If we’re talking about the culinary in Indonesia, it’ll be a never ending story because in this country with hundreds of island, there are a lot of kinds of food that you can find on each region. Starting from the most Western part of Indonesia, which is Sabang, to the most Eastern part, which is Merauke, you can find the meals that created with different ingredients, touch, and have a very interesting taste.
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In the previous articles, we already talked about some things about Indonesia culinary such as all kinds of food you can get in Bali island, the best breakfast in big cities like Jakarta and Yogyakarta, and even the types of Indonesian rice. But now, we want to tell you about the fifteen in total, the must eat dishes in Indonesia. We include some of the best ones that already famous. To see more complete of them, see the information below :
First thing first, we want to tell you about this wonderful Rendang. Do you know what Rendang is? Rendang is actually the most popular dish in Padang food set. Even though there are so many interesting side dishes in Padang restaurants like beef, chicken, and the others, Rendang still being a prima donna. Many people love it because of the richness inside every bite of it.
Cooking process of Rendang is not that simple. You need some more time to make the spices seep into the meat with coconut milk. If you want to make one, you’ll need a lot of time to cook it until its color turns dark or golden chocolate. Not only in Indonesia, you can even find this Rendang in all Padang restaurants all over the world like in Thailand, America, Singapore, Malaysia, and the other South East Asia countries.
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2. Gulai Belacan
The next one that should be included as one of must eat dishes in Indonesia is Gulai Belacan. There are some kinds of Gulai that you can find in this country, such as Gulai Kambing (Goat) and also Gulai (Sapi). So how about this Gulai Belacan? Gulai Belacan is a traditional meal from Riau province. Hunting this one on that particular area is very easy, remembering that you can find it in almost every restaurant there.
If the Gulai Kambing uses goat meats and beef for Gulai Sapi, this Gulai Belacan rather uses a different kind of meat. Gulai Belacan is made from a special type of shrimp that commonly be found in Riau called Pancet Shrimp. Even though it looks burning red, but actually is not that spicy. The shrimp then combined with other ingredients like Petai, coconut milk, tamarind, lime, salt, and sugar.
3. Mie Aceh
Do you know ramen? Yes, that delicious Japanese noodles is a great thing for basically everyone. It’s one famous food from Japan, that already famous in this world. In Indonesia, there’s also a noodle which is so special that it stands with the name of its original area named Mie Aceh. Mie Aceh or Aceh Noodle is a spicy and tasteful noodle from the western part of Indonesia.
The yellow thick noodle with slices of lamb and beef added with a special spicy sauce. There are also two different versions of Mi Aceh, the dry and soup version. In the dry version, you can expect a chewy noodle with some additions like fried onions, pickles, and lime. The soup version of Mi Aceh is also recommended, because the soup in it is actually quite good, even though it’s a little bit spicy.
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4. Nasi Goreng
Almost all foreign tourists have Nasi Goreng as one of their favorite Indonesian foods. Even though the Nasi Goreng basically means Fried rice, which is also common in their own areas, but they think there’s something about Indonesian Nasi Goreng. First, the food will be sold by a seller using a special wagon that circling some spots, usually residents.
During the night, there will be some customers who want the Nasi Goreng really bad. The spiciness of it combined with the hot temperature is really suitable for the cool night. With the price less than twenty thousand rupiahs, you can get a plate of Nasi Goreng that usually complete with some meats, pickles, and some crackers. That simple-looking dish can give your tongue a wonderful time.
5. Empek-empek Palembang
The next one is an item, a special chewy snack from Palembang named Empek-empek. Empek-empek made out of fish meats that grilled until soft and then combined with cornstarch. The mixture needed to be processed to make a good snack. But, before actually cooking them, you need some additional stuff like garlic, egg, some flavoring, and salt.
The final step is to cook them on low heat. The low heat is recommended because the higher level can burn them easily. So, Pempek is not only come with only one variant. In fact, there are a lot of variants that usually original based on the makers’ creativity. For example, there’s a Pempek Kapal Selam or Submarine Pempek, with eggs inside. Aside from that version of Pempek, there are others like Pempek Lenjer, Pempek Keriting, Pempek Keju (Cheese), Pempek Baso Sapi (Meatballs), and many more.
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6. Lontong Balap
The biggest city in East Java province is Surabaya. And in this very city, you can find like dozens of traditional food like Sego Sambel Mak Yeye, Rujak Cingur, Tahu Campur, and also this thing called Lontong Balap. Inside a portion of Lontong Bala, you can find some things like Lontong, Bean sprouts, a special ingredient called Lentho, Fried onions, Chili sauce, and also sweet soy sauce.
Usually, the Lontong Balap also served with its counterpart, Sate Kerang or Shells Satay. Besides the taste, the story about Lontong Balap is also interesting. Back in the old days, The Lontong Balap was sold in a big Kemaron (a container made out of clay). Every morning, the sellers were racing to Wonokromo Market to get the customers. And this activity was like a competition, a race. That’s why this food was named Lontong Balap (Lontong Race).
Back again from East Java to Jakarta to taste one of its best traditional dishes called Gado-gado. If you know a Salad, then this one is like the Indonesian Salad, but using nut sauce rather than mayo. Gado-gado consists of vegetables combined with nut sauce on top and also added with slices of boiled eggs, boiled potato, and some Emping crackers.
Just like Salad, you can just eat it like that using a spoon. You can add the additional stuff like Lontong or Ketupat for example. With them, you can have extra carbo for your beautiful day. You can get a portion of Gado-gado in some stalls around the city or if you’re lucky, there will be some sellers who are going around your home area selling it.
8. Bakso Malang
The next food that included inside the must eat dishes in Indonesia is Bakso Malang. Do you know Bakso? Bakso or Meatballs is a very common meal that you can find in almost all areas in Indonesia. Wherever you live in, you can find a seller or two who can serve you with a bowl of Bakso. The most famous one if Bakso Malang, that is known across the country.
Looking at it, there’s like no single difference between Bakso Malang and the other types of Bakso based on the looks. Basically, they just look the same. But, people agree that Bakso Malang tastes better. That’s why you can find Bakso Malang in every city on Indonesia. Bakso Malang also uses different stuffings such as cheese, shrimp, fish, and tendons.
9. Nasi Kuning / Nasi Tumpeng
Nasi Kuning or the yellow rice in English is a type of rice that you can find in Indonesia. Usually, people are eating Nasi Kuning on some occasions such as events, meetings and also ceremonies. But aside from those activities, you can order or make Nasi Kuning for usual days, if you really curious about the taste of Nasi Kuning.
Nasi Kuning is a combination of rice, turmeric, coconut milk, and some spices. Thanks to them, not only the color that different, but so the taste. Nasi Kuning isn’t served alone just like that, but there are also some delicious side dishes. In Bali island, Nasi Kuning is usually served during a special ceremony called Kuningan.
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Aside from the ten must eat dishes in Indonesia above, we also did prepare the smaller version of the list that filled with five more of them. So, you can also try them too if you want to fully explore the culinary world in this country.
- Iga Penyet
- Soto Banjar
- Gohu Ikan
- Rujak Cingur
So that’s our topic for today, the must eat dishes in Indonesia that you can easily get. Even though the taste of them is always so rich, but the price is always considered fairly affordable. Most of them are also easy to get, you can just visit the restaurants that can sell them their authentic dishes. If you have the capability, you should practice to make one of them and make your own creation.