Food Challenge in Yogyakarta

Living in Yogya, Indonesia, for a long time, I still face many food challenges. In my previous article, I have explained about the peanut sauce which is so easy to find in Yogya. In this article, I want to share my different experience of foods.
Other than peanut sauce, you can find so many types of sambal in Yogya and larger parts in Indonesia. Sambal in Indonesian language means chilly sauce. You can find sambal tomat (chilly mixed with tomatoes, garlic, onion, palm sugar, salt which is grinded well), sambal terasi (the same mix but you have to put a lot of shrimp paste which has a very weird smell), sambal matang (the same mix but you have to stir it with oil), sambal balado (the same mix with eggs), sambal matah (adapted from Bali area, consists of raw mix of sambal ingredients), sambal roa (so many red chillies with the same mix and fish), and many more.
Why so many sambal in Yogyakarta? People in Yogya or indonesian love to eat their food with sambal. Like my wife, she loves to eat fried chicken and rice with sambal. She also eats fried tofu, fried fish, steam egg, chicken soup, and many more with sambal.
Until one day, my dining table was full of foods and at that time I was dying to eat because I was so tired from work. I could see some crispy things on the white oval plate, so many raw vegetables and mint leaves, mini round eggplants, basil leaves, cucumbers, mini tomatoes, salad leaves, and long peanuts, fried chicken which is my favorite, fried tempe and tofu, crackers, one big bowl of sambal. I asked my wife about two foods that I don’t know what are they and how to eat them, but she asked me to wash my hands first before the explanation.
Since my wife loves to explain things in detail so I trust my wife so much. On the dining table while I sat down and waited for my wife to start explaining about the foods. First, she put rice on my plate then put the crispy thing, fried chicken, raw vegetables, fried tempe and a lot of sambal. I asked her what is the crispy thing, but she asked me to taste it first. Okey, …the taste was crispy and like a shredded chicken meat but it has very moist and tender parts. The look inside is white like a meat. So, I asked my wife what meat is that. My wife laughed and explained that the crispy thing is made of oyster mushroom. She shredded the mushroom and mixed it with flour and fried it. The taste is yummy and it fits my taste buds. Then, I followed her to eat the chicken with sambal and wow…the taste of the sambal is so spicy. I thought my tongue was burning at that time so I drank a lot of water. Funny thing is my wife asked me to stop drinking water and drink the hot tea instead. I drank the hot tea and I did not feel the burning sensation in my tongue. On that day, I learned that hot tea or anything hot drink can overcome the spicy sensation from eating sambal. Then I continued to eat the chicken with sambal and rice and I can move on from this food challenge so smoothly this time.
That’s my food challenge I want to share and see you in the next food challenge. Who knows you will challenge yourself to eat the same thing like me or challenge yourself with sambal. But, I have to warn you that if you have a weak stomach, just avoid eating sambal so much so you won’t have a stomachache the next day like me.

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