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Papua Traditional Foods You Should Know

Papua traditional foods are famous for their exotic taste. Papuan food represents different societies in Papua. There might be numerous individuals who don’t have the foggiest idea about the traditional food of this region. Here is some famous Papuan food that you should know.

Lontar Cake or Rontart

Cakes that are at a glance in the form of a bowl and are not much different from this milk pie are familiar to the people of Eastern Indonesia. The sweet and savory taste makes the Lontar Cake a special dish of the Papuan people when they welcome the Idul Fitri holiday. This cake made from margarine, flour, vanilla, and milk was created by the people of Papua without any cross-culture.

In Papua, the Lontar Cake is made with large molds so that the size of the cake produced is also large. But for those of you who want to buy Lontar Cake as a souvenir, there is also a small size for your convenience to bring it to your hometown. Lontar Cake is a typical Papuan cake that according to history its arrival was brought by the Dutch people in the past.

In the beginning this cake was called as rontart, but because it was rather difficult to pronounce the Papuan people finally called this cake a palm cake. Lontar cakes have been passed down in Papua since the Dutch era. Initially this cake was in the city of Fak-Fak after that in the Papuan region which is predominantly Muslim and finally this Lontar Cake is famous for leaving Papua.


This food isn’t just an average food of West Papua and Mollucas. This food is produced using sago. Papeda use Sago that should be cooked for a few minutes until the surface of the food can transform into mush. The white porridge with the clingy surface appears as though stick and the kind of this food is tasteless. Ordinarily, Papeda will be eaten with fish or mubara. The fish is cooked with turmeric so the fish sauce gets yellow and the flavor of the fish gets exquisite.

Bagea Cake

In addition to papeda, bagea cake includes traditional Papuan food made from sago. If papeda is sago porridge, then bagea cake is a kind of cake which is printed in the form of a sphere or other shape.

Unlike papeda which is tasteless and requires additional side dishes, bagea cakes are delicious to eat independently. This is because in addition to sago, bagea cake is also enriched with additional ingredients.

Additional ingredients for traditional Papuan food can be from walnuts (almonds), peanuts, and cinnamon (cinnamon). If you want it sweeter, you can add brown sugar according to your taste and needs.

Besides Papua, this food is also pretty much found in the Maluku (Mollucas) islands and southern Sulawesi. However, the strong tastes of the Puncak Jaya slopes in the Intan Jaya Regency remain irreplaceable.

Sago Martabak

Sago Martabak is very popular and liked by the local community because of its sweet and savory taste. Martabak is processed from sago material that has been mashed and then fried and given palm sugar or red. Martabak which tastes from Fakfak Regency is different from the martabak that you usually encounter in other areas such as sweet martabak or egg martabak. The most distinguishing thing is the main ingredient, namely sago.

The taste of this special food is quite tasty and sweet, not inferior to the martabak type of martabak that you commonly eat like sweet martabak. If you are curious, you can immediately find it in Fakfak because this martabak is commonly found in this Regency. The taste of the Papuan Sago Martabak is very legit and sweet. The sweet taste itself comes from a mixture of palm sugar or brown sugar.

Sago Caterpillar Satay

Sago caterpillar satay is famous and challenging among local and foreign tourists in West Papua. For Papuan, this food is just an ordinary cuisine. Perhaps you will feel nausea if this your first time to see this food. Sago caterpillar is a caterpillar starting from an old sago tree trunk. Indigenous Papuans are acquainted with living in nature so indigenous Papuans eat these sago worms as part of their normal life. Sago caterpillars will be scorched and treated like satay.

For some people, this sago caterpillar may be disgusting, but among indigenous Papuans, this is an animal that has been consumed and can provide energy with low cholesterol levels. This sago caterpillar comes from a sago tree which is cut then the trunk is left to rot. The rot stems will appear caterpillars. To take the caterpillars, the sago stems are dismantled / opened with an ax. Sago Caterpillars vary in shape, some are very small to the largest the size of an adult thumb. This Sago Caterpillar is usually eaten directly (still alive) or cooked first such as sauteed, stir-fried, fried and made into satay.

It’s sweet, salty and hard on the outside, soft on the inside. Meat in it contains high protein. The nutritional content of the Sago Caterpillar itself, in every 100 grams of raw sago caterpillar to be cooked contains about 9.34% protein, there are also some essential amino acids, such as aspartic acid (1.84%), glutamic acid (2.72% ), tyrosine (1.87%), lysine (1.97%), and methionin (1.07%). with a soft texture, a little springy and sweet and has high nutrition. No wonder the surrounding community really likes this one food.

