Indonesian Food: Our Favourite Typical Dishes Of Indonesia

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In Indonesian cuisine, you will find an immense variety of flavors and colorful tropical ingredients. Recipes Indonesia Food with strong indigenous influence, but also dishes with Muslim influence (Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population), Chinese, Indian, Polynesian, and other nearby regions.

Each island in Indonesia is a world of flavors to be explored, and we are not talking about a few islands, Indonesia makes up the largest archipelago in the world with a total of 17,000 islands, with approximately 6,000 inhabited islands.

Enjoy our guide with over 30 typical Indonesian foods, and nikmati makananmu! (Good Appetite!)Traditional Indonesian FoodTempeh

Tempeh is one of the wonders of traditional Indonesian cuisine, made by the fermentation of soybeans in banana leaves. The flavor resembles nuts and mushrooms. It can be consumed in many ways, the most common being fried tempeh with seasonings. Tempeh is an excellent choice for vegetarian and vegan dishes, besides being a probiotic, it is rich in protein and fiber.

Read more: Everything about Tempeh – Indonesia’s most traditional ingredientTempeh | © Food’n RoadTempeh Orek

Super common in Indonesia, Tempeh Orek is fried tempeh, usually cut into small pieces, in a sauce called Kecap Manis. The Kecap Manis sauce consists of a sweetened soy syrup made with various ingredients such as chili, onion, garlic, tamarind juice, and kaffir lime leaves.Tempeh Orek | © Food’n RoadPecel

Typical of the island of Java, Pecel is a peanut sauce used in salads, which can be served with rice. The sauce is made with peanut butter and various seasonings such as pepper, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, sugar, galangal (known as Thai ginger), and shrimp paste.Base ingredient for Pecel | © Food’n RoadPecel Salad

The Pecel salad is a very healthy and refreshing dish, composed of bean sprouts and cooked vegetables of “various shades of green” like spinach, endive, green beans, cabbage, and cucumber, seasoned with pecel sauce.Pecel Salad | © Food’n RoadGado Gado

In Bahasa (the official language of Indonesia) gado-gado means “mixture” and this dish takes different types of boiled vegetables – bean sprout, spinach, green beans, cabbage, chayote (a kind of cucumber), and momordica, in addition to potatoes, tofu, boiled eggs, and tempeh, with peanut sauce as a side dish. The sauce for Gado-Gado salad is different from Pecel because it has coconut milk as an ingredient.Gado Gado | © Food’n RoadUrab SayurUrab Sayur | © Food’n Road

Urab Sayur is a typical Bali salad made with cooked vegetables (e.g. spinach, bean sprouts, carrots, and pod), sprinkled with fresh grated coconut and Sambal. It can be served as a meat accompaniment or only with rice, being a great vegetarian option.

Indonesian Coconut and Vegetable Salad

Urab sayur is a boiled vegetable salad traditional from Indonesia. What characterizes the dish is its dressing made with grated coconut and seasonings. A refreshing dish!

Sambal is a pepper-based sauce (usually red chili pepper) that serves as the basis for numerous recipes (e.g. sambal terasi, a dish made with sambal and fermented shrimp paste; sambal kacang, made with sambal and fried peanuts). A traditional way to make sambal is to grind the chilies on a stone (called cobek in Bahasa) using a pestle (ulekan), this technique makes the sauce with a good texture and spicy.Sambal | © Food’n RoadSambal Mangga

As the name says, the dish consists of almost ripe mangoes cut into thin strips covered with sambal (in addition to peppers, the sauce has shrimp paste and a little lemon broth). A great accompaniment for grilled fish and shrimp.Sambal Mangga | © Food’n RoadSambal Terung

Terung means eggplant in Bahasa – this dish consists of fried eggplants covered with a sambal made with very potent peppers (chili and bird’s eye), garlic, shrimp paste, sugar, and salt.Sambal Terung | © Food’n RoadSatay (Sate)

Satay is meat skewer (can be chicken, lamb, beef giblets, fish, and scallops) topped with sauce, usually made with soy and peanut sauce.

