Located in the South Jakarta subdistrict of Pasar Minggu is the local market known by the same name.
Pasar Minggu is a vibrant, colourful and bustling centre where you will find an abundance of fresh produce, including many traditional ingredients that can be difficult to find elsewhere in Jakarta.
The Pasar Minggu market is one of the busiest pasars in Jakarta, with hundreds of street vendors located outside the market building, particularly at night. The market operates 24 hours a day with most of the vendors restocking their fruit and vegetable supplies after midnight.
Historically, Pasar Minggu was a fruit cultivation area developed by the Dutch Government during the Dutch colonial period. During this time, teak forests could also be found in Pasar Minggu area, notably around the area of Jati Padang (Javanese for “bright teak”). As is the nature of a rapidly growing city, most of these areas have now been converted into residential areas.
Over the past few weeks, Liz and I have visited Pasar Minggu on two occasions and each time we absolutely delighted in the experience. We were excited by the freshness and the variety of produce (along with the very affordable prices) but above all, we felt happy to meet so many friendly characters. Both vendors and customers alike made us feel welcome – in fact, some remembered us from our first visit and were keen to continue our conversations about all things food!
In today’s post we provide you with:
Photographic images of Pasar Minggu
An insight into some of the more interesting produce we found at Pasar Minggu
Advice for when you visit Pasar Minggu
Our ajb Challenge for You!
We thoroughly encourage you to grab some friends and head to Pasar Minggu. Wishing you much fun and culinary adventures!
Best wishes always, 🙂
Images of Pasar Minggu
The following are some of our most interesting and exciting market finds, along with suggestions on how to use these ingredients.
About: Traditionally banana leaves are used in two ways in the kitchen: To wrap food and for presentation of the final dish. In both instances, the use of the beautiful green banana leaf enhances the presentation of the food.
Suggested use: To use banana leaf as a wrapping for food, some preparation is required. Firstly, the leaf must be washed thoroughly and whilst still wet, wiped clean with a tea towel. The leaf then needs to be softened to make it pliable. This is achieved by heating the leaf. Ibu Sri Owen (author of Sri Owen’s Indonesian Food, 2008) suggests, ‘Pass the piece of banana leaf over a flame or a hot metal, but not too near, until the whole leaf is wilted. When the leaves are wilted, you may need to wipe them again with a dry cloth or kitchen paper’. Banana leaves are excellent for wrapping up anything that requires steaming such as whole fish, steamed plantain bananas (pisang raja kukus), cakes and other *’jajan pasar’.
If using banana leaves for presentation only (eg: to line plates or serving trays), simply wipe clean before use. The leaf can also be trimmed into the shape of the serving dish.
About: These ingredients are available readily throughout Indonesia and along with chilli, pandan, shallots and garlic, make up the key ingredients in a lot of Indonesian cooking.
Here we have Galangal (lengkuas), Ginger (jahe), Tumeric (kunyit), Indonesian Bay Leaf (daun salam), Candlenuts (kemiri), Lemongrass (sereh) and Kaffir Lime Leaves (daun jeruk purut).
Suggested use: Suitable for many dishes as well as *jamu recipes. Some ideas include: the spice mix for Ayam Goreng (fried chicken), Gulai (curry sauce), Soto Betawi (traditional soup of the Betawi people) or Rendang curry paste.
About: Known in the English language as Black Nightshade, parts of the Leunca plant can be toxic to humans, however, the ripe berries and cooked leaves of edible varieties are used as food in many places, including Indonesia.
Suggested use: In Indonesia, the young leunca fruits and leaves of cultivated forms are consumed and are known as ranti (Javanese) or leunca (Sundanese). The fruit and leaves are eaten raw as part of a traditional salad called lalapan. The fruits can also be eaten with sambal or fried with oncom (as above).
Nangka Muda (Young jackfruit)
About: Nangka Muda is the Indonesian name for young jackfruit. What makes this fruit most appealing is its ability to take on the texture of meat (especially pulled pork) when boiled then pan fried. It is difficult to find in supermarkets, but you can always find it at Pasar Minggu, when it is in season.
Suggested use: Gudeg Nangka (a dish originating from Yogjakarta in Central Java) or ajb’s recipe for Pulled Jackfruit Tacos.
About: Oncom is a traditional Sundanese food of West Java. There are two types of Oncom: Red Oncom and Black Oncom. Like tempe, Oncom is a food which has been fermented using mould. Typically, Oncom is made from the by-products from the production of other foods, for example the soy pulp that remains after making tofu, or the peanut press cake after the oil is extracted from the ground nuts.
