Among lovers of the archipelago’s delicious and diverse culinary delights, Manado’s cuisine has become a sort of by word 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.
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.