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Commonly used oriental products in Dutch cuisine

Particularly fond of Dutch-Indonesian food and fancy rustling up some tempting dishes at home? Then the commonly used oriental products listed below are an absolute must in your kitchen cupboard!


Dutch Sambal OelekOne of the key ingredients in Indonesian cuisine is sambal – a thick, paste-like sauce made from fresh, red chillies. Sambal is predominantly used to give Indonesian dishes their familiar ‘kick’, but can also be used to season countless other Dutch dishes, including stews, soups, sauces, omelettes and even cheese or peanut butter sandwiches. The most favoured variety of sambal is sambal oelek, but sambal manis (a sweeter version), sambal badjak and sambal brandal (both wonderfully spicy varieties made from fried chilli peppers) are also popular with lovers of fiery Indonesian cuisine.


Ketjap is a rich, thick soy sauce that lends typical Dutch-Indonesian dishes, such as nasi, bami en satay sauce, their authentic flavour. In addition, ketjap is often used to enhance the flavour of soups and sauces. Ketjap comes in two varieties – ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce) and ketjap asin (a salty soy sauce that’s also suitable for cooking at high temperatures).


No Dutch-Indonesian meal is considered complete without a side dish of kroepoek (yummy Indonesian prawn crackers). Traditionally served in large oblong slices that are broken into pieces and divided at the table, these days they tend to come in bags and are available in a large selection of tempting flavours, including kroepoek satay, kroepoek Bali and kroepoek Java. Kroepoek also make an ideal snack with drinks.

Atjar tjampoer

Atjar tjampoer is a tasty Indonesian side dish made from finely sliced cabbage, carrot, onion and pickle, which has been soaked in vinegar. This gives the vegetables an exceptionally fresh, sweet and sour flavour that helps to neutralise the spicy dishes typically served during an Indonesian rice table. Atjar is equally delicious with nasi, bami and other Indonesian dishes.

Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants.


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