Saturday, July 3, 2021

10 Best Indonesian Foods

 The best Indonesian food to try includes iconic traditional and heritage dishes from the many different Indonesian islands, as well as cuisine that are a result of various foreign influences. If you’re a first-time visitor, this following compilation will help you as a starting point on your culinary adventures. If you’ve already travelled to Indonesia and found your favourite dish in one destination, you’re bound to easily fall for another.

Lovers of good food will never feel out of place in Indonesia. Some of the most popular Indonesian dishes have even frequently made it to among ‘the world’s best foods’ and ‘most delicious foods’ lists, such as the flavoursome ‘beef rendang’ that hails from Sumatra. Choices are limitless, but for a head start, enjoy this list of the best Indonesian food to try at least once, and experience one of the world’s diverse and flavoursome cuisines.

1. GUDEG
 Pronounced: guh-dag


Gudeg (pictured above) is a dish in Indonesian cuisine that requires a little bit of patience. This national favourite is a little sweet, like most of the food that comes from Central Java, thanks to the sweet jackfruit that is its main ingredient. This fruit is boiled in a mixture of coconut milk, palm sugar and local spices for several hours, resulting in a really tender dish. This is a great option for vegetarians, or ask the chef to include some chicken or fried beef skin for a bit of extra protein. This dish is also great when served with rice and a boiled egg.

2. NASI GORENG
Pronounced: na-see go-reng


Nasi goreng is Indonesia's unique version of fried rice and also the country's national dish. You won't find anything quite like it when visiting other countries in Asia. Nasi goreng is fairly simple but utterly delicious. The steamed rice is near drowned in a thick soy sauce called keycap and is flavoured with chilli, shrimp paste, onion, garlic and tomato sauce. Some chefs may also add protein — like chicken, lamb, pork, eggs or beef — and other vegetables such as mushrooms, cabbages and cucumber. You won't find the same two recipes in any two kitchens!

3. SATAY
Pronounced: sa-tay


Satay consists mostly of skewered meat cooked over coals. Hot fans are used to blow away the smoke, giving them a really unique flavour. Satay skewers can be made of chicken, goat, mutton or rabbit and are usually served with tons of spicy peanut sauce and rice cakes (ketupat). The meat is typically marinated in different spices before cooking. You can find this tasty dish pretty much anywhere in Indonesia and you'll sure be glad you did once you have your first bite.

Jalan Sabang is a culinary hub in Jakarta that offers some of the tastiest Javanese satay. Try iy on this food tour.

4. SIOMAY
Pronounced: see-oh-my


Like Chinese dim sum? Well, meet Indonesia's version. Siomay is a traditional staple of Indonesia cuisine, essentially fish dumplings that are served with steamed potato, cabbage and eggs. Dip them in some boiled peanut sauce for a truly authentic flavour. You'll find a vendor selling siomay on nearly any Indonesian street corner, so you'll never go hungry with this new favourite!

If you want to try Chinese food in Indonesia, we heard that the Chinatown in Jakarta is where you should be. Try Chinese local dishes like pig belly to hainam rice in this tour.

5. BAKSO
Pronounced: ba-so


Another one of Indonesia's best street foods, bakso is a savoury meatball soup. The meatballs are soft and springy, made from chicken, beef, pork, or even some combination of the three. You'll normally be served your bakso with some rice or egg noodles, boiled eggs (coated in the same mixture are the meatballs), some chilli and some fried onions. Some chefs also throw in tofu! Top it all off with sweet soy sauce for a delicious favourite. This is food fit for a president — as President Obama claimed this was one of his favourite dishes in Indonesia! 

6. SOP BUNTUT
Pronounced: sop boon-toot


Sop buntut is a delicious oxtail soup. This Indonesian food is found mostly in West Java and is made up of fried or barbecued slices of oxtail in a clear broth. The dish is generally flavoured with shallots, garlic, pepper, nutmeg and cloves, but different chefs will spice it up in their own way. Some yummy vegetables that can be added to the soup include boiled potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, celery, leek and shallots. To really bring out the flavour, drizzle a bit of lime or lemon on top. 

7. MARTABAK
Pronounced: mar-ta-bach


Had enough of the savoury dishes? Martabak to the rescue! This sweet Indonesian food is the country's spin on a pancake, usually filled with anything from chocolate and nuts to cheese. Think crepe but thicker. These sweet treats are only sold in the evening and night, so you might have to wait for your midnight snack to give this one a try.

8. BEEF RENDANG
Pronounced: ren-dang


If you're a curry fan, you're sure to love a bowl of beef rendang. This Indonesian food is much like a beef curry, but without the broth. It is made from thick, tender diced beef that is slowly cooked in a gravy of coconut milk and spices for several hours. It's not something you'll find just anywhere, as it takes patience and skill to make a good beef rendang. It is primarily eaten in the Padang region of West Sumatra and is usually served with rice. 

If you are new to Indonesian cuisine then this food tour to Jalan Sabang is the perfect way to get introduced. Sample the delicious beef rendang from the west as well as the signature fish cake from the south of Sumatra.

9. Gado gado


Gado gado is a favourite Indonesian vegetable salad, comprised of mixed vegetables such as cabbage, chayote and bitter melon (mostly steamed or blanched), together with fried tofu and tempeh, and lontong or ketupat rice cakes. The mix is doused in a runny sweet to spicy peanut sauce dressing. Gado gado also comes in numerous variations, according to the choices of vegetables used.

10. Nasi Uduk


Nasi uduk is rice boiled in coconut milk that is mixed with coriander, salt, bay leaves, and scented with lemongrass. Fluffy and fragrant, it is often served with fried or grilled chicken, or beef strips, and garnished with sliced cucumber and lemon basil leaves. This original Jakarta rice dish is usually served topped with fried shallots and with other soups and salads on the side. Some sellers serve their nasi uduk wrapped in banana leaves together with a variety of side choices.

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