Indonesian Foodporn

Selamat Datang! It is time to examine the varied cuisine of the Indonesian archipelago!

A market in Makassar, Sulawesi
A market in Makassar, Sulawesi

Indonesian cuisine is one of the most vibrant and colourful cuisines in the world, full of intense flavour. It is diverse, in part because Indonesia is composed of approximately 6,000 populated islands and with more than 300 ethnic groups calling the country their home. Many regional cuisines exist, often based upon indigenous culture and foreign influences. Sumatran cuisine (including the famous Masakan Padang) often has Indian influence, featuring curried meat and vegetables, while Javanese cuisine is mostly indigenous, with a hint of Chinese influence. The cuisines of Eastern Indonesia are similar to Polynesian and Melanesian cuisine.

The food from Indonesia often demonstrates complex flavour, acquired from certain ingredients and bumbu spices mixture. The six main Indonesian cooking methods are goreng (frying), bakar (roasting), panggang (grilling), tumis (stir-frying), rebus (boiling), and kukus (steaming).

indococonut

The Tumpeng
The Tumpeng

Some popular Indonesian dishes such as nasi goreng, gado-gado, sate, and soto are ubiquitous in the country and considered as national dishes. The official national dish of Indonesia however, is the Tumpeng, chosen by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism as the dish that binds the diversity of Indonesia’s various culinary traditions. Today, some popular dishes that originated in Indonesia are now common across much of Southeast Asia. Indonesian dishes such as satay, beef rendang, and sambal are also favoured in Malaysia and Singapore.

I have enjoyed researching through many of the Indonesian foods, and although I have not managed to yet try many of them, it certainly makes me want to return to Indonesia soon and make up for lost time! I have provided photos and brief descriptions of many of my favourite Indonesian dishes, snacks, and even the odd drink or two! Please find another informative take on Indonesian cuisine from this great, mouth-watering article by Indah Susanti!

Pisang Goreng
Pisang Goreng

Pisang Goreng is a deep-fried banana and is one of the most popular street foods in all of Indonesia. I consider Pisang Goreng to be one the top 5 street foods for backpackers in the whole of Asia! There are so many delicious snacks in Indonesia, that there is no need to list them all here. Instead, check out my article on Indonesia’s best street food.

Rendang
Rendang
Dadiah
Dadiah
Saksang
Saksang

Saksang is a dish from Sumatra and where livestock is cooked in its own blood. The Batak people of Sumatra have a special affiliation for Saksang as they consider it to be a traditional meal of their wedding celebrations. Rendang is a major buffalo dish from Minangkabau cuisine in Sumatra and has since been exported all over South East Asia, where in some countries buffalo is replaced by beef. Dadiah is a traditional SWEET from Sumatra. It is water buffalo milk thickened to look and feel like yoghurt.

Ayam Bakar
Ayam Bakar
Bubur Ayam
Bubur Ayam

Ayam Bakar is a delectable chicken that is charcoal-grilled and mixed with garlic and spices during cooking, and then usually served with rice. Bubur Ayam is a rice congee served with shredded chicken and condiments, including soybeans and eaten for breakfast. These chicken dishes are very popular all over Indonesia, and I have a created a list of the top ayam dishes in Indonesia, if you need more information.

Nasi Goreng
Nasi Goreng
Soto
Soto
Nasi Goreng Gila
Nasi Goreng Gila

The national dish of Indonesia is Nasi Goreng. Nasi goreng literally means “fried rice”, and is a good way to use the leftovers from the previous meal and not let them go to waste. Often vegetables are thrown into the mix, and nowadays many different styles of nasi goreng are available. This includes Nasi Goreng Gila, which means “crazy fried rice”, and it is a modern take on the classic dish. Expect the unexpected! Soto is the Indonesian soup that is often served with fresh vegetables and prawn crackers. A wide array of meats can be used.

Mie Goreng
Mie Goreng
Gado-Gado
Gado-Gado
Gudeg
Gudeg

Mie Goreng is another popular dish of Indonesia. It has origins in Chinese cuisine, and is basically fried noodles served with meats and vegetables of your choice, and egg. Gado-Gado is another lunchtime option, with it being a salad of boiled vegetables, topped with a sweet and sticky peanut sauce, and can be dressed with crackers. It is a very popular snack at hawker centres in Jakarta and all over Java. Gudeg is a Yogyakarta favourite and is made from young unripe jack fruit, then boiled for several hours with palm sugar and coconut milk. It is often described as “green jack fruit sweet stew” and is notoriously spicy.

Cakalang Fufu
Cakalang Fufu
Paniki
Paniki

Paniki is basically fried bat and is served as an exotic delicacy in Sulawesi. The bats are initially burned to remove their hairs, and then cooked in coconut milk and spices to add flavour. Cakalang Fufu is skipjack tuna that has been grilled and skewered and often sold on the streets of Manado.

