Top 40+ Famous Food of Indonesia with Rich Taste Must Try
Like we know, Indonesia is famous because its own scenery, and almost all of it because the scenery. However do you know if Indonesia is rich more than that? So you right, Indonesia is famous also because the the culture. Five religions and thousands ethnicity which make this country is so unique than another one.
- Religion in Indonesia
- Largest Ethnic Groups of Indonesia
- Highest Mountain in Indonesia
- Largest Lakes in Indonesia
Yea you also not wrong when hear Indonesia also rich of dishes. Who doesnt know about nasi goreng? Its one of favorite dish for all people world wide! Is that all? Of course not 🙂 Today we will talk about Indonesian dishes which are very special and make you feel the unforgetable experiences, so who are they? And here we go, famous Indonesian dishes we have to try when visit there!
Theres lot different types of satay in South East Asia and you can find more when already arrived in Indonesia. The most common satay we can get is chicken and goat satay. What make this satay different with others is the meat which marinated with sweet soy sauce and after that need to be skewered. This satay usually served with the rice cakes with peanut sauce over it. we can get this it through streets vendors and highly addictive because can attracted customers only from the smell!
2. Beef rendang
This dish is originated from Padang, West Sumatra which famous because its spicyness and the richness in the flavor. Rendang is also simply Indonesian’s traditional steak and we can only get them when very well-done. Rendang literally means dry curry which actually dry beef stew. Rendang basically a meat, normally beef but sometime also can be changed into chicken, liver, goat, or another meal. Rendang is cooked in coconut milk and spices until dry resulting in an intensive concoction texture and taste
3. Fried rice
Who doesnt want and like Indonesian fried rice? Its the most vertalized dish and we can mixed it with veggies, chicken, beef, seafood, and anything we want which we’ll combined with rice. What make Indonesian fried rice more special is when we used sweet thick say sauce (usually called as kecap) and with acar (picked cucumber & carrot). Usually this dish also has a lot of chili and veggies inside and that make this mouth watering.
4. Martabak (Pancake)
There are two types martabak in Indonesia, which are salty and sweet one. Salty one usually called as martabak telor and the filling is about meenced beef, scallions, also onions. The other one which sweeet is called a smartabak manis, and its look like a pancake from Indonesia. The topping from martabak manis is variated, such as chocolate, cheese, peanut, banana, and so on.
5. Nasi uduk (Uduk rice)
When we tasted this dish, we already know its rich or coconut milk and have wonderful cardamom flavor. Nasi uduk is cooked with so many spices, like pandan and bay leaves, lemon grass, comander seeds, and of course the coconut milk. Nasi uduk also a Jakarta’s traditional good and we can mixed that with fried chicken, omelette, fried tempe, crispy crackers, and so on.
6. Bakso (Meatball)
Bakso is Indonesian meat balls which served in chicken broth soup and we can eat that with rice vercimelli or yellow noodles, celery, and of course with sambal. There are two main version of bakso, which are Chinese one and another one is more Indonesian style. Both of them are delicious and made from minced meat mixed wth some tapioca starch.
7. Bubur ayam (Chicken Porridge)
This dish usually eaten as breakfast and its a rice porridge served with a shredded chicken, cakwe (Chinese erullers), crispy fried shallots, also chopped scallions. Its also considered as best common street food dishes beside every country around South East Asia has their own version of rice porridge.
Gudeg is one of traditional food hail from Yogyakarta, in Central Java. Gudeg is young jack fruit that biased with palm sugar, coconut milk, bay leaves, lemon grass, also galangal. Gudeg also usually served with rice as main dish, and can accompanied with other common side dishes, such as chicken or curried cow skin. We got lot of taste in one single plate, like savory from the coconut milk, sambel goreng krecek, and sweet from the jack fruit. Gudeg also become best and tastied traditional dish from Yogyakarta.
9. Rawon (beef Stew)
Rawon is dish made of beef stew which come from East Java and has keluak (black nuts) as the main spices. Keluak give a strong nutty taste and dark in colour. Beef rawon is served soup with rice and complemented with baby bean sprouts, a squeeze of lime, and sambal.
