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The Dutch Chinese-Indo takeaway menu explained

Updated: Jun 12

The Dutch Chinese Indo food found in takeaway counters in the Netherlands is a unique fusion of Chinese and Indonesian cuisine with a Dutch twist. This variation of Chinese food has become popular in the Netherlands due to its unique flavours and cultural influences. Interestingly, many Dutch people are familiar with these dishes and can pronounce their names with ease, almost as if they were their own national dishes. However, it's important to note that this cuisine is not exactly the same as traditional Chinese food.


These are some examples of those adapted dishes:


  • Babi pangang

In Indonesian, the spelling would be 'babi panggang' which translates to grilled pork. How do you know this is a Chinese-Indo dish? Well, the majority population in Indonesia is predominantly Muslim. This narrows down the other populations who consume pork to the Balinese or the Chinese. Judging by the tomato-based sauce and seasoning, this babi pangan version leans more to Chinese-Indo inspired as the Balinese's famous pork dish, babi guling (suckling pig) is quite a far fetch from this. If you ever get a chance to visit Indonesia or China, it would be quite hard to find this dish in either country

  • Sate ajam 

Sate, a popular dish found on the menu of many Chinese takeaways in the Netherlands, is actually an adaptation of Indonesia's national dish. In Indonesia, the dish is spelt "sate ayam" and typically consists of grilled chicken skewers with peanut sauce. However, the Dutch version of the dish is often boiled and smothered in peanut sauce. It's important to note that sate can be made with various types of meat, including goat, beef, and pork. While the Dutch version may not be exactly like the original Indonesian dish, it still offers a tasty and unique take on the classic sate.

  • Nasi

Nasi is another popular dish in Dutch Chinese-Indo takeaways. The word Nasi in Indonesian translates to rice. In The Dutch version of nasi, the dish is referred as fried rice. Unlike the Indonesian's counterpart of fried rice, most Chinese takeaways offer a more pale-looking fried rice without the spicy sambal in it. If you order rice in Indonesia, they will serve a plain white rice, while fried rice is called nasi goreng.


  • Bami  

Bami, also known as Bakmi Goreng in Indonesia, is a popular dish that originated from the Chinese-Indonesian community. It is essentially fried noodles, but the recipe varies from region to region within Indonesia. Each city has its own unique twist on the dish, resulting in a diverse range of flavours and ingredients. Despite its Chinese roots, bami has become a beloved staple in Indonesian cuisine.

  • Foe yong hai 

You can find more explanation of this on wikipedia here. A dish typically find in most western Chinese takeaway, egg omelette with sweet and sour tomato sauce. 


  • Tjap Tjoi

According to Wikipedia, the original of this dish name comes from two Cantonese words which mean 'mixed' and 'vegetables'. It's a stir-fried vegetable with a thickened savoury gravy. This dish is commonly found in "Chinese" restaurants in Indonesia under a slightly different name 'Cap Cai"

So if you ever wonder why the Chinese takeaway here in the Netherlands is very different than what you previously have known as a typical Chinese takeaway. The above explanations should help you to navigate through the menu. The Dutch-Indo connections went way back before the early migrations from the Chinese community from the mainland in early 1911s. This explained that what the majority of Dutch accustomed to when it comes to Chinese food is the Indo-Chinese version. 

If you are up for a new Dutch Chinese takeaway experience in Weert, check out https://chineseboxclub.nl/


 

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