What makes this vegetarian side dish particularly satisfying is its balance of sweet and savory—all thanks to kecap manis. The dark, sticky sauce translates to “sweet ketchup,” but there’s no tomato involved.
Bakwan is a savory and slightly spicy corn fritter that’s easy to make and versatile. It accompanies a wide range of dishes in Javanese cuisine and is also enjoyed solo, as a snack.
As soon as I told my host family the initial evacuation announcement, the women ran to the kitchen. “We’re making soto.” Cooking class escalated.