Cooking with Mangroves
36 Indonesian Mangrove Recipes
During MAP’s years working in the mangroves of Indonesia, we had come across several instances of fisherfolk communities eating mangrove fruits and leaves for subsistence purposes. The most common being the fruit, of Nypa fruitcans but also ripe Sonneratia caseolaris. During World War II, there was much anecdotal evidence that isolated coastal communities had replaced staple foods with prepared Avicennia spp., a phenomenea that reared its head again in Aceh sortly after the tsunami when whole islands were cut off from rice suppliers.
In order to promote non-timber forest products from mangroves, yet go beyond the few traditional recipes available for mangrove fruit, the Research and Development Institute on Mangroves (LPP Mangrove) sponsored a mangrove cooking contest in November, 1998. The idea was supported by Yayasan KEHATI, the Bekasi government and the Government Forestry Industry of Bogor (Perhutani KPH). Eight cooking teams from five villages participated in the contest, showcasing 25 different recipes. A resulting cook-book was published by LPP Mangrove to help promote the development of non-timber forest products for coastal communities across Indonesia. Many of the recipes in the original cookbook are incomplete, and in 2003 MAP-Indonesia contacted LPP Mangrove to ask permission to revise the cookbook, adding new recipes and attempting to test and complete recipes that were still confusing.
In order to discover new recipes, a study tour was arranged by MAP-Indonesia to send a small women’s co-op from the Coastal Community Resource Center in Tiwoho, North Sulawesi to Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. The Kelompok Kreasi Mangrove Lestari Balikpapan (Mangrove Creation/Conservation Group) eagerly shared several new recipes for cakes and fish with the Sulawesi contigency. Upon returning to Sulawesi, the group developed a few of the Kalimantan recipes along with a recipe or two were also learned during the 8th In The Hands of the Fisherfolk Workshop in Koh Kong, Cambodia. During this workshop participants from Ban Pred Nai, Trad, Thailand demonstrated several innovative ways to use mangroves and mangrove herbs. These 10 recipes are added to the recipes from the mangrove cooking contest bringing the total number of recipes in this book to 36.