Indonesian food offers a variety of exquisite flavors with hot and spicy dishes. While some dishes are an outcome of Dutch and Chinese influence, a few others like nasi uduk and ketupat have retained their staple food rice in its preparation. Here is a list of Indonesia’s popular cuisines, versatile and enticing enough to satisfy a gourmet.
1. Gado-Gado – A Traditional Indonesian Salad
What is it: A vegetable salad made of hard boiled eggs, and steamed vegetables like long beans, tempeh (traditional soy), bean sprout, and fried tofu.
What does it taste like: It goes smooth over the tongue, usually teamed with a dressing of peanut sauce.
2.Nasi Uduk – A Festive Cuisine
What is it: A main course dish made of steamed rice, soaked in coconut milk.
What does it taste like: With every single bite offering the richness of coconut milk and aromatic spices like clove and lemongrass, it teams well with dry or gravy side dishes.
3. Bakso – The Indonesian Meatball
What is it: Freshly steamed meatballs prepared from beef surimi (paste). Chicken, shrimp, fish and shrimp can also be used for making bakso.
What does it taste like: When served with red schezwan sauce, it gives a yummy, sizzling taste.
4.Satay (‘Sate’ in Indonesia) –A Typical Finger Food
What is it: A dish made of tenderized meat(chicken, lamb, or beef), which is skewered, barbecued or grilled.
What does it taste like: Juicy and goes best with spicy peanut dip.
5. Nasi Goreng–Indonesia’s National Food
What is it: A chicken fried rice that includes beaten eggs and a couple of spices like kecapmanis (sweet soya sauce), shallot, garlic, tamarind and chilies.
What does it taste like: Spicy with a tangy blend, needing no side dish.
6.BuburAyam – A Chicken Congee Recipe
What is it: A rice congee (or broth) prepared with shredded chicken and some condiments like chopped scallion, crispy fried shallot, as well as preserved salted vegetables.
What does it taste like – Less spicy in comparison to other Indonesian cuisines, its soft texture making it suitable for kids and ailing adults.
7. Ayam Goreng– A Tasty Fried Chicken
What is it: Fired chicken prepared in coconut oil with rich spices and no flour batter.
What does it taste like: Crispy and crunchy, teamed with steamed rice and sambal or hot sauce.
8. Rendang–A Spicy Indonesian Cuisine
What is it: One of the best spicy meat dishes amongst Indonesian cuisines made of spices and chilies along with the richness of coconut milk.
What does it taste like: Flavorsome beef curry cooked particularly during ceremonies or special occasions.
9. Gudeg – An Authentic Indonesian Dish
What is it: A sweet stew made from jack fruit, boiled with palm sugar, and coconut milk, seasoned with a variety of spices like bay leaves, lemon grass, and galangal (a type of ginger).
What does it taste like: Enriched with sweetness, it is often paired with steamed rice, chicken or even hard boiled eggs.
10. Martabak Manis – A Mouth-Watering Indonesian Desert
What is it: A sweet waffle like cake made of butter, sugar, and cheese. The fillings are a discretion to one’s choice, chocolate being an attractive option.
What does it taste like: Sugary pancake which goes best after a spicy delight. It is also served with pickled cucumber and vinegar.
11. Babi Guling – Indonesia’s Famous Pig Roast
What is it: A stuffed roasted pig, infused with spicy concoction including turmeric, lemongrass, coriander seeds, ginger, garlic, and black pepper.
What does it taste like: Each bite is filled with tenderness and flavors that splash from one end to the other.
12.Sop Konro – A Delicious Beef Soup
What is it: A thick brown soup made of beef ribs.
What does it taste like: Delectable, with a typical spice-rich Indonesian touch.It goes well with burasa or ketupats (rice dumplings) and rice.
13.Pecel Lele–An Indonesian Street Food
What is it: A deep fried catfish served at warungs (street side food tents) along with rice and fried tempeh or tofu.
What does it taste like: The crispy flavor of fish coupled with chilly paste would make you lick your fingers to the last bit.
14.Mie Ayam – An Indo-Chinese Fast Food
What is it: A fast food dish made of yellow wheat noodles, topped with tender slices of gravy- braised chicken.
What does it taste like: Smooth and juicy, with the perfect blend of noodles and chicken melting in your mouth.
15.Bakpao – An Indonesian Breakfast Recipe
What is it: A popular snack comprising of a fluffy steamed bun stuffed with meat and vegetables.
What does it taste like: The soft texture of the bun along with the mouthwatering fillings make it an ideal breakfast dish.
16.Rijsttafel – A Dutch-Indonesian Food Fusion
What is it: An elaborate meal consisting of many side dishes like egg rolls, sambals, satay, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and pickles served in small portions along with platters of rice cooked in various ways. This authentic dish introduced by Dutch settlers were their way of impressing visitors.
What does it taste like: It offers an array of flavors with extreme spiciness and crisp texture.
17.Rujak– Food for Kids
What is it: A fresh fruit salad ideal for fast-growing kids usually made of water apples, pineapples, raw mangoes, cucumbers, kedondong, and red ubijalar (sweet potato).
What does it taste like: Refreshing and healthy, a thick texture of spicy peanut sauce mostly accompanies the dish.
18.Lontong – A Vegetarian Indonesian Food
What is it: A cylindrical shaped rice cake cooked inside a banana leaf and then cut into small pieces for the ease of consuming.
What does it taste like: It taste like a regular rice meal enriched with coconut milk, served cold or at room temperature with gado gado, karedok ( vegetable salad) or other dishes having a peanut sauce base.
Indonesian food is about variety and experiments, its vibrant ingredients making it even more delicious. The list of good dishes is too long so, explore, so get set to try a few of these lip-smacking cuisines.