Suggested use: Ulukutek Leunca (Sautéed Oncom & Leunca).
About: There are many English names for the Oyong including angled luffa, Chinese okra, dish cloth gourd, ridged gourd, sponge gourd. The unripe Oyong fruit is used as a vegetable, however the mature fruits are used as natural cleaning sponges (ie, loofahs).
Somewhat resembling a cucumber or a zucchini with ridges, the Oyong is commonly found in central and eastern Asia as well as southeastern Asia.
Suggested use: I like to add it to my vegetable soup for a sweet taste and a soft texture.
About: Tempe is a nutrient-rich food made from fermented soy beans. It is believed that the Javanese invented Tempe and to this day, Tempe plays a significant role in the diet of many Indonesians, particularly the Javanese. Tempe is extremely rich in protein (up to 20 percent protein/100grams as compared to Tofu 15 percent/100grams)
Suggested use: On its own, Tempe is quite bland however, it has the ability to take on any flavours that it comes into contact with. Hence, it is often best to marinate Tempe first. Once marinated, it can be shallow fried or added to a curry or stir fry. Tempe has become a particularly trendy food, hence numerous recipes can be found online.
Kacang Botol (Wing Beans)
About: Wing beans are a tropical legume native to Papua, Indonesia. The entire wing bean plant is edible. The leaves, flowers, roots, and bean pods can be eaten raw or cooked; the pods are edible even when raw and unripe.
Suggested Use: Wing beans are extremely nutrient-rich.The leaves of the plant can be eaten like spinach, the flowers can be used in salads, the wing bean tubers can be eaten raw or cooked. A simple recipe suggestion is to stir fry sliced wing beans with some sambal for a tasty side dish.
Top 5 recommendations when visiting Pasar Minggu
1. Most importantly, have fun! We absolutely loved chatting with the vendors and customers. We learnt how to use specific ingredients and delighted in hearing peoples stories about food, cooking and family traditions. It really is a great place to practise your Bahasa Indonesia.
2. Wear suitable clothing. We recommend you wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes as it can get particularly hot inside the market. Also choose closed-toe shoes. You may need to negotiate potentially uneven and wet surfaces, so better to avoid squelchy feet!
3. Don’t bring too much with you – just your bare necessities. If you bring a hand bag, ensure it can be zipped up properly. Although at no time did we feel vulnerable, we were advised by many to keep an eye on our belongings whilst at the pasar.
4. Bring some smaller currency with you as well. You’ll be surprised how far your money will go, so having some smaller notes will be useful.
5. Approach your visit with confidence and a sense of adventure. People may be curious to see you at Pasar Minggu as it’s quite a local market, but we found everyone very friendly and as keen to engage with us as we were with them.
ajb’s Challenge for You
One of the fantastic things about living in Indonesia (or anywhere new for that matter), is trying local ingredients! This leads us to our ajb Challenge for You, our intrepid reader.
Each week we encourage you to try a new ingredient. It might be a new spice, an unfamiliar fruit or perhaps a vegetable that you’ve seen at the supermarket or pasar and have not been game to buy. Indonesia is rich in interesting and exotic produce, much of which you may not have access to once you leave Indonesia, so take the leap and try something new.
If you are lucky enough to have a *Pembantu, ask them about new ingredients. No doubt they will have some favourites to share with you. Hopefully your curiosity will lead to some new ingredients being added to your repertoire of recipes.
Here are a few more ideas to get you started…
Jl. Warung Jati Barat No.2B
Kota Jakarta Selatan
Open 7 days 8AM–9PM
Keen to get exploring and also creative in the kitchen? Here are some of our other market posts and recipe ideas featuring Indonesia’s amazing fresh produce:
Pasar Modern – Bintaro’s Fresh Produce Market
Pasar Mayestik – Jakarta’s famous textile market (and fabulous produce market too!)
Tropical Fruits of Indonesia
How to make authentic Indonesian Gado Gado
How to make delicious Soto Ayam
How to make pulled Jackfruit Soft Tacos
All about Jamu and How to make your own Jamu Kunyit Asam
* Pasar: Market
* Jamu: Traditional medicine in Indonesia, often referring to herbal tonic drinks
* Pembantu: Helper (most often referring to housekeeper)
* Jajanan pasar: Market snacks
Words: Jo Stevens Photography: a Journey Bespoke