Sego Megono: The Jackfruit Rice of Pekalongan
Steaming warm rice spooned into a piece of banana leaf. Shredded young jackfruit, or gori, is added to it. A slice of tempe mendoan and a glass of warm tea as a compliment. How delicious!
This is Sego Megono, a typical food of the North Coast of Java (Pantura), including Pekalongan. The people’s rice is often also called Nasi Gori.
The legend said that sego megono or megono rice came to life in the wartime. The limitations of food and the necessity to survive gave birth to megono rice; said to be a provision for Mataram warriors who must walk far away to fight the war.
There is also another version: sego megono is an offering for Dewi Sri – the Goddess of Rice, worshipped by the Hindus of the time. The entry of Islam to Mataram changed the function of this rice into a meal for Tahlil (a form of dhikr to praise God) in the mosques. The shape was also changed, from cone-shaped to a simplified sego Nagano wrapped in banana leaves.
Which story is the right one? It’s hard to say. But, there is one thing that connects the two legends. The basic ingredients of sego megono that remains the same: gori, or shredded young jackfruit. Gori that has been chopped is cooked with a mix of spices. Chopped kaffir lime leaves and ginger flower (kecombrang) contributes to the dish’s distinctive aroma. Grated coconut adds the coastal flavor to this people’s food.
Currently, sego megono is no longer served plain as before. There are many extra sides that makes this rice even more delicious. In addition to tempe mendoan, now there is spicy tofu, quail egg satay, salted fish, squid cooked in ink, to beef tendon.
Because it is popular for breakfast, sego megono stalls are usually open very early in the morning. One of them, Warung Tjukup, had even been visited by a well-known Indonesian food critic, Mr. Bondan Winarno. The shop is located at Jalan Manggis No. 10 and popular with their sego megono with black squid and sriping (fried clams).
As time passes, sego megono can be obtained even after breakfast time. One of sego megono stalls, Nasi Megono Pak Bon, is open from early afternoon to late evening. The shop is located in Lapangan Sorongenen and is famous for its beef tendon curry to accompany its sego megono dish.
Sego megono street stalls is currently popular at night. The street stalls, where people sit on the floor, or along the pavement (called Lesehan), are often abbreviated as the LSM or Lesehan Sego Megono.
From early afternoon until early morning, Jalan Urip Sumoharjo becomes the paradise of sego megono lovers.
Enjoying the atmosphere of nighttime Pekalongan accompanied by the flickering lights and a warm plate of sego megono, who would resist that?
Megono Rice RM Tjukup
Address : Jalan Manggis No.10, Sampangan, Pekalongan Timur, Sampangan, Pekalongan Tim., Kota Pekalongan, Jawa Tengah 51126
Phone: (0285) 424293
Megono Rice Pak Bon