After we have shared on must try food in Vietnam, here is our top 7 for food in Indonesia!
Gudeg (pictured above) is a dish in Indonesian cuisine that requires a little bit of patience. This national favourite is a little sweet, like most of the food that comes from Central Java, thanks to the sweet jackfruit that is its main ingredient. This fruit is boiled in a mixture of coconut milk, palm sugar and local spices for several hours, resulting in a really tender dish. This is a great option for vegetarians, or ask the chef to include some chicken or fried beef skin for a bit of extra protein. This dish is also great when served with rice and a boiled egg.
2) Babi Guling
Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, so pork can be hard to come by. However, this spit-roast pork dish is a large staple in Bali’s cuisine (Bali is a largely Hindu island). Before roasting, the pork is soaked in coconut water and rubbed down with spices like chilli, garlic, turmeric and ginger, giving this dish a truly unique flavour. It would be difficult to find babi guling outside of Bali, so enjoy it while you’re there! This dish is often served with some steamed rice, a meat and veggie salad called lawar, and even some crispy pig skin and fried innards (if you’re brave enough to try).
Similar with Chinese Dim Sum. This is the Indonesia’s version. Siomay is a traditional staple of Indonesia cuisine, essentially fish dumplings that are served with steamed potato, cabbage and eggs. Dip them in some boiled peanut sauce for a truly authentic flavour. You’ll find a vendor selling siomay on nearly any Indonesian street corner, so you’ll never go hungry with this new favourite!
The dish pempek supposedly gets its name from a Chinese man who first served the meal in Palembang, South Sumatra. Pempek is a fish and tapioca cake, available in a range of flavours, shapes and sizes. The most popular variation is called kapal selam, which translates to submarine, and includes an egg in the middle. Sprinkle your pempek with some shrimp powder and dip it in some cuka(a dark sauce made of vinegar, chilli and sugar) for the ultimate taste of Indonesian cuisine.
5) Kerak Telor
Kerak telor is a dish that belongs to the Betawi culture, an ethnic group native to Jakarta and the surrounding area. As such, you won’t often find it outside the popular areas of Jakarta (like the Old Town and MONAS). This traditional meal is a delicious rice frittata cooked over charcoal. Made primarily of sticky rice and egg, the omelette-shaped dish is usually topped with some fried shallots and shredded coconut. You can ask for your kerak telor to be cooked with either a chicken’s egg or a duck’s egg. Opt for the duck for a more unusual, fattier taste.
6) Pecel Lele (Fried Catfish)
Deep fried catfish, known as pecel lele, is a very famous and common Indonesian street food, often served at street side restaurants and local food tents known as warungs. In Jakarta, mostly at night, if you drive around the streets you’ll see countless food stalls showcasing catfish on their banner menus.
The catfish are prepared pretty simple, just salted and sometimes rubbed with some coriander and turmeric, and then deep fried until extra crispy all the way through. Once again, the secret of the flavor when eating pecel lele lies within the sambal that it’s always served with. You take a piece of crispy catfish, mix it with your rice, add on some sambal, and that’s a recipe for a delicious bite.
7) Ayam Bakar Taliwang
Have you ever eaten three chickens by yourself in one meal? When you eat ayam bakar Taliwang, not only are the grilled chickens so good you might be able to eat three of them by yourself, but they are also very small because they either free range chickens or sometimes spring chickens.
This type of grilled chicken originates from the island of Lombok, and it’s popular with spicy grilled chicken lovers throughout Indonesia. When I saw the amount of chilies caked onto my ayam bakar Taliwang, I knew I was in for a life-changing grilled chicken experience, and it was true.
The chicken itself was so flavorful, and not too tender, but with just enough texