Cuanki, Mie Ayam, and Mie Bakso are three different peas in a pod.


Sundanese cuisines have a lot of variety. Their dishes range from street food snacks to a full meal. Some of them have similarities by having proteins and carbohydrates broth and being served hot in a bowl.

Hot broth dishes in West Java have a lot of varieties, such as mie bakso, mie ayam, and cuanki. Although they might sound and look similar, they are actually quite different.

1. Mie Bakso
Mie bakso is probably the most well-known hot broth dish in Indonesia. It usually has beef meatballs and noodles in the bowl with a lot of different condiments including hot sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar. Some would add fried wonton, green vegetables, fried shallots, and more to make it more variable.

The meatballs are the most delicious part of mie bakso. Traditional meatballs have no fillings, but there are those filled with ground meat or boiled egg. The more modern and recent filling includes mozzarella cheese and sambal. Some shops even have meatballs filled with smaller meatballs called “bakso beranak” or pregnant meatballs.

2. Cuanki

Cuanki seller in the forest
Courtesy of Flickr/Budi Nusyirwan

Cuanki is a Sundanese dish of several proteins in a bowl of warm broth. A bowl would usually consist of balls of Spanish mackerels (ikan tenggiri), dry shumai, white tofu, and sometimes meatballs. 

People believe Cuanki is an abbreviation of “Cari Uang Jalan Kaki” or literally “walking to earn money”. The name stem from how older Cuanki seller sold their food. They carry and balance two big cubic containers on their shoulder with the help of a strong flat wooden stick.

Other people said that Cuanki’s real origins came from somewhere else. The dish might actually have originated from a Chinese factory selling broth dim sums with a brand called “Bakso Tahu Kuah Choan Kie”. The factory is located in Cimahi and Bandung employing locals.

Former employees of the factory tried to imitate the product themselves in the 1980s and they were successful. Cuanki used to contain pork until the locals substitute them with mackerels.

3. Mie Ayam

Mie Ayam wagon
Courtesy of Unsplash/Hobi Industri

Just as its name says, mie ayam is a noodle dish topped with minced chicken. The dish has a lot of Chinese influence and is sold almost everywhere, from simple traveling wagons for cheap to expensive restaurants.

To make mie ayam, you need boiled noodles covered in oil or animal fat, soy sauce, and garlic. Known to be a Chinese-Indonesian dish, it is topped with minced chicken cooked in soy sauce and garlic, mushrooms, fried wonton, Chinese cabbage, and more.

Some places even have meatballs in the bowl or separately in a smaller bowl. You usually eat them with chopsticks but forks and spoons will do just fine.




#THE S MEDIA #Media Milenial #Bandung #Food #Definitions