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Home » Bunaken » Nutritious Tinutuan Porridge: A Taste of Manado Cuisine

Nutritious Tinutuan Porridge: A Taste of Manado Cuisine

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Among lovers of the archipelago’s delicious and diverse culinary delights, Manado’s cuisine has become a sort of byword of the exotic Bunaken Marine Park in North Sulawesi.

At a first glance, this typical Manadonese porridge may not look that attractive, but despite its rather disorderly appearance, this traditional dish is tasty indeed, and should not be bypassed while visiting the city of Manado capital of North Sulawesi.

Typical Manado cuisine is the result of an abundance of highly flavored herbs combined with a touch of spiciness, giving every dish a unique and deliciously rich flavor. Tinutuan porridge is no exception. This vegetarian dish – popularly known as Bubur Manado - is a unique combination of savory and spicy flavors with a splash of freshness. Usually found on the breakfast menu, Tinutuan Porridge is a sort of icon of Manado, to the point that the City of Manado is sometimes referred to as Tinutuan City.

Unlike the usual chicken porridge, which is somewhat yellowish in color, the appearance of Tinutuan is very much like a big jumble of vegetables atop a bowl of rice. The vegetables included in the mix are pumpkin, sweet potato, cassava, kangkung (watercress), corn, spinach and a few others. These vegetables are spiced with garlic, lemongrass, bay leaves, ginger and salt.

Making this highly nutritious porridge is quite an easy task. Rice, the main ingredient, is first boiled and seasoned with the garlic, lemongrass, bay leaves and salt. When the rice is about half cooked, add the pieces of cassava, followed by the corn, sweet potato and pumpkin. Once all ingredients have become quite soft, the other vegetables may be added. Continue cooking until the texture thickens, and all ingredients are thoroughly cooked, but be sure not to overcook it!

A clear indicator of a perfectly prepared porridge is when the yellow colors of the pumpkin, sweet potato and corn have fused with the color of the rice. The natural sweetness of these same three ingredients combined with a spicy flavor play an especially essential role in Tintuan’s unique taste. The porridge is normally complemented with freshly cut tomato sambal and ricaroa, a sort of fish-flavored chili sauce. Tinutuan porridge is also served with salted fish, and sometimes comes with added noodles.

One serving of Tinutuan porridge is said to meet all your nutritional needs for the day as the wide variety of vegetables included in the mix are high in vitamins and rich in nutritional value. To try this tasty dish yourself, visit Wakeke Road, a crowded and popular street lined with rows of stalls selling Tinutuan Porridge as well as other typical Manadonese dishes. A bowl of Tinutuan Porridge costs about 9,000 rupiah.

Aside from Tinutuan porridge, there are a wealth of other dishes to try to complete your culinary tour of the city. Freshly caught fish is high on the menu of any restaurant : Ikan Bakar, (grilled fish,) ikan  rica-rica, (chili fish,) and mie cakalang, (tuna noodles) are just a few of the “must try” dishes in Manado. There are also delicious chicken and meat dishes barbequed in bamboo tubes over an open fire.  But be careful, Manado food often comes spicy hot!

For the more adventurous foodies, you may want to have a taste of Paniki, though you should steer clear of this one if you are not a fan of spicy food. Paniki is a bat, cooked whole with a variety of spices including chili, spring onions, basil, lemongrass, lime leaves, turmeric, ginger and coconut milk. For the perfect taste, Paniki is usually cooked for half a day on medium heat. Exceptional skills are required to properly prepare this dish, to achieve the ideal taste. The wings of the bat are especially delicious and should not be missed, should you choose to sample this unusual and exotic dish. Paniki can be fairly expensive depending on the size of the bat.

Prepared in the same way as the bat, are also dishes made with Kawok, a white-tailed forest rat. These are different from house mice and are usually found in palm trees or other large trees in the forest.

To complete your culinary tour of Manado, you must try Klappertaart or coconut cake for desert. This is a delicious sweet open pie filled with large freshly cut slices of cocounut meat.  

In the evenings, visit the Boulevard area by the sea which becomes a hive of activity at sunset. This area has rows of restaurants serving Manadonese dishes and other delicious cuisines. 

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Oct 2015

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Nutritious Tinutuan Porridge: A Taste of Manado Cuisine

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