Bebek Betutu - delicious!
Bebek Betutu – delicious!
Babi Guling
Babi Guling

Babi Guling is a Balinese dish of suckling pig, which as you can see from the photo above is spit-roasted above an open fire and is often cooked while you wait. With Bali being the Hindu enclave of Indonesia, the consumption of pork is allowed, unlike in the rest of Indonesia. Bebek Betutu is an incredible dish of roasted duck, that is heavily seasoned and spiced, then served on banana leaves. This is also a Balinese tradition, although other parts of the country have their own variants. Bebek Betutu usually takes 24hrs to cook. For more information on the joys of Balinese cuisine, join me as I go bebek to the future and sample 5 of the most timeless dishes!

If you fancy cooking any of these dishes/snacks yourself, why not check out this recipe guide from Indo Chef. And for further reading, with many additional dishes to the ones I listed here, please see this informative article from Sara Schonhardt at CNN.

Advertisements

42 thoughts on “Indonesian Foodporn

  1. I have tried most of the food, but not in Indonesia, instead in Malaysia. As Malaysia and Indonesia have almost identical culture and heritage, so does the food. In fact, both countries fight just because one country or the other claim the food to be their national dish or some sort of. Haha. Anyway, I don’t dare to try the bat too! Looks creepy. LOL

    Like

  2. Hey there, consumption of pork is allowed not only in Bali. In fact, there’s no prohibition of consumption or sales of pork (from a legal standpoint) in Indonesia. While in Indonesia, you should have enjoyed the various pork dishes around (you only need to know where to look for them 🙂 ).
    Great post and keep it up! 😀
    p.s. It is easier to find pork in Eastern Indonesia (predominantly Christian) than in Western Indonesia (predominantly Muslim).

    Like

      1. hmmm…So do I…I want study in UK but its too hard.. 🙂
        Btw…I think u can find Indonesian people who study there and maybe they have idea to get Indonesian food…:)

        Like

  3. Your pisang goreng picture is almost a sinful image. That does not depict a real pisang goreng in Indonesia. Jakarta has the ugliest pisang goreng ever, random shape and unpredictable. Kalimantan’s has the best one, it looks like a chinese fan, very beautiful and also extremely delicious.

    Like

      1. Please explore more ebout Pisang Goreng Pontianak. It is the most costly of the standard pisang goreng as the banana is covered in special batter like KFC chickens. The last time I bought it cost 30 cent per piece and I am sure it’s a half US dollar now. The standard ones are affordable at 10-20 cent.

        Like

  4. Hello. My name is Simone and Im a Pisang goreng addict too! Its my favourite, quick snack. The king of all gorengan.
    Thanks for doing a foodporn post on Indonesia, it was brill/mantap.

    Like

      1. Maybe you can make it yourself? Very easy and you can invite some friends to come, to have pisang goreng with some tea. It’s very common here.

        Like

        1. I have already thought about making my own Pisang goreng, but I don’t have a deep fat fryer. I know I can eat them in a restaurant in London but they cost about £6 with ice cream (120,000Rupiah!), and that’s very expensive – but what do you expect for London! hahaha

          Like

          1. Holy Crap! That’s highway robbery!
            You don’t need deep fat fryer, just a wok and frying oil that’s deep enough so that the bananas don’t stick to the bottom.

            Ill wrote a post about it on my blog and then you can try from there? What do you say?

            Like

  5. I’m getting hungry now 😛 Nice list… But I think soto ayam and rawon should be included… Have you tried them? I think they are the best Indonesian dishes, together with bakso/bakwan Malang.

    Like

    1. Hi there 🙂 Thanks for the advice, I will add them in due course. I thought Soto was already there, but ok I will check them out! BTW, do Indonesian people think Nasi Goreng is a real Indonesian dish, or is that just what tourists think of what Indonesians eat? 😉

      Like

      1. Hmm… I think most people would only cook nasi goreng if they are too lazy to cook proper food, or if they have some leftover rice in the fridge…. It’s usually eaten for breakfast, and people wouldn’t go to a restaurant for nasi goreng…. So yes, I guess we Indonesians do eat nasi goreng, but not sure if we think it’s a real Indonesian dish… Sorry, I didn’t really answer your question, did I? 😛

        Like

      2. I think so but we have other national dishes as well such as sate, soto, and mie. Nasi goreng deviates from the other Asian/western fried rice because of these things not present in the other: the use of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), chili sambal, shrimp paste (terasi), and cold rice left for 2-4 hours after cooking.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. From my observation Nasi goreng is to Indonesians what Toast is Westerners.
    I mean you can you eat Nasi putih but without add-ins or another cooking process its just boring. The same goes for toast, plain white bread just doesn’t cut it sometimes (no pun intended)
    What do you think Citra? Lee?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. omg. i’m lovin this post. it’s awesome. i’m salivating already. living here in indonesia, i have actually tasted many different kinds of indonesian food from different regions. but this post makes me realized i have yet to travel enough domestically, because from the list of food you mentioned above, there are a few i have YET to try. shame on me 😦

    Liked by 1 person

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s