For Balinese, although Bali serves internationally-acclaimed restaurants offering international favorites, those things cannot replace a traditional favorite. From 1980s up to now a fist of steamed rice completed with side dishes covered with banana leaves is still exist. Nasi Jinggo, the name for this traditional favorite, is the choice for those who only have coins but starving.
Nasi is Indonesian for steamed rice. Jinggo? Unfortunately, no one have an exact fact why this spicy traditional dish is called Jinggo. Some people said that Jinggo is derived from a renowned movie title “Djanggo” which was popular on that time. Others argue that Jinggo is originally from Hokkien dialect means 1.500, the price of Nasi Jinggo years ago.
In the meantime some people believe that Jinggo is derived from the first consumers of Nasi Jinggo who are drivers and civilians in which Balinese call them “Jagoan”. Apart from the unclear name, in the beginning Nasi Jinggo was only sold in a lane in traditional market at Jalan Gajah Mada from afternoon up to night.
The pioneer is a married couple, They have no reason to make Nasi Jinggo except to make money but their creation is actually loved by all Balinese generation. Even more they send Nasi Jinggo to some cities in Indonesia. A fist of steamed rice is coupled with slices of tempe, shredded chicken, noodles, tasty shredded coconut, and unbeatable spicy sauce (sambal) and all this is covered with banana leaves.
The small portion and tasty sambal arguably make people take 2 Nasi Jinggo, a minimum for a dinner time. Today, it is very easy to find Nasi Jinggo sellers on the roadside. With only Rp 2.000-Rp 3.000 per Nasi Jinggo, it could be a savior from the starvation before you eat the main ones. Some sellers have modified Nasi Jinggo by adding shredded beef and pork to replace chicken.
If you would like to taste the original Nasi Jinggo, try Nasi Jinggo which has red-bamboo hooks at Jalan Gajah Mada.