This menu is inspired by my childhood experience eating seafood at outdoor restaurants in Belawan with my family.
Belawan is a port city on the northeast coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Located on the Deli River near the city of Medan, it is Indonesia's busiest port outside of Java.
We would pick our own seafood, and order the way we want the fish/mussels/squid to be cooked: grilled, deep fried, or steamed. We used our hands to pick the mussels from the shells, we sucked the juicy prawn heads, and we dipped the prawns, fish, mussels, octopus, all the delicious seafood in a sauce consisting of crushed peanuts, pineapples, and spicy hot sauce while watching big cargo ships pass by.
Belawan is rustic. You rarely see tourists in the seafood restaurants lining up along the port. However, the quality of the seafood is world-class. Cooked perfectly in traditional Indonesian sauces.
For this meal, I am going to highlight locally sourced ingredients. Just like Indonesia, the West Coast also has world class seafood. On the menu: black cod, dungeness crabs, squid, clams, and mussels. I'll be preparing them using Indonesian spices and sauces so you can have a glimpse of Sumatran food.
Hot & Sour fish Soup
Zingy and fragrant fish soup. Broth made out of the heads & tails of fish boiled with tamarind, lemongrass, galangal, and green chili.
Steamed Clams in 3 Sauces
Steamed Manila Clams served with crushed peanut, pineapple, and hot dipping sauces.
Mussels Sambal Ijo
Mussels stir-fry in Indonesian version of Salsa Verde (sambal ijo).
Tauco Squid with Water Spinach
Squid cooked in soy sauce and bean sauce (called Tauco, similar with Miso). Served with stir-fry yam leaves, or water spinach (depending on availability).
Wok tossed Dungeness Crab with ginger, leek, and garlic
Dungeness Crab cooked in ginger, leek, and garlic.
Seasonal fish and Vegetables Curry
Seasonal fish & vegetables, cooked in Siska's homemade curry paste.