When it comes to food, Indonesia has a lot to offer. Many kinds of food all over the regions are made with various ingredients. There is always a meal to try for any kind of person out there, even for the vegetarians. Here are 25 Indonesian Vegetarian Food made with the best vegetable-based elements that you might want to try.
1. Sayur Asem
Sayur Asem can be loosely translated as ‘sour vegetable soup’. The soup is not made with any ingredients from animals. The broth of the soup is made from water boiled with some spices and herbs. The sour of the vegetable comes from tamarind.
Some of the vegetables that are used in the soup are long beans, leafy greens, corns and peanuts. The sourness of the soup depends on how much tamarind is put in.
Gado-Gado is often called as Indonesian version of salad. All of the vegetables used for this dish must be fresh.
The vegetables that are found in Gado-Gado are sliced cucumbers, diced carrots, cabbage and sometimes boiled bean sprouts. Proteins are also added to the food such as cut up fried tofu and tempeh. On top of all that, peanut sauce is poured to complete the dish. Boiled eggs are usually added but they can be excluded to make it vegetarian.
3. Sayur Lodeh
Sayur Lodeh is a very popular stew in Indonesia that you can almost find it anywhere you go. All the ingredients for Sayur Lodeh are fresh to make it tastier. The broth used in the stew is made from coconut milk. The vegetables included in the dish are long beans, jackfruit and some corns. Tofu and tempeh are also put into Sayur Lodeh.
Sometimes the stew is served with eggs but they be excluded. Some chilli peppers can also be added to make it a bit spicy.
4. Bakwan Jagung
Bakwan Jagung is made with corn fritters and rice flour. The corns are separated from the cobs. They are then mushed altogether with spices and the rice flour, almost like a batter. When all that is done, they are fried in small sizes.
The fried Bakwan Jagung are crispy and completely vegetarian. They are usually eaten with rice and other kinds of dishes. They can also be eaten like snacks with spicy chilli sauce.
Urap is a vegetarian food made with various kinds of greens. Usually the vegetables used for Urap are spinach, water spinach, long beans, basil, bean sprouts, young cassava leaves or papaya leaves. All those vegetables are steamed. The steamed vegetables are then mixed altogether with grated coconuts.
The grated coconuts are already added with garlic, chili, sugar, lime leaves and tamarind. Urap is often eaten with rice or other kinds of meals.
Read more: Famous Food of Indonesia
6. Lontong Sayur
Lontong Sayur consists of two main components. The first one is lontong which is steamed rice in long banana leaves. The second one is the sayur which is the vegetable soup. The vegetable soup is mainly made up of jack fruit that has not fully ripened yet with coconut milk as the broth.
Exclude any eggs or animal products. To serve Lontong Sayur, the lontong is cut up into small pieces. Then they are eaten with the vegetable soup.
Also read: Street Food in Bali
In some way, Pecel is a similar vegetarian food like Gado-Gado. What makes it different is the way it is served as well as the vegetables used in the dish. Greens such as cassava leaves are usually used in Pecel. It is steamed and mixed with bean sprouts, fried tempeh or tofu.
All of those are served with warm rice and spicy peanut sauce. Peanut crackers can also be an addition to the dish. Sometimes slices of cucumbers are also served in the dish to make it taste fresher.
Also read: Indonesian Street Food
8. Fruit Rujak
Fruit Rujak is a food made up completely with various fruits in Indonesia. The fruits that are most often used in Fruit Rujak are papaya, kedondong (jew plum), unripe mango, pineapple, jicama and water apple.
Read more: Indonesian Cultures
Sometimes cucumbers are also added. The fruits are sliced or cut into smaller pieces and served with a sweet, spicy, savoury sauce. To make sure the sauce is vegetarian, ask the person selling the food whether it is made with terasi(shrimp paste) or not.
9. Orek Tempe
Orek Tempe is basically fried tempeh. The tempeh is cut up into small, thin pieces. The tempeh pieces are then fried with sweet soy sauce until they are crispy. Chilis can also be added to add a slightly spicy taste to it. Orek Tempe is a popular vegetarian food in Indonesia. It is often eaten with rice.
The crispiness of the tempeh adds a special crunch. The sweet and spicy taste also gives more flavour.
10. Sambal Goreng Kentang
Sambal Goreng Kentang is basically fried spicy potato. It’s almost a similar food as Orek Tempe. But in this dish, the main star is the potato. The potato is diced into tiny cubes. The tiny cubes potato are then stir fried with some spices.
The spices used for the stiry fry include chili, shallots and garlic. Many people are fond of this vegetarian food. They eat it as a side dish to their rice.