10. Gado-gado (Indonesian Salad)
Gado-gado is one Indonesian salad as a combination of boiled vegetables doused generously with peanut sauce dressing. Althought is called as salad, gado-gado also contain compressed rice cakes and can be eaten as main dish or snack . We can get this dish in the street and the vendor will mixed up the peanut sauce with the vegetables. The vegetables usually including bean sprouts, water morning glory, long beans, tofus, and so on. Gado-gado also become best vegetarian dishes from Indonesia.
11. Sayur asem
Sayur asem is tamarind soup made from peanuts, young jack fruit, melinjo, long beans, chayote, corn, meat stock, and of course tamarind. Sayur asem also known as Sundanese and Betawi dish in Western Java. Its also one of sour soups that make us almost when you sip it become sour.
12. Sop buntut (Oxtail soup)
Although believed that sop buntut (oxtail soup) was invented in London in the 17th century, Indonesia has best popular oxtail soup which also known as sop buntut. The oxtail is usually friend or barbecued and combine with soup based and considered as healthy also hearty soup which loved by many people. Sop buntut is often a clear soup with the oxtail is summered in broth with carrots and potatoes with salty and lightly peppery broth with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon to remove any gamey taste. Like another Indonesian soups, we will eat this sop buntut accompanied by a plate of rice and we can also mixed it with fresh chopped chilies and sweet soy sauce.
13. Nasi tumpeng
This dish usually be served in ceremonial event and this coner shaped rice with side dishes also garnished styled around it. nasi tumpeng is very highly valved and has sacred meaning behind it, and therefore should be prepared accordingly to the rules. Nasi tumpeng usually served in bamboo woven crock called as “tampah” with a banana leaf as its base.
There are many types of nasi tumpeng in Javanese rituals and each other of them has their own meaning all focused on the various meanings of life and used in different purpose. Each set of nasi tumpeng must contain several elements which from soil (potatoes or peanuts), ground (vegetables), animals (chicken), and from sea (seafood). Theres also essential ingredients which is rice and can be plain, steamed rice, uduk rice, or yellow rice.
Pempek is a dish which made of fish and tapioca and came from Palembang. Pempek has variety shapes and size also most popular one called as Kapal Selam (submarine) which contains egg in the midle. Pempek also sprinkled with shrimp powder and served with cuka (a dark dipping sauce made from vinegar, chill, and sugar).
Like another Indonesian street food, this dish also has their special sauce, also known as with their peanut sauce. Its also considered as Indonesian dimsum and its contain steamed fish dumplings. Not only steamed fish, its also has potato, cabbage, and eggs with peanut sauce. If we want a real one we can buy that from bicycle vendor or we can enjoy that in restaurant. Beside its eaten with peanut taste, we also can add sweet soy sauce and dash of lime juice.
Rujak is already famous for some countries and considered as one of most favorite healthy snacks or desserts! There are some kinds of rujak we can get while in Indonesia, such as rujak cuka (Balinese vinegar fruit salad where the fermented fish also prawn paste added into sauce), rujak uleg (has a lot grinded palm sugar and extra peanut), and so on.
17. Soto Betawi
Soto Betawi is one type of Indonesian soup which usually prepared with beef and boiled with so much aromatic herbs like lemon grass, Indonesian bay leaves, and favor with so much spices like candle nut, galangar, garlic, shallots, and often combination of both cow milk and coconut milk. This soup usually served in bowl, topped with crispy fried shallos, eaten with plate of rice, and some Indonesian pickles. Indonesian soto Betawi will probably not be that attracting to foreigners because it include beef offal’s.
