You'd be hard-pressed to find pork on the menu at any of New York's Indonesian restaurants. The world's largest Muslim-majority country, however, has room for an incredible variety of cuisines; this periodical indoor bazaar is fast becoming the best place in the city to seek them out.
The chef of Ai So Ise, one of 20 vendors at the most recent bazaar, was born in North Sumatra. His recipes draw on the traditions of the Batak peoples, many of whom practice Christianity or indigenous religions rather than Islam — hence the embrace of pork. Both the pork-blood-stewed saksang (above and first photo below) and the grilled babi pangang (at bottom) were prepared not only with garlic, shallots, and lemon grass but also andaliman. This close relative of Sichuan peppercorn delivers a quick tingle rather than a lingering numbness or burn; think of it as a lemony pepper.
For more photos from multiple bazaars (some held last year, at a smaller venue), see my slideshow.
Indonesian bazaar at St. James Episcopal Church
84-07 Broadway (St. James-Corona Aves.), Elmhurst, Queens
(The next bazaar will be held on September 24)