noodle; Mie Aceh. However, it’s not just that. Aceh is rich with many other delicacies. Here are some of those delicious traditional dishes from Aceh.

Adee Meureudu

The cake. via Instagram/ig_aceh

This is a cake is true shares a lot of similarities with kue bingkang. However, the main difference is that this cake isn’t as sweet as a bingkang. It is savory and has a slight onion flavor. This cake is a great combination of coffee. This cake originated from Meureudu area in Pidi, Aceh.

Ayam Tangkap

The chicken is hidden among the leaves. via Instagram/ig_aceh

This is a chicken delight with a rather unique presentation. The main ingredient is strictly free-range chicken. The cut is a tad smaller than the common fried chicken. Chicken is cooked with special spices before then fried with several leaves and spices. You have to dig your fried chicken among green chili, lemongrass, lime leaves, pandanus leaves, and curry leaves.

Keumamah

A re-cooked keumamah. via Instagram/ikankayu_mamicut

This one is basically a preserved fish. Keumamah is often called ‘ikan kayu’ (wood fish) because it can be so hard. Keumamah usually uses skipjack or mackerel tuna as the main ingredient. The preservation method is so effective the fish can still be consumed for years, provided they are stored in a dry place.

Timphan

Sweet and savory cake. via Instagram/dapuricutcatering

You can also find this snack in many other places in Indonesia. Timphan uses batter made from coconut milk, banana, and rice flour. For the fillings, they commonly use srikaya (sugar apple) or grated coconut with palm sugar. They then wrapped in banana leaves before eventually steamed. It is sweet and savory, a perfect snack for afternoon tea or coffee.

Sate Matang

Delicious sate matang. via Instagram/medanfoodblog

Essentially, there are not many differences between sate matang and other types of satay. However, the main difference is the presentation. Sate matang uses thick soup made with various spices. It is usually served with boiled potatoes. It is really good with rice or rice cake.

Bu Sie Itek

The tasty duck. via Instagram/bsa_busieitekaceh

If you have to simplify it, this is a duck curry. The cooking process is almost similar to those of rendang. The duck meat is cooked with coconut milk and various spices. As with any curry or gulai from Indonesia, the cooking process usually takes a long time. There are two types of Bu Sie Itek; red and yellow.

Mie Aceh

Crab with mie aceh. via Instagram/mvrcitaeurope

Well, this dish probably needs no introduction. Mie Aceh is a noodle dish prepared with Acehnese way. The secret is not only on the noodle but the spices. The spices create a very flavorful dish. You can also have it with crab or beef. Additionally, there are two types of this dish; dry and soupy.

Ayam Tangkap. via Instagram/dapurummiq

Visiting Aceh is a great adventure in itself. However, for the maximum experience, you must try some of Aceh traditional dishes.