18. Ayam bakar Taliwang
This types of grilled chicken originates from the island of Lombok and its popular because the spicy taste throughout Indonesia. The chicken itself is so colorful, not too tender but enough texture so we can feel the chicken juices in every bites. You can missed this dish if youre fan of spicy food 🙂
Ayam Taliwang is said to be a dish favorited by Sasak nobility, Abdul Hamid which claims to have invented the dish in 1970. Ayam Taliwang is made with chicken with cut and cleaned prior to griling. Once it has been grilled halfway, its removed from the grill and tendersed with a nestle. Its also need dipped in cooking oil and after several seconds in oil, it need to put in spicy sauce of garlic, chili, and shrimp paste. After that, we can fried or grilled it and served with a side of water spinach (plecing) also eggplant (beberuk) covered with chili sauce.
19. Nasi bakar (Baked rice)
Like we say, Indonesian is big fan of rice and we cant live separated from rice. Nasi bakar isn’t usual one because we normally eat steam or fried rice. Nasi bakar is wrapped in banana leaf with some shred-ed chicken, basil leaf, and special seasoning mixed into the steamed rice and grill on traditional grill over charcoal. The burned banana leaf produced a unique aroma upon this rice. This dish a relatively newly developed in Indonesia dish around 2000’s, and its probably derived from nasi timbel rice wrapped in banana leaf.
20. Soto ayam
Soto ayam is chicken soup which yellow and has slightly spicy normally served with rice cakes and vermicerly rice noodles. Its served with boiled egg, fried shallot, celery leaves, and herbs. Its heavy enough for a meal when we can found this good in many streets, dining restaurants, or any luxirous hotels. The meals that are most commonly used are chicken and beef; but there also some variations which include offal, mutton, or water buffalo. Soto ayam also has common spices, like shallots, garlic, turmeric, galangal, ginder, candle nuts, and pepper.
This dish is originally a Sundanese food from the Western Java. Some of the most common versions of pepes include chicken, different types of fish, tofu, or mushrooms mixed with shallots, garlic, chilies, turmeric, candle nut, and lemon basil. These ingredients inside are all wrapped in banana leaf and cooked smashed together really well and the banana leaf gives an extra green essence to whatever cooked inside. Banana leaves gives an earthy flavor that works well with the rich Manadonese spices. This fish is rubbed with spice paste or mixture and be steamed first and then grill in charcoal or baked on the oven. These combination between complet spices blend with banana leafs aroma should be eaten gingerly.
This dish is considered as sinful because we cant help do seduced it when already addicted. To get one pack of these, we only need about 25 scents and we can get quick and satisfying snack. Indomie also has so many flavours so we can choose which one will be our favorite flavor.
Some of the flavors are soto ayam, beef rendang, original, and so on also the package already including chili powder. In here, Indomie also eaten at breakfast, snack, lunch or supper. When we want to eat it, we need to boil the noodles for 3-5 mins, mix all the ingredients and tada! We have a very tasty meal.
23. Mie ayam (Chicken Noodles)
Mie ayam is one popular dish here which served with chicken broth soup and has some toppings which are sweet seasoned chicken, scallion, kai choy, and dumplings. This dish is influenced by Chinese culture because its used some Chinese sauce.
Mie ayam itself depending on the areas, such as its taste sweeter in Central Java or more Chinese when served in Medan, North Sumatra. It has many things to complete this dish, such as meat balls, bolied and fried wontons, also sliced tripes.
Ketoprak is one of traditional dishes and popular choice among street food. Main ingredients of ketoprak including rice cake, fried tofu, rice vamicelli, bean sprouts, and mixed together with peanut sauce. This dish very popular in Jakarta and we can get in another part of Java. Normally, the base of the sauce is ground in pestle and mortar and we need to grind the shallot, garlic, sambal, and shrimp paste as the sauce.
Ketoprak also considered as best one because the crunchy vegetables, fresh celery, and deep flavor of the sauce. Its not belong to vegetarian dish because the shrimp paste.
Pecel is veggies mixed with peanut sauce and kind a look like gado-gado but its usually without rice cakes or ketupat. Beside that, we can add other companion ingredients like tempe and rempeyek. Pecel is thick and hearty, spicy and sweet, also bursting with flavor. The uniqueness from pecel is the peanut sauce because its used kaffir lime leaves and add refreshing taste to the sauce. The vegetable which usually is variated from one vendor to another vendor, or one town to another town. The same things for the vegetables is usually have low cabs. Pecel also has lot of version, such as pecel Blitar, Nganjuk, Ponorogo, and Madiun.
