More than five thousand recipes of Indonesia vary greatly according to the region. Sambal, with shrimp paste, is a staple preparation in all parts of Indonesia. Some elements of Chinese cuisine such as noodles, meat and spring rolls can be seen in Indonesian cuisine.
20 Most Popular Foods to Eat in Indonesia
Satay or sate is a popular dish from Indonesia. It has also become famous in neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. It comprises sliced chicken, beef, pork or fish. These are grilled over a charcoal fire and served with peanut syrup or satay sauce. The origin of satay is the Indonesian Island of Java. It is a national dish and a must-try.
2. Nasi Goreng
Nasi Goreng means fried rice. It includes rice, pieces of meat and chopped vegetables. It is made spicy using ginger, shrimp paste, tamarind and chilli powder. Other ingredients include eggs, chicken and prawns. Nasi Goreng is eaten as a main course dish.
Gado-Gado, also called Lotek is a salad of boiled or steamed vegetables. It included boiled eggs and potatoes, fried tofu, and lontong. This dish is again served as a main course delicacy with peanut sauce.
4. Beef Rendang
Beef Rendang (Minangkabau dialect) is a meat dish. It is known to be one of the best and less liquid curries. Main ingredients include meat (beef, lamb or goat), coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, chilli and turmeric. This rich and dark colour dish is served commonly as the main course.
5. Ayam Goreng
Ayam Goreng consists of deep-fried chicken. It is a Southeast Asian dish rich in spices. The main ingredients are chicken, shallots, garlic, turmeric and other spices. All these spices are deep-fried in oil.
6. Pecel Lele
The origin of Pecel Lele is East Java, Indonesia. It is made of fried catfish with a paste of sambal chilli. Pecel Lele is an affordable food found on the streets of Indonesia. It is often served with fried tofu and steamed rice.
7. Kwetiau Goreng
It is a Chinese Indonesian dish referred to as fried flat noodles. The fried flat noodles are served with chicken, meat, prawn, beef or crab. It is a hot and spicy delicacy sold commonly by street vendors in their carts.
8. Oxtail Soup
This soup (also called Sop Buntut) is made with beef tails. It is thick, gravy-like soup made using tomato with oxtail, potatoes, corns, herbs and spices, beans and carrots. The soup is delicious as well as nutritious.
9. Bebek Goreng
Bebek Goreng is deep fried duck served with rice, sambal chili sauce. The duck is deep fried until crispy and herbs like lemon basis is added to make it greasy and salty.
10. Sop Kaki Kambing
It is a treat for goat lovers. The meet of goat is sliced up and pre cooked. Interesting fact is that you get to choose which part(s) of goat you want to eat such as goat brain, eye sockets, or leg. These are put together into a buttery soup.
11. Nasi Uduk
Nasi Uduk is steamed rice in the Indonesian style. Unlike other dishes of rice, it is soaked in coconut milk. The rich spices comprise clove, lemongrass, cinammon and casia bark which add to its unique aroma. Coconut milk and such spices give the dish a rich flavor.
Petai or stink beans, are one of the most common Indonesian foods. Petai are green beans that grow in pods of a tree. These can be eaten raw with sambal sauce or the pod is directly deep fried. It is often cooked in a curry with chilies.
13. Plecing Kangkung
It is made from kangkung leaf served with shallots, sambal, garlic, shrimp paste, kaffir lime, salt and sugar. Side dishes include sting beans, bean sprouts, and fried peanuts.
14. Daun Pepaya
Daun Pepaya, also known as papaya leaves is a famous dish in Indonesia. It is commonly available around the country. Papaya leaves are blanched or steamed and offered with sambal sauce. This dish has a little taste of bitterness yet it is a good source of nutrition.
15. Bakpao and Kopi
Indonesia is one of the largest producers of coffee (kopi). Bakpao is a steamed bread or bun filled with meat. Bakpao ingredients are sugar, flour, baking powder, yeast and oil. The filling includes beef or pork mix.
16. Mie Goreng
Mie Goreng or Indomie is Indonesian fried noodles. The noodles are stir-fried in oil, tomato, onion, meet, garlic, kailan and cabbage. It is a widely eaten street food available instantly.
Pempek or Mpek Mpek is a fishcake delicacy. The origin of Pempek is Palembang. It is made of tapioca and fish. It is best served with cuko ( sweet and sour sauce) and cucumber. Common side dishes for Pempek are Ayam Goreng, eggs amd omlette, rice vermicelli and tofu.
18. Pepes Ikan
Pepes is an Indonesian style of wrapping food in banana leaves. The style keeps the main ingredients and aroma in place while cooking. The banana leaf is discarded when the food is consumed as it is non-edible.
19. Tahu Gejrot
Tahu Gejrot consists of small cut pieces of tahu pong. A thin dressing is prepared by blending palm sugar, sweet soy sauce and vinegar. Clay plates are used to serve this dish.
Martabak or Mutabbaq is a stuffed fried pancake. It is one of the popular street food in Indonesia. It consists of folded spicy omelette including onion and garlic. There are two versions of martabak found in Indonesia, namely, martabak letur and martabak manis.
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