11. Cap Cay
Cap Cay is a vegetarian food that actually originated from China. This Chinese dish is then modified to suit the taste of Indonesians. There are many kinds of Cap Cay. Some are made with seafood, chicken meat and beef. However, the most suitable one for a vegetarian dish is Cap Cay that is made only with vegetables.
Any kinds of meat used in Cap Cay can be asked to be excluded. The vegetables in the dish are carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, baby carrot, mushroom, leek, chopped garlic.
12. Tempe and Tahu Bacem
Tempe Bacem or Tahu Bacem is made from tempeh and tofu. The tempeh and tofu are cut into cakes. They are then marinaded for several hours in a lot of spices, sugar and coconut milk. Once all the ingredients have been properly absorbed, the tempeh and tofu are ready to cook.
Also read: Traditional Meal in Bali
Cooking them is simple, just fry with a bit of oil. This is a good way to give more flavour to tempeh and tofu.
13. Sayur Bayam
Sayur Bayam is a refreshing vegetarian soup that is very Indonesian. It is quick and easy to cook. The soup mainly consists of spinach, corns, garlic, shallot, salt and sugar. Sometimes tomatoes and carrots are added too.
Sayur Bayam is made by boiling all the vegetables and the spices together in a pot. Once everything is boiled to the right consistency and taste, then it is ready to eat. Sayur Bayam is a healthy dish to try.
14. Daun Ubi Tumbuk
Daun Ubi Tumbuk is also an Indonesian vegetarian food. It is a dish where cassava leaves are pounded. To prepare the leaves, they are pounded to the desired consistency. They are then fried with coconut milk.
Read more: Indonesian Cultural Activities
Other spices and herbs in this dish include lemongrass, ginger, shallots, chilis and garlic. All of those are mixed together and fried with the cassava leaves. Daun Ubi Tumbuk is a simple but flavourful dish.
15. Stir Fried Water Spinach
Stir Fried Water Spinach is another vegetarian dish that is quick and easy to make. It’s a very popular dish in Indonesia and tasty too. The main vegetable for this dish is water spinach. The water spinach are washed with clean water. After all the water spinach are cleaned, they are cut.
Then, they are fried in hot oil with garlic and shallots. For those who like food on the spicy side, some chilis could be added to the dish while everything is in the process of frying.
Other Indonesian Vegetarian Food (16-25)
Besides all the vegetarian food above, there are even more. Below are other varieties of Indonesian vegetarian food that might interest you:
- Vegetarian Fried Rice: A popular meal in Indonesia is fried rice. Most of the time, scrambled egg or shredded chicken are added. However, they can be excluded. The fried rice will then only have vegetables in it.
- Indonesian Curried Green Beans: In this dish, green beans are cooked as a curry. There are many spices in it including onion, cumin, turmeric, lemongrass and vegetable stock. This healthy dish bursts with flavours.
- Ketoprak: Ketoprak is a dish served in a very similar way as serving Gado-Gado. Ketoprak also uses peanut sauce. However, in Ketoprak there is rice vermicelli but in Gado-Gado there isn’t any.
- Perkedel Kentang: Perkedel Kentang is a dish consisting of mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes are mixed with herbs and spices. They are then fried with hot oil until golden crisp. (Also read:
- Traditional Balinese Breakfast)Plecing Kangkung: Plecing Kangkung is made from cold water spinach. It’s a side dish that is often served alongside the special plecing chili sauce that is made with a lot of spices.
- Tauge Goreng: Tauge Goreng basically means ‘Fried Bean Sprouts’. The bean sprouts are stir fried alongside tofu cubes, rice cake and noodle. This vegetarian dish is often accompanied with spicy sauce.
- Terong Balado: Terong Balado is a simple vegetarian dish but spicy. The only thing that serves as the main ingredient is eggplant. The eggplant is cut and then fried with chilis.
- Tiwul: Tiwul is a dish made with pounded cassava. The cassava is steamed with brown sugar. When that is done, grated coconut is added to complete the dish.
- Nasi Uduk: Nasi Uduk is just made up of rice. The rice is cooked with coconut milk, pandan leaves and lemongrass. Nasi Uduk is eaten with any desired side dishes.
- Bubur Manado: Bubur Manado is a porridge made from rice, pumpkin, corn and water spinach. It is often served with dried, salted fish but that could be taken out of the dish to make it vegetarian.
With this many vegetarian food to choose from, you’ll never run out of ideas on what food to try. Give them all a go and find out which one is your favourite.