26. Opor ayam
Opor ayam is one of things we should have in eventually curry but it has date, which is in Eid-ul Fitr. This chicken made in coconut milk and usually eaten with rice cakes and fried beef live (sambal goreng hati). This recipes popular in Java island and bit similar to curry but has legit taste, yet still delicious and aromatic. This dish also good to served with steamed rice also yellow rice.
27. Otak-otak (Fish Cake)
We already have fish dish from Palembang and now its time to talk about another fish dish from Java. Otak means “brains” in Indonesian language and its called like that because how resembles the brown in certain way. Indonesian otak-otak is made of fish along with another spices which make this more tasty. This fish paste is wrapped in banana leaves then steam and grilled on the charcoal, also known as grilled fish cake in banana leaves.
Otak-otak also can be found in another countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. The color of the dish usually brown reddish and can be served with nasi lemak and coconut milk rice. The famous otak-otak is originated come from Makasaar, also Jakarta and Palembang. Theres also two kind of otak-otak which can be grilled or fried.
Betawi people in Jakarta has its kerak telor as their traditional snack. Kerak telor is basically spicy omelette with glutinous rice and covered with srundeng (fried shreded coconut) and also dried shrimp as its topping. We usually can found the vendor of kerak telor during annual Jakarta fair and visitors who come to there also can buy some of them. One of them as to scrape the flesh and mix it with sticky rice and some seasoning.
Lumpia is Indonesian spring roll which are very different with another countries. Lumpia is one of famous Asian desserts which become favorite in west Europe, especially in Netherlands. Theres also lot of variation, such as chicken, shrimp, or meat. Which make this different with another one because its always including bamboo shoots. Other things which made this popular because the nutrition value of this snack is very high, low fat, lot of vegetables, also match to vegetarian because very healthy.
We also can include bean sprouts and tofu and theres also version of lumpia which we called as “lumpia basah”. Lumpia basah is one type which doesnt need to bake and we need to eat that directly because it will goes bad when not eat right away.
30. Sate Padang
Like satay we have talked before, sate Padang is one unique type of Indonesian satay which originally from Padang, in the western of Sumatra. The skewers of meat which include beef pieces, tounge, and offal are first marinated in mixture of so much spices than grilled on flaming charcoal.
Sate padang usually served with sliced rice cake and then covered with brown coloured sauce also sprinkled with crispy shallots. Sate padang is typically sold as street food in push cart and the curry sauce which make this really different with another satay.
31. Batak grilled pork
This dish come from outside Java, especially from Lake Toba in Sumatra. Batak grilled pork also considered as traditional which usually be grilled or roasted. What make this dish unique than another grilled pork because it has rich flavor, bit salty but not too fatty and make it as great one because we always can feel the juicy and succulent. Its also famous dish in Netherlands which available in Chinese and Indonesian restaurants.
32. Ayam goreng (Fried Seasoned Chicken)
Ayam goreng maybe sounds similar to another fried chicken, but some spice which usually used by this Indonesian dish is exactly what made this dish unique than another fried chicken. In Indonesia, ayam kampung is a chicken type which usually to be cooked.
The size definitely not really small and have sigh texture rubber to them but with every comes is more and more chicken country flavor. The chicken also not heavily breaded or buttered with marinated lot of harlic and shallows also then deep friend into serious golden crispiness. Ayam goreng traditionally enjoyed in dishes of fried rice, in top of fried vegetables, or devoured fresh out of the skillet wing in your fingers.
33. Pecel lele
Pecel lele is very famous and common Indonesian street food also often served at street side restaurants and local food tent known as warungs. The catfish prepared pretty simple, just salted and sometime rubbed with some coriander and turmeric then deep fried until extra crispy all the way through.
Whats make this unique is because the sambal make this dish as delicious one. This dish also often associated with Lamongan city in Surabaya which majority of pecel lele seller had come for. Now a days, we also can find this dish in Singapore and Malaysia.
