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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.