It is a very popular dish throughout Indonesia and every region of the country has its typical satay. An example is the Sate Padang, which originated from Padang (a town on the island of Sumatra) which consists of a skewer with beef or tongue served in a thick sauce made with rice flour and spices such as turmeric, ginger, curry, coriander, cumin, and galangal.Satay | © Food’n RoadSate Usus

If you want to taste some more exotic satay try Sate Usus, made with chicken intestine (the intestine is cooked and then fried), an appetizer that usually accompanies bubur ayam (rice porridge), well-known street food in Indonesia.Sate Usus | © Food’n RoadBeef Rendang

This Indonesian dish has already won the title of the best food in the world. Beef Rendang is typical of the Minangkabau region, west of Sumatra in Indonesia. It is beef cooked for a long period with a super aromatic sauce made with coconut milk, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and galangal. Very popular throughout Indonesia, beef rendang is also well appreciated in Malaysia.

List of typical Malaysian foodsBeef Rendang with Lemang | © Food’n RoadNasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng has the status of Indonesian national food (just as Pad Thai in Thailand). Nasi Goreng means fried rice, and the recipe was invented for the purpose of reusing leftover cooked rice. The dish is made with rice, soy sauce, garlic, pepper, ginger, and shallot (a kind of onion) with a fried egg on top and krupuk (an Indonesian chips that will be described below).Nasi Goreng | © Food’n RoadNasi Campur

Nasi Campur (mixed rice) is a very popular Indonesian dish consisting of rice in the center of the plate surrounded by several “small servings” of side dishes such as fish or fried shrimps, boiled beef, egg and various types of vegetables (usually you choose the side dishes from the buffet, and they vary according to the region).

Discover even more about the famous rice dishes in the worldNasi Campur | © Food’n RoadIkan Goreng

Ikan Goreng means fried fish. In this Indonesian dish, the fish is marinated in a paste usually containing lemon juice, chili pepper, coriander, turmeric, galangal, and shallot (the ingredients may vary according to the region of the country), and later fried in immersion. It is common to serve Ikan Goreng with rice and sambal.Ikan Goreng | © Food’n RoadMie Goreng

Mie Goreng (fried noodle) is a street food very famous in Indonesia and similar to Nasi Goreng, but with noodles instead of rice. The dish is derived from a Chinese recipe but without pork, since the majority of the Indonesian population is Muslim. Mie Goreng can be made with sautéed fried noodles with Kecap Manis sauce, egg, bean sprout, meat (chicken, beef, shrimp, bakso), and vegetables.Mie Goreng | © Food’n RoadJamu

Jamu is a generic term used to designate a type of drink from traditional Indonesian medicine made with natural ingredients such as seeds, fruits, roots, leaves, flowers, and tree bark. Some examples of ingredients used are turmeric and ginger (rich in antioxidants that prevent various diseases). Traditionally Jamu is consumed as a tonic in small, daily doses but the drink also serves as the basis for other preparations.

Jamu with Turmeric and Tamarind

Jamu is a traditional Indonesian medicinal drink made with herbs and spices. This classic version is made with turmeric and tamarind. Take a shot of this elixir!

Kopi Joss is a cup of coffee served with a piece of hot charcoal, an exotic drink typical of Yogyakarta (Java). Kopi means coffee and Joss refers to the noise of hot coal falling on the drink. According to popular tradition, charcoal serves to neutralize the acidity of coffee, in addition to reducing impurities (attention: to take coffee it is necessary to remove the charcoal).Kopi Joss | © Food’n RoadBakso

Bakso is a meatball made with cassava starch, egg, and pepper. Beef is usually used but can also be made with chicken, fish, or shrimp. It is served in a soup (also called Bakso) with noodles, plus other ingredients such as tofu, boiled egg, wonton (gyoza-like dumpling), and vegetables.Bakso | © Food’n RoadPerkedel Jagung

They are very addictive fried dumplings made with corn! Also known as corn fritters, it’s a common accompaniment in local restaurants called Warung. In addition to corn, Perkedel takes ingredients such as coriander, kaffir leaves, turmeric, and galangal.Perkedel Jagung | © Food’n RoadGulai Jantung PisangGulai Jantung Pisang | © Food’n Road