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30 Delicious Indonesian Dishes You Need To Try

Can you get through this post without drooling all over your keyboard?

1. Nasi Goreng

As one of the country’s signature dishes, nasi goreng is definitely Indonesians’ favorite. A plate of stirred fried rice complemented with eggs, prawns (chicken, salted dried-fish, goat meat, or anything of your choice), chilli, and veggies will surely make your mouth water. Don’t forget the kerupuk.

2. Mie Goreng

Fried noodles is also on top of Indonesian’s favorite list. Mie goreng is usually served with the same complementary ingredients as nasi goreng. The taste is competitive!

3. Mie Ayam

If you’re starting to notice that mie is a popular dish here, it’s because it is! This another variation of noodle dish is served with chicken broth soup. It is usually topped with sweet seasoned chicken, scallion, kai choy, and dumplings.

4. Bakso

Bakso is Indonesian meat balls served in chicken broth soup, rice vermicelli or yellow noodles (depends on your liking), sprinkled with fried shallots, celery, and of course sambal.

5. Nasi Uduk

Nasi uduk is another Jakarta’s traditional food. The rice is cooked in coconut milk so it becomes savory. It is then mixed with other additional dishes such as ayam goreng, omelette, fried tempe, and crispy crackers made from paddy oats.

6. Bubur Ayam

This ultimate breakfast of the country is made of rice porridge served with shredded chicken, cakwe (Chinese crullers), crispy fried shallots, and chopped scallion. As always, the more the kerupuk, the merrier.

7. Sate

Sate or satay is skewered grilled meat served with peanut sauce. If you happen to pass by a sate vendor and they’re grilling it outdoor, blowing meat smoke with a hand-held fan, it is most likely to attract customers with its distinguished smell!

8. Martabak

There are two types of martabak in Indonesia. The folded pan-fried stuffed crispy pancake in the picture above is martabak telor. The filling is made of minced beef, scallions, and onions.

While martabak telor is savory, martabak manis is a sweet dessert. With various toppings from chocolate, cheese, peanut, banana, to even durian and recently popular Nutella, this thick buttery pancake is quickly become another Indonesian’s favorite snack.

9. Tahu & Tempe Goreng

lh6.googleusercontent.com / Via Dapur Sunda

Tahu (or tofu) and tempe are soul mates. They are inseparable. Get a scoop of rice and sprinkled it kecap (sweet soy sauce). Your perfect Indonesian breakfast is ready!

10. Soto

Soto is basically an Indonesian traditional soup mainly served in savory chicken broth seasoned with turmeric. Hence, the color yellow. It then added with shredded chicken, eggs, rice vermicelli, and crispy fried shallots. There are so many variants of soto in Indonesia. It depends on which region it comes from. They have Soto Kudus in Central Java, Soto Betawi in Jakarta, Coto Makassar in Sulawesi, and a lot more.

11. Ketoprak

Ketoprak is one of Indonesian’s traditional dishes and also very popular choice among street foods. The main ingredients are lontong or ketupat (compressed rice cake), tahu, rice vermicelli, bean sprouts, and then mixed it all with thick and sweet peanut sauce. And of course the mandatory complementary, a mountain of kerupuk.

12. Gado-gado

Gado-gado is quite similar to ketoprak since it also has the peanut sauce dressing, but its ingredients are mainly from assorted veggies such as cabbage, spinach, bean sprouts, kangkung, green bean, and lontong or ketupat.

13. Pecel

Pecel itself is actually veggies mixed with peanut sauce. It is more or less semi gado-gado, but it is usually served without lontong or ketupat. As a substitute, you can add rice and other companion ingredients such as tempe and rempeyek crackers.

14. Karedok

Karedok is the raw version of gado-gado. The veggies come directly from your neighbor’s farm to your plate. Joke aside, the veggies in karedok are all uncooked. For real. Well of course we’re washing them all first.

Aren’t we?

15. Siomay

Siomay is the cousin of dim sum. It is made of tenggiri fish paste. Friendly companions for siomay are steamed potatoes, cabbage, eggs, and tofu. Moar peanut sauce, soy sauce, and sambal, please!

16. Batagor

Batagor is fried bakso and tofu with fish paste fillings. If you haven’t figured out yet, Indonesian dishes are similar to each other. Can you guess Batagor is similar to what?