34.Sop kaki kambing (Goat’s Feet Soup)
This dish are especially for meat lovers and particularly for goat lovers. When we eat this dish, we can choose whatever parts of the goat we want to eat which already pre-cooked, like goat feet, eye socket, or even the goat brain. Indonesian sop kaki kambing would be different from Indian Muslim version which we can found in Singapore.
The coconut milk gives rich to the taste, while lime juice add a sour edge, and we can also have potatoes or vegetative crackers on the side. This dish mostly associated with Malaysia or Medan, Betawi, and Madura cuisine.
Nasi liwet is one dish which similar with nasi uduk and considered as traditional Javanese style of cooking rice that includes coconut milk and chicken broth wih the smell of bay leaves also lemon grass. To eat this, theres always some side dishes such as salted fish, fried chicken, beef, tempe & tahu, and something else which will become your choice.
This dish basically rice cooked in coconut milk, chicken stock, lemon grass, and Indonesian bay leaves which also give us very rich and aromatic taste. Its usually eaten for breakfast, but for now also become popular choice for luch and supper. In Kepraton district, Surakarta, nasi liwet usually only served as super or at night.
Lot of Indonesian dishes are created to be served with rice cakes. Lontong sayur is quite a versatile dish and others considered that as breakfast item, snack, main dish, and sometime also can be served in wedding reception. Even we gonna make this dish in big portion, it will be fine as long we keep that in our fridge. This also ind of breakfast we can get from food vendors with low price and we can also get the protein from boiled egg, beef, or chicken. There’s also some vegetables which complete this dish, like chayote, green long bean, green bean, young jack fruit, green papaya, bamboo shoot, etc.
37. Fish head curry
Fish head curry is just general term because we gonna eat this whole body fish. This dish is typical cuisine from Aceh and eventually will make us addicted to it because of the spices. Its basically need coconut milk and lime also several spices like shallot, garlic, red chili, coriander, and so on. We also can eat this with plate of rice.
38. Nasi Padang
Its one of probably famous dish from Indonesia which mixed rice with some side dishes and its originally from Padang, West Sumatra. Nasi Padang also include some spices like galangal, turmeric, kaffer, lime leaves, garlic, shallot, and lot of herbs which make this dish a special one. Nasi Padang also affordable dishes because the price only about Rp. 9.000,- – Rp. 50.000,- each plates.
Even jengkol known as one of favorite dish in Indonesia, its also become an evil too if we eat this too much. When jengkol bean are cooked, they become starchy one like potato because gummy. Usually its also mixed with gulai sauce which tick and spicy, and the yellow color come from turmeric.
Sate lilit is probably one of the most popular authentic Balinese dishes part beside babi guling and bebek betutu. This satay is made from variated meat, which come from pork, beef, chicken, and also seafood. The flavor of the fish will really good because the lemon grass which used as skewers and we will grill that use as charcoal. Lilit means “to wrap around” which correspond to making method to wrappinga round instead of skewering the meat. These sate are rich in the seasoning, mix of some spices and herbs which including lime leaves, coconut milk, garlic, shallot, turmeric, and pepper.
41. Pisang goreng sambal roa
Its one of delicious snack from Manado which can help us to get full in short time. This time, the fried banana will eat with chili sauce and its made by roa fish; a type of smoked fish which we can get from Manado.
Sambel roa is made from chilies, tomatoes, garlic, salt, also pepper. Mixed of sweet and spicy feels from this dish make us warmer and also can feel the crispy from banana. We can get this dish when visit North Sulawesi.
Its an Indonesian dish originally from Yogyakarta and full of seasoning like curry. Various spices which included here make the taste savory, sweet, also juicy. The basic its include coconut milk which mixed with garlic, red onion, galangal, turmeric, lemon grass, also lemon leaves. This dish sometime can be grilled or fried in hot oil.
Thats 42 famous Indonesian food you can try when visit here! Very unique and attractive, right? Hope you enjoy your journey and various dishes from this beautiful country!