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Fish on the Budget Feast: Review of Stalls at Pacitan Fish Market

Below the map on the infamous island of Java, Indonesia, there’s a small tourism city called Pacitan, East Java Province. Bordered by the Southern Java Sea shore, beach and fish are both the highlights of the residential, either for the native livelihood or the attraction of tourism. As far as tourism goes, there’s no way it can be separated from destination-related culinary. Here in Pacitan, they are extremely cheap. This is the perfect place if you want to eat fish on a budget feast.

Pacitan Fish Market is the place to be if you are on a budget

While the beach has it’s own fans with surving, diving, or just a casual relaxation sunbathing, seafood, especially fish, is a dish which can be comprehended by most of human palate. We took an eye of a particular area called TPI (Tempat Pelelangan Ikan) or fish market. Around it, you can find several fish-specialized stalls that offer a variety of fish… which comes very very cheap! Because it’s not just any fish market, but they’re also the first-hand producers straight from the ocean itself.

The stalls have a pretty similar resemblances in many ways, including the serving package. With only about 15 USD you can have fish on a budget feast, enough for 4-5 servings (yeah, under 5 bucks each!). This includes white rice, tiwul rice, grilled or fried fish, shark curry soup, stir-fried eggplant, tofu and tempe, several kinds of local vegetable dish, and the infamous traditional super chilli sauce called “sambal ulek” with typical mortar presentation. You can choose a variety of seafish to be grilled or fried, which consists of tuna, mackerel scad, skipjack and swordfish. These fishes is pretty huge, with a size around an adult’s arm. They usually came with a simple soy sauce or butter rubbed for grill and flour-fried with sweet sour sauce. Their presentation is not necessarily 5 stars class, but you’ll have your humbly value for price in a sense of 15 USD. Yet about the fish dish, also don’t forget about the shark curry soup which is remarkably unique and delicious on it’s own right. The tender shark meat absorbs the yellow curry and make a juicy combination perfectly, we’re having additional servings for this one several times. It’s just that good!

The side vegetable dish contains another story of traditional javanese culinary. The simplest is the raw and dry ones, called lalapan in java language which literally means raw things. In the right side of the picture, it contains cabbage, cucumber, bean sprouts and long beans, sometimes they also come with lettuce, tomato and basils. Underneath lalapan, we have a gulai, a heavy broth soup from coconut milk and particular spices. In the middle we have an urap, a steamed grated coconut which come with kale, long beans, and bean sprouts. You can get it all in stalls at Pacitan Fish Market, anytime you’re around and planning to have fish on a budget feast.