Come lunchtime in Kupang, Timor’s largest urban area, nothing drives the townsfolk to cram the roadside eateries like their zeal for porcine pleasure. Grab a seat next to them and soon you’ll see: theirs is no ordinary smoked pork. A platter of se’i is pure, unpretentious goodness simply there for the devouring.
Traditionally cut from the pig’s hind legs into long strips about two fingers thick, se’i is cured in local herbs and Timorese honey prior to being smoked with the wood and leaves of pohon kusambi (Ceylon oak) for six to nine hours. This makes se’i wholesomely juicy and characteristically aromatic when served sizzling, and almost garnish-free. Mandatory accompaniments include bowlfuls of rice and sambal lu’at — a fermented blend of chilli, basil and kaffir lime peel. Many have likened eating se’i to a religious experience; taste it and decide for yourself!
Where to try it: Depot Bambu Kuning Jl Perintis Kemerdekaan I, Kupang, or Depot Bambu Kuning Jl Jend Sudirman, No. 134, Kupang.
Coba di Depot Bambu Kuning Jl Perintis Kemerdekaan I, Kupang, or Depot Bambu Kuning Jl Jend Sudirman, No. 134, Kupang.