Usually the local people eat directly this Sago Caterpillar or without being cooked beforehand but along with the development of the era, the people of Papua especially in western Papua used to process this Sago Caterpillar into Sago Caterpillar Satay. To make satay from sago caterpillar, the method is no different from making satay in general, which is skewered with skewers and grilled on hot coals. And after it is cooked enough, then the sago caterpillar satay is ready to serve with satay seasoning as usual. They usually eat Sago Ulat Sago with papeda or sago bread that they produce from the forest sago tree. For those of you who are adventurous and want to visit Papua, this Sago Ulat Sago culinary must be tasted.

Grilled Fish Manokwari

Manokwari is a financial and culinary focus in West Papua. The city has an assortment of well known nourishments to different territories. The kind of fish utilized for this dish is fish. On the off chance that you visit Manokwari, at that point you should taste this fiery dish. The sambal for this fish is not the same as other sauce. The barbecued fish will taste sweet and fiery on your tongue. The sambal is delectable with bean stew and new flavors.

Fish Wrap

This fish is equivalent to pepes fish yet the thing that matters is seen from the primary fixings. The fish wrap utilizes a sort of marine fish to be wrapped and cooked impeccably. This dish utilizes an assortment of spices and leaves. Preparing will be placed into leaves and wrapped with fish. The fish will be scorched until cooked.

Cheating Shrimp

This is an interesting food on the grounds that the food is alluded to as the conning shrimp. This shrimp has a hook or hand like a crab so individuals feel that this shrimp takes part in an extramarital entanglements with crabs. This shrimp is exceptionally well known in Wamena. These shrimp can be seared or bubbled. You should set aside the effort to go to Wamena and attempt the deceiving shrimp. There are numerous sightseers who are intrigued to attempt this food.


Having the scientific name Ipomoea batatas, this plant is commonly called sweet potato in English. In other areas, such as western Indonesia, perhaps more familiar with the term sweet potato.

Petatas or sweet potatoes are indeed a staple food in Papua for a long time. In addition to sago, it is a major source of carbohydrates, considering rice and rice are not native plants in Papua.

The peculiarity of petatas from Papua is how to cook it with roasted stones. Harvested sweet potatoes are wrapped in leaves and placed in a hole. Then added stones that have been burned to heat, then covered with leaves and soaked. Hot rocks will ripen the petatas.

After a long time, the pile was opened again, and the petatas that were ripe were ready to be eaten in roll. This traditional Papuan food is usually eaten with aunu senebre to make it more delicious and delicious. Be sure to try it when visiting Intan Jaya district, Papua.

Aunu Senebre

This food is processed from fried anchovy, then mixed with taro leaves and coconut and the final process is steamed. The taste is very tasty and delicious. Many people judge if the typical Papuan food on this one has a dry texture, but in fact the typical Papuan food on this one has a texture that is not too dry. Even the taro leaves that have been sliced earlier produce a delicious savory taste.

At the time of serving it is usually a popular food by the name of Aunu Sanebre is eaten together with papeda which is also a typical food of Papua as well. Aunu Senebre has a distinctive taste with a mixture of ingredients such as in soup making. This drink is very popular with the people of Papua. Unlike some traditional foods that are popular outside the region, Aunu Sanebre seems to be only popular in the Papuan community.

Sarang Semut / Ant Nest

Unlike the previous original sago caterpillar, the anthill here is not the home of the original ant. What is meant by an ant nest here is a plant bulb whose interior is hollow like an ant nest.

Ant nests are traditional Papuan foods that have health properties. This property has been officially researched by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) to prevent cancer, chronic ulcers, asthma, and others.

The original Papua ant nest plant has the scientific name Myrmecodia Pendans. The most quality, his life in the highlands of the Jayawijaya Mountains.

Ant nests are processed by making steeping like tea or as a snack cake. Intan Jaya Regency which is mostly located on the slopes of Jayawijaya is very rich in this.


Pometia Pinnata or Matoa is a native fruit from Papua which is very popular with the community. Now the spread of matoa trees has reached to western Indonesia. So, do not be surprised when you find there are trees in your home environment.

Ripe matoa fruit is very sweet and fresh. People usually like to mix it with other fruits as fruit salad or mixed ice. Fresh and sweet tropical fruit will help restore freshness and fitness.

Matoa trees that grow in the land of Papua, including Intan Jaya district, tend to be tall and have large fruit. There are 2 types of matoa known to the Papuan people, Matoa Papeda and Matoa Coconut. Although slightly different characteristics, the taste of both remains equally sweet and fresh.

There are many more unique and delicious foods, vegetables, fruits from Papua and West Papua that you may never heard before. Please continue to visit West Papua Blog for further update.

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This Blog has gone through many obstacles and attacks from violent Free West Papua separatist supporters and ultra nationalist Indonesian since 2007. However, it has remained throughout a time devouring thoughts of how to bring peace to Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia.

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