Chad and I have been writing a street food column lately for the Jakarta Post magazine. This month we did our beloved rujak, or fruit salad with spicy sauce, and decided to branch out into asinan (AH-sin-ahn) as well.
Asinan is basically raw fruit soup. The soupy part is flavored with sugar syrup, sour tamarind, and hot peppers; there's little bits of pepper and fiery seeds floating around. The fruit is mostly unripe -- mangoes, water apples, and something unbelievably sour with the musical name kedongdong -- so it's quite crunchy and tart. Sometimes there's a bit of sweet pineapple scattered around to provide some relief. Oh, and weirdly, there's raw sweet potato too.
As you can imagine, all of this adds up to an explosion in the mouth. This bowl was so tart and hot, we couldn't finish it. Another asinan we tried a block away was a bit milder, fortunately.