January 29, 2024

9 Papua New Guinean Traditional Dishes You Must Try if You Visit the World’s Third Largest Island Country

Papua New Guinea is a country in Oceania that comprises the offshore islands of Melanesia (an area of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia) and the eastern half of the island of New Guinea. The nation is well-known for a variety of things, but its 600 islands—which are dotted with volcanoes, waterfalls, mangrove swamps, mountain ranges, and some of the most diverse flora and wildlife on Earth—are what really make it stand out from other countries. In addition, Papua New Guinea is home to friendly people, nomadic tribes, and abundant mineral resources. 

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The country has the potential to thrive in several industries and it has been embracing such opportunities; these are minerals and energy, renewable energy, fisheries equipment, and gambling (Papua New Guinea is home to a few well-known operators, which is proved by their rank at TopCasinoExpert, who have enjoyed enormous popular success).

Many ethnic groups make up the population of Papua New Guinea, including the Telefol people, Gogodala people, Orokaiva people, Hewa people, Marind people, Asmat people, Asmat people, Tolai people, Melanesians, and Duna people.

What about food? The food of Papua New Guinea is primarily vegetarian and has a lot of tropical fruits and starchy root vegetables. However, there are some specialties you must try while there and by which the nation’s cuisine becomes appealing to tourists.


Popular Dishes in Papua New Guinea
Subsistence farming supports over 80% of the people in Papua New Guinea. As a result, much of the food and protein consumed in the nation is imported, with a significant share coming from local farms.
Kaukau (sweet potato), karuka, ulu (breadfruit), cassava (also known as manioc), sago, coconuts, and bananas are among the staple foods in Papua New Guinea. Vegetarianism predominates in the national diet, especially in the Gulf and Highlands regions. Rarely is meat protein consumed in the nation.

The cuisine consumed in the eastern region of the island of New Guinea serves as the inspiration for many of the nation’s most traditional dishes. Without further ado, enjoy this list of Papua New Guinea’s traditional foods.


# 1 Kol Pis No Rais
A combination of rice and fish, mainly canned tuna, is called kol pis no rais. Depending on availability and inclination, vegetables like maize and peas are occasionally added as well. “Cold fish and rice” is how kol pis no rais is translated. It’s usually eaten as a main meal or as a snack on the island’s coastal regions.

# 2 Talautu
Talautu is a classic Papuan dessert made with sugar, lemon juice, coconut milk, shredded coconut flesh, and pineapple bits. After combining all of these ingredients in a bowl, they should ideally be eaten within coconut shells. Typically, this Papuan delicacy is eaten after a large lunch. It’s incredibly refreshing and quite simple to prepare.

# 3 Kaukau
Made with sweet potatoes, kaukau constitutes one of the most well-liked foods in Papua New Guinea. Their prep starts with baking them, followed by peeling the skin and mashing the sweet potatoes.
Usually, the prepared mixture is then returned to the skins of potatoes. Until the meal is prepared for serving, it’s baked for a while longer. This recipe also calls for the addition of cheese, eggs, garlic, ginger, coconut milk, and coconut oil. Another Papuan word, kaukau, usually refers to many varieties of sweet potatoes.


# 4 Kaima Bona Gatoi
A vegetable meal called kama bona gatoi is produced by grilling onions, zucchini, hot peppers, and eggplants. All of the components are marinated in a concoction of vinegar, olive oil, herbs, and garlic before being grilled. Usually, it’s served with fish and barbecued meat.

# 5 Saksak
Saksak are little dumplings with a rectangular shape that are quite popular in Papua New Guinea's coastal regions. They are made using mashed bananas and sago. The resulting mixture is then simmered in coconut milk while wrapped in banana leaves. People can frequently replace sago with cassava. If banana leaves are unavailable, aluminum foil can be used in their place. Saksak is typically offered at dinner or lunch.

# 6 Bugandi Egg Drop Soup
A particular kind of soup called bugandi egg drop soup is made with fresh vegetables including spinach, spring onions, and choko shoots, a pumpkin that resembles a gourd. The soup gets its name from the addition of an egg to the mixture when it is boiling all of these components in water. It’s a filling and nutritious dish that tastes best when served with freshly made soda bread on the side.


# 7 Kokoda
Consumption of kokoda fish is widespread in many Pacific island nations, maybe even more in Fiji than in Papua New Guinea. Typically eaten as appetizers or snacks, they are discovered in the crystal-clear streams at the lower reaches of the rainforests. It’s frequently advised to eat this fish with taro and sweet potato chips or plantain, which together absorb all of the nutrients found in Kokoda fish. Usually, this fish is marinated for six to eight hours using either lemon juice or lime. It aids in enhancing the dish's flavor. To improve the flavor, other ingredients might be added. Coriander leaves, sliced onions, and chili are a few of them.

# 8 Mumu
Mumu, a traditional meal from Papua New Guinea, is prepared in a pit or hole in the ground, much like the Peruvian Pachamanca (a customary Peruvian delicacy baked with heated stones) or the Māori Hāngī (a feast cooked slow in an earth oven – a traditional way of cooking food) delicacy. After the hollow is filled with heated stones, banana leaves are arranged along its perimeter. Lastly, the leaves are filled with layers of food like as meat, fruit, root vegetables, leafy greens, and a significant quantity of coconut milk. There’s an additional layer of banana leaves lining the prepared mixture. It ensures that the steam is contained. Making mumu is thought to be a strenuous activity that typically involves the whole family, including men and women of all ages.

# 9 Chicken Pot
A classic Papuan dish called chicken pot is made by first putting the chicken in a pot and then adding oil to it. The recipe is then finished by adding items such as chopped kaukau, green onions, and corn. Typically, chicken pot is made using coconut milk. To improve the flavor, salt and curry powder are added after the ingredients have boiled for 30 to 40 minutes. It’s typically consumed as a soup or sauce, and the meat and veggies are served separately.

With its abundance of traditional flavors, Papua New Guinea’s cuisine is best exemplified by its chicken pot. It’s regarded as one of those meals that brings back memories of the foods that the nation’s forebears ate.

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