Indonesian Culinary Tourism: Sulawesi Seafood Market

Sulawesi is one of the biggest islands in Indonesia that used to be known as Celebes. Ranked as third largest Indonesian island, the land is separated into six provinces; North Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, Center Sulawesi, Gorontalo, and South Sulawesi. Each province retain its authentic culture through traditional cuisine.

North Sulawesi

Northen area of Sulawesi retains eleven regencies and four cities. One of the well known cities named Manado which is the capital city of North Sulawesi. Spiciness, strong seasoning  aroma and reddish colour are typical manadonese cuisine. The cuisine name which retains woku or rica has spicy flavour. Chilli is the essential seasoning of most kind of manadonese cuisine. Shallot, lemon grass, lime, and lime leaves are also used seasoning compound. Some manadonese cuisines are completed with additional spices such as sambal dabu-dabu and sambal roa.

West Sulawesi

Considered as young province, West Sulawesi was listed as new Sulawesian province in 2004. Since the province created, Mamuju has become the provincial capital city of West Sulawesi. Located in strategical area which is between South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi and East Kalimantan, the coastal region has become local trading area. The locals who live nearby coast built small restaurants along the coastline. Ikan Baupiapi, Ikan Tuing-Tuing Asap, and Selada udang are commonly found in West Sulawesian restaurants.

Southeast Sulawesi

Kendari which is the largest city in Southeast Sulawesi, is the provincial capital city. Its sea yields cakalang (tuna), teripang (sea cucumber), and pokea (shellfish). The locals turns the yields into various kind of savoury cuisines.  Kendari’s traditional cuisine named sate pokea is made from grilled shellfish and served with spicy peanut sauce, while kaholeo – smoked anchovy which is originated from Bau-Bau city is simply served without sauce. A triangular steamed cassava named kasoami flavored with kaholeo or other assorted fish cuisine. Red snapper yellow soup or the locals named parende kakap merah is served either with kasoami or rice. Although most Indonesians consume rice as daily dietary, some Southeast Sulawesians prefer to replace rice with traditional carbohydrate source such as kasoami and sinonggi – sticky sago dish.

Central Sulawesi

Known as most culturally diverse province, Central Sulawesi has 12 different ethnic groups and 24 distinct languages. Varied social and cultural life of Central Sulawesian is resulted by tenuous geographic entity. The land of muticultural ethnic is famous of its traditional seafood cuisines such as Sup Jantung Ikan (banana heart fish soup), Kalio udang (curry sauce shrimp), and Rono Tapa (Steamed savoury tapa fish in banana leaf).


29-01-2013-Ikan Teri Kering

Tapa fish at local fish market by Basri Marzuki


Binte Biluhuta, Kakap Kuah Asam, Oelioni, Uilulia, Bilandago are seafood that are commonly found in Gorontalo. Binte Biluhuta or milu siram consists of shrimp soup with chopped fish, coconut, corn and herbs, while the other soup – Kakap Kuah Asam is traditional acidic snapper fish soup with simple herbs. The taste of Gorontaloan seafood is diverse. Both acidic and spicy flavors are originated from basic Indonesian homemade seasonings such as floating red chilly, onion, lime, and some other mixtures to support the flavour.

South Sulawesi

Stated as provincial city of South Sulawesi, Makassar has long historical background. The old Makassar is known as cosmopolitan kingdom by sea due to rising of sea nomads. Maritime activity takes big part in Makassar’s past and present.  One of the sea activity that retains for locals do for living is fishing. The sea yields are sold in local market and used as traditional cuisine such as Mie Titi (seafood dry noodle), Palumara (local name for traditional seasoning), Pallu Kaloa (black spice fish soup), Baronang  Parape (grilled fish with yellow sauce), Raca Taipa (stick sliced mango with shrimp) , Kudu-Kudu Goreng (fried kudu-kudu fish), etc.

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