17. Opor Ayam

If you’re spending Eid-ul Fitr in Indonesia, you will most likely see opor ayam in the local household’s tables. This chicken cooked in coconut milk serving is usually eaten with ketupat and sambal goreng ati (fried beef liver) during Lebaran holiday.

18. Rendang

If you can’t handle chili, you can’t handle this spicy meat dish. Originated from Minangkabau in West Sumatra that is well-known for its love for anything spicy, rendang is simply Indonesian’s traditional steak. Difference is, you can only get very well-done.

19. Gudeg

Gudeg has all the taste in a single plate. You get savory from the coconut milk, spicy from sambal goreng krecek (stew made of crisp beef skins), and sweet from the jack fruit that is boiled for hours with palm sugar. Mmmm! You can find the tastiest gudeg in Yogyakarta, as it is their traditional food.

20. Ayam Goreng Kuning

If you ask why this chicken looks so yellow. Read the soto description again. Can you find the similar ingredient? Yep, turmeric. The chicken pieces are marinated in turmeric mixture along with shallots, garlic, ginger, and some other spices. They are then deep fried until the smell makes your stomach growl.

21. Sayur Asem

Sayur asem is Indonesian’s most popular soup. Common ingredients you can find are corn, chayote, green bean, and paddy oats.

22. Nasi Tumpeng

You can’t have a celebration without nasi tumpeng. This massive tower platter is specially made for important ceremonies. If you have a birthday, your Indonesian parents will most likely make you nasi tumpeng. It’s like cake, but with rice and heaps of side dishes.

The essential ingredient is rice. It can be a plain steamed rice, uduk rice (cooked with coconut milk), or yellow rice (spiced with turmeric). The side dishes varied from ayam goreng (fried chicken), perkedel kentang (mashed potato fritters), kering tempe (dried tempe seasoned with sweet spices), shredded omelettes, and anything else you can think of.

It is said, the cone-shaped rice is a symbol of mountains and volcanoes. The tradition originated from ancient Javanese people as an offering to the Gods (who usually live in the mountains) for the abundance of harvest and Their many blessings.

23. Pempek

This savory delicacy fish cake from Palembang in the south of Sumatra is normally served with yellow noodles, cucumber, and poured with sour sauce. You can also find ones that have eggs filling.

24. Otak-otak

Here we have another fish cake snack from Palembang. Its distinguished serving is wrapped inside a banana leaf and then grilled with charcoal like sate. You shouldn’t be so surprised by now that you will also need peanut sauce to dip into.

25. Gorengan

You can’t never say no to this cheap but tasty street snack! You can find it almost in every corner of the street.

With only Rp.5000 you get 5 of these assorted gorengan of your choice from tofu, tempe, cassava, breaadfruit, banana, sweet potato, and my personal favorite bakwan (deep fried mix of shredded cabbage, carrots, and bean sprouts).

Oh, and abang gorengan will give you free chili.

26. Kerak Telor

Betawi people in Jakarta have kerak telor as their traditional snack. It is basically a kind of spicy omelette fried with glutinous rice and served with serundeng (fried shredded coconut) and fried shallot.

27. Bakpia

Bakpia is Yogyakarta’s specialty other than Gudeg. This round sweet rolls is traditionally stuffed with mug beans. However, there also many other flavors available like cheese, chocolate, and even durian.

28. Lumpia

If you’re familiar with spring rolls, lumpia is exactly what it is. It is stuffed with bamboo shoots, minced meat, and some veggies. Served in baby shallots and sour soy sauce or simply bite it with chili pepper.

29. Sambal & Lalapan

Lalapan is a plate of vegetables. Indonesian lalapan usually consists of cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, lemon basil, and papaya leaves.

Sambal is a mixture of many kinds of chili peppers. It is the only thing you ever need to eat side by side with every Indonesian food.

30. Kerupuk

Indonesia have many kinds of crackers. Prawn, fish, garlic, cassava.. you name it, we make it. Never eat any Indonesian food without kerupuk.

Es Teh Manis

Last but far from least, a glass of sweet ice tea is the only drink you need to cool off your burning throat from eating all of those sambal.

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