Top 10 Indonesian Food You Have to Try

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Indonesia is characterized by different cultures and influences spread across 1,904,569 square kilometers, making it the world’s largest archipelagic nation.

“Indonesian food culture depends on regional cooking between 17,500 islands, 38 provinces, and 700 dialects,” said the author of Indonesian Cookbooks, William Wongsu.

Although he had traveled and eaten various types of food throughout Indonesia for decades, the 75-year-old author of “Indonesia Flavors: The Wonder of William Wongsu’s Cooking” confirmed that he had not yet tasted all the local dishes.

Here are some dishes that offer a sample of the many delicious flavors available in the country.

Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang was described as one of the world’s most flavorful meals, as this dry curry dish is associated with an ethnic group called “Minangkabau,” indigenous to western Sumatra.

Rendang is a great way of preserving meat, which is essential for the people of Minangkabau as they travel.

There is no single recipe for the dish, but cooking it with beef seems to be the most common method.

It is cooked in coconut milk and spices, including lemongrass, gulangan, garlic, turmeric, ginger, and chilli, for long hours until the meat is largely soft.

Tempeh

Tempeh has been a constant element of Javanese culture for over four centuries, and this dish has become a rising star among plant-based diets worldwide.

The search engine “Google” dedicated a day to this dish in October 2022.

This low-fat, high-protein meat alternative is made from fermented soybeans in banana leaves, and sometimes other leaves, for two to three days.

Its flavor is often described as nutty or mushroom-like, and it can be cooked like any kind of meat. It can also be baked, fried, or boiled in different dishes.

Satay

Satay is a staple food in southeastern Asian restaurants around the world.

The way these skewers are prepared varies from region to region, often containing different types of meat, vegetables, spices, sauces, and seasoning.

One of Indonesia’s most beloved varieties is satay chicken, served with sweet peanut sauce and a little spice.

Nasi Goreng

If there is a key element that represents Indonesia’s multifaceted culture, it is “Nasi Goreng,” which literally translates into “fried rice.”

Each house has a different recipe made of different ingredients and side dishes, but the use of “terrassy” (shrimp paste) and “kickpack manis” (sweet and thick Indonesian soy sauce) uniforms almost all recipes.

Nasi Goreng is a flexible meal that is eaten throughout the day and is popular in Singapore and Malaysia as well.

Krupuk

Although shrimp crackers are common in diets in many countries, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, the credit for providing this snack to the Dutch and then bringing it to Europe belongs to Indonesians.

The “Krupuk” piece is arguably the best side dish for any meal and can also be used as an edible spoon to enjoy more sauce.

Soto Ayam

As with many dishes in Indonesia, the taste of this soup varies depending on the area where the archipelago is located.

One of the most common sotos on Indonesian menus is the “soto ayam” (chicken soup) that brings comfort.

Gado Gado

When you chop the boiled vegetables, add the boiled eggs, and add a room full of peanut sauce, you will get Indonesia’s modest and delicious national authority, “Gado Gado.”.

This classic Indonesian peanut sauce is made with ground roasted peanuts, chili, shrimp paste, tamarind pulp or juice, a little sugar, and salt.

Sambal

Sambal may not be among Indonesia’s five official national dishes, namely “Nasi Goring,” “Rindang,” but for many Indonesians, a meal without it is not complete.

This combination of chili mixing is made with a range of ingredients, such as shrimp paste, sugar, salt, and lemon juice.

Today, you can find it in many famous Indonesian dishes, from Nasi Goering to Jado Jado.

It is believed that more than 100 copies of “Sambal” are provided throughout Indonesia.

Indomie

Although Indomie is not a plate of food, the brand of this vermicelli may be one of the most popular in the country.

The delicious Indomie noodles, which have dazzled the market since 1972, have brought together a large number of fans around the world.

It is often classified as Indonesia’s most popular brand and has been voted one of the best instant noodles in the world by international media.

Jammu

“Jammu” is a traditional Indonesian herbal drink made from various mixtures of plants and spices; ginger and turmeric are common ingredients.

The drink is believed to enhance the body’s immune system.

There are many ways to make jammu, and Widodo confirmed that he has been drinking it daily for the past two decades, with daily consumption increasing to three times a day during the pandemic.

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