Indonesia offers a rich and diverse culinary landscape, with a wide array of delicious dishes to try. Here are some suggestions of Indonesian cuisine that you should consider experiencing:
1. Nasi Goreng: This is Indonesia’s iconic fried rice dish, typically made with rice stir-fried in a combination of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), vegetables, and your choice of protein like chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
2. Satay: Satay consists of skewered and grilled meat, usually served with a flavorful peanut sauce. Chicken (Satay Ayam) and beef (Satay Sapi) are popular options, but you can also find varieties like lamb, pork, and even vegetarian options.
3. Gado-Gado: A refreshing salad dish made with blanched vegetables, tofu, tempeh, and hard-boiled eggs, dressed with peanut sauce. It offers a delightful combination of textures and flavors.
4. Rendang: Hailing from West Sumatra, rendang is a slow-cooked, tender beef dish in a rich and aromatic coconut milk-based sauce. It’s packed with spices and has a tantalizing blend of flavors.
5. Soto: Soto refers to various Indonesian soups. One popular variation is Soto Ayam, a fragrant chicken soup served with rice noodles, bean sprouts, and a range of toppings like boiled eggs, fried shallots, and lime.
6. Sate Padang: Originating from Padang in West Sumatra, this dish features marinated and grilled beef or offal served with a distinctive spicy sauce called “rendang sauce.” It’s a flavorful and spicy delicacy.
7. Nasi Padang: A culinary experience in itself, Nasi Padang showcases a variety of dishes served with steamed rice. You’ll find an array of flavorful curries, stir-fried vegetables, fried chicken, and other delectable options.
8. Martabak: This is a popular street food snack available in sweet and savory versions. Sweet martabak is filled with chocolate, cheese, and sometimes nuts, while savory martabak is typically stuffed with minced meat, onions, and eggs.
9. Soto Betawi: Originating from Jakarta, this hearty soup combines beef or offal with a flavorful broth, coconut milk, and various spices. It’s usually served with rice and accompanied by condiments like lime and sambal.
10. Bakso: A beloved Indonesian meatball soup, bakso features flavorful beef or chicken meatballs served in a flavorful broth with noodles, tofu, and vegetables. It’s a comforting and satisfying dish.
These are just a few highlights of the diverse Indonesian cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore local street food stalls (warungs) and restaurants to discover even more culinary delights during your visit.
Please note that you will often pay double or much more in restaurants, and several times the price in Western-style restaurants. While you may be more comfortable in such a setting, it does always mean the food is better or more hygienic.
There is also a huge and growing “food scene” in Bali and Jakarta. Many of whom reach world-class rankings. Try at least one or two on your visit.