Unfortunately for everyone who loves delicious food, Indonesian restaurants are in short supply around the world and some people’s knowledge of the cuisine is limited to Indonesian “Ethnic” Cup Noodle. Fortunately though, a French singer named Fransoa, fell in love with Indonesian food and decided to write a punk song about it.
Using the bizarre music video as a base, we are going to introduce 30 of the Indonesian dishes that Fransoa mentions in his song. Get out a napkin because you’ll be drooling by the end of this.
Before we start with the food, let’s talk about Fransoa. We wish we could tell you more, because he seems like quite the character. As far as we can tell, he is a wacky Frenchman who brought his musical talents to the shores of Indonesia and had a “hit” parody song a few years back, entitled “Kalu Saya Kaya.”
With years living in the world’s largest archipelago under his belt, he has apparently developed quite the appetite for Indonesian cuisine. His new song, “Aku Lapar” (I’m Hungry), is said to be a parody of “Ça plane pour moi” a 1977 song by Plastic Bertrand. “Aku Lapar” is also “the only song in the world that includes 43 Indonesian dishes.” This makes us wonder how many dishes the previous holder of this record mentioned in their song.
▼ The video doesn’t exactly increase your appetite though.
The video was shot at The Bistro, ironically, a French restaurant in Seminyak, Bali. It’s nice to see the staff getting into it, despite not normally serving the dishes in the lyrics!
As mentioned above, the title of the song is “Aku Lapar,” which means, “I’m hungry.” As the song progresses, Fransoa gets progressively hungrier as well, singing, aku mulai lapar (I’m getting hungry), saya sudah lapar (I’m hungry), aku masih lapar (I’m still hungry) and then near the end, saya sudah penuh (I’m full).
Now, let’s make you hungry! Going in the order in which Fransoa sings them, we now present to you 30 of the 43 Indonesian dishes he loves.
1. Mie rebus
A sweet and spicy curry sauce served with yellow egg noodles and a variety of meat and vegetable toppings.
2. Mie bakso
Another noodle dish (mie = noodle), but this time with bakso, Indonesian meat balls. Although usually made with beef and tapioca flour, bakso can be made with any meat or fish. (When you watch the video again, pay attention to the necklaces, one spells bakso!)
3. Ayam bakar
Ayam bakar is a generic term for charcoal grilled chicken. (Ayam = chicken)
4. Ikan goreng
Another generic term, this is fried fish, usually covered in delicious spices! (Ikan= fish)
5. Ikan bakar
Ikan bakar is… can you guess? Ayam bakar is grilled chicken, and ikan goreng is fried fish, so ikan bakar is…you got it, grilled fish!
This healthy dish is a salad of mixed raw vegetables with a peanut sauce.
7. Ketuput Sayur (In the song, sayur ketaput)
A vegetable dish featuring Indonesian rice cakes, ketaput (the white chunks).
The main ingredient in this interesting dish is fruit bat! It’s cooked with coconut milk and spices. Yum…?
A staple food, this is eaten in place of rice on some islands. It’s translated into English as sago congee, and then translated into understandable English as a starchy porridge made from the heart of a certain kind of palm.
These are deep-fried crackers that come in a variety of different seasonings. (There’s a necklace and an earring honoring it in the video!)
11. Nasi Goreng
Nasi means “rice” (this knowledge will come in handy with the next few entries). Nasi goreng is fried rice.
12. Nasi Campur
This rice dish is “mixed rice,” but really, it’s a mixed assortment of side dishes served with white rice.
13. Nasi Kuning
Kuning means “yellow.” Can you guess what this one is? Yellow rice! It’s named for the color (obviously), which it gets from the spice turmeric.
14. Nasi Liwet
Nasi liwet looks like steamed rice, but boy, it is so much more. Instead of being cooked with water, it’s cooked with coconut milk, chicken stock and lemongrass.
15. Mie Ayam
You might know these words by now, mie ayam, literally means, “noodle chicken,” but this is also known as bakmi ayam. Bakmi is the name of the yellow wheat noodles.
16. Roti Canai
This flatbread originally comes from India and is usually curry flavored.
You saw that yellow rice cone earlier under nasi kuning, but here the focus is on the goodies surrounding the rice. This festive platter is an arrangement of meats and vegetables.
Another healthy dish, not that they don’t all seem pretty healthy. Here we have a cooked vegetable salad with peanut sauce.
19. Bubur Ayam
If you’re thinking “something chicken,” you’re quite correct. This is a rice porridge with chicken and other condiments.
20. Manado Sayur
Manado style cooking comes from the Minahasan people in North Sulawesi. They’re known to use exotic animals (see #8) and lots of spices. Sayur means vegetable, so we’re assuming Fransoa is talking about something like the papaya flower bud salad pictured below, a dish of Manado cuisine.
Getuk is a sweet food made with mashed cassava, sugar and coconut.
23. Mie Kocok
If you remember from above, mie means noodle. This soup is made with beef stock, noodles, meat and other delicious toppings.
24. Nasi Padang
Yet another rice dish for the collection. This one originated in Padang City and is more about the presentation than the rice. The rice is just steamed white rice, but it’s served with an array of side dishes.
25. Nasi Pecel
This is similar to gado-gado, the cooked veggies with peanut sauce, but here it’s served over steamed rice.
Pepes is a cooking style of wrapping food up in a banana leaf then roasting it over a fire, steaming or boiling it. Below is pepes ikan (the fish version).
27. Sayur Asem
This is a dish featuring tamarind, but also contains a variety of fruits and veggies, including jackfruit.
28. Sayur Lodeh
This soup has a coconut and beef-stock base and is served with vegetables.
29. Sambal Goreng
Sambal is a sauce made with crushed red and green chili peppers and goreng means fried. You can create a variety of dishes by frying with sambal, such as the sambal goreng krecheck dish below, which contains cattle skin (yes, cattle skin).
Fransoa mentions kari, or Indonesian curry, sporadically throughout the song, so we decided to save it for last. It is often served with chicken, kari ayam, or with goat meat, kari kambing (below).
So now you’ve been introduced to pretty much all of the foods found in Fransoa’s song, which are in turn, some of the more common dishes in Indonesian cuisine. Your next two challenges are to listen to the song again and try to pick out all of the different food names, and then try to eat everything on this list! Good luck!
Sources: Jakarta Coconuts, Tribune Kaltim, YouTube (Fransoa Indonesia, mbakyu lanjar [lyrics]), RocketNews24’s Amy Chavez‘s brain
Images: Info Lamongan 25, Wikimedia Commons [Christian r 2; Christina Razukas 24; Dietrich Ayala 29; Fitri Agung 30; Gunawan Kartapranata 1, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 23; Gunkarta 26, Hariadhi 21;Indradi Soemardjan 16;Merutsault2004 17; mattjlc 8; Midori 4, 5, 7, 15, 22, 28; Miss_Yasmina 13; Ramzy Muliawan 3; Sakai Midori 18, 19, 27; Serenity 10; Top Image: Taken from YouTube (Fransoa Indonesia)