Indonesia is blessed with many natural wonders and a rich cultural heritage. This diversity is reflected in its arts, its architecture, its songs, its languages, and of course, its culinary preparations! Lots of tasty Indonesian food worth for you. If you are visiting Indonesia, make sure you don’t miss an opportunity to taste these 10 remarkable dishes!
Indonesian favorite dishes
1 | Nasi Goreng
“Nasi Goreng” means “fried rice”. The basic idea of this dish is actually to avoid food waste. Originally, the rice used for this dish is the rest of dinner or lunch. It easy to find the Nasi Goreng. Almost all places, from the five-star restaurant to the street stall. The right time to eat the dish is also very versatile; whether for breakfast or dinner, it’s up to you.
The taste of the dish is a typical sweet, salty and slightly spicy mixture. There are many type of toppings for Nasi Goreng, such as minced chicken, sausage, lamb, seafood. The garnish is usually topped with cucumber and sunny side up egg.
As you know, Mr. Barack Obama had spent his childhood in Indonesia. And Nasi Goreng is one of his favorite Indonesian food.
2 | Sate
The “Sate” or Satay are skewers essentially slices of marinated meat and grilled over an open fire with charcoal. In Indonesia you can find satay made from different types of meat, such as chicken, beef, lamb, and scallops. Satays are served with many types of sauce, such as peanut sauce, sliced shallots and diced tomatoes with sweet soya, or spicy yellow sauce.
“Sate Ayam” (Chicken satay), “Sate Kambing” (Lamb satay) are the most popular on the whole island of Java. For in Bali, these are the “Sate Lilit” which can be made from grilled chicken or fish prepared with grated coconut, coconut milk and some of herbs.
3 | Soto
Soto is a dish like soup but more variation condiment. A bowl of Soto basically contains “bihun” (rice noodles), sliced cabbage, a handful of bean sprouts, tomatoes and meat. Its broth is clear and flavored with turmeric, lemongrass, shallots and garlic.
The most common Soto are Soto Ayam (chicken soto) and “Soto Babat” (cow or goat offal). Its tastes are not standard. Many varian soto will you find in Indonesia. it’s depend the region where you tasted. But, if you in Jakarta, it is easy to find many varian of Soto. Just go to food court at any mall in Jakarta, there are Soto Ayam (common Indonesian soto), soto Lamongan originaly from east Java. You may taste Soto Betawi (originaly from Jakarta) which has a thick and creamy broth or Soto Sulung originaly from Madura, east Java.
4 | Gado-gado
Gado-gado basically means “mixture”, derived from the way it is served, which mixes steamed vegetables with peanut sauce. It look like a salad with peanut sauce.
A plate of Gado-gado usually contains steamed spinach, bean sprouts, green beans and corn. It also includes slices of cucumber, hard-boiled egg, and fried tofu and tempeh. For the final touch, these ingredients are mixed together with a creamy peanut sauce. You can also choose the variety of vegetables and the taste of the peanut sauce, which can be spicy or sweet.
if you are a vegetarian, gado-gado is the best choice when you come to Indonesia. You can also taste other Indonesian food for vegetarians such as Pecel, Ketoprak.
5 | Rendang
Surely you are not too familiar with this one food. Gordon Ramsay once came directly to West Sumatra to learn how to make rendang from an expert. Rendang is a spicy meat preparation whose main ingredient is beef. A plate of Rendang offers a combination of spicy and creamy flavors with a blend of herbs and coconut milk.
This dish comes from the Minangkabau tribe, West Sumatra. The cooking process which takes 8 hours using firewood, gives this food a unique taste and aroma.
It’s not hard to find this food. You can easily find this dish all over Indonesia, especially in restaurants that specialize in Padang cuisine. You can even find it in Indonesian restaurants in Los Angeles, San Francisco.
6 | Bakso
Popular street food in Indonesia is Bakso or meatball soup. The meatball is usually made from a mixture of tapioca flour, salt and ground beef, but you can also find chicken, fish, pork or shrimp dumplings as appropriate. Sometimes the meatball is also filled with various contents, like eggs or cheese.
A bowl of Bakso consists of broth, meatballs, rice noodles, vegetables, tofu and bean sprouts. Fried shallots and celery are sprinkled there, sometimes with a supplement of wonton (Chinese ravioli).
7 | Mie Ayam
Mie Ayam is a chicken noodle dish. It is one of the popular dishes that you can easily find all over the street stalls. Generally it is also served with Bakso.
A bowl of Mie Ayam contains a handful of boiled wheat noodles garnished with diced chicken. Once boiled, the noodle is seasoned with a mixture of cooking oil, soy sauce and garlic. The combination of these ingredients creates a fusion of sweet and salty flavors that melt in your mouth. Really delicious!
8 | Batagor
Batagor is an acronym for “bakso tahu goreng” actually “tofu fried fish balls”. This food looks like a fried dumpling, it is an authentic snack created by the Sundanese, an ethnic group from West Java.
The mixture of tofu and fish paste will be covered with wonton skin before being fried. Later, the dish will be served with peanut sauce and lime juice. You can also request a spicy condiment to add more flavor.
9 | Tongseng
Another dish that should be on your Indonesian culinary list is meat with curry soup called Tongseng. Lamb, mutton or beef is used for this dish. The dish is creamy and spicy. The ingridients are slices of lamb mix with coconut milk and various spices such as garlic, shallots, black pepper, ginger, coriander, galangal and lemongrass.
The word tongseng comes from the friction sound of the spatula on the wok when cooking the meat. Its originally comes from Central Java, where you can easily find restaurants or stalls serve this food.
1o | Bubur Ayam
bubur Ayam is rice porridge in Bahasa. The dish was actually brought by Chinese immigrants who came to Indonesia. This food is one of the most popular in Indonesia. You can find it on the street either in the morning or at night.
Its usually serve with toppings such as shredded chicken, chunks of cakwe, sliced celery, sliced fried onions and kerupuk.
The light and savory taste is very suitable to be eaten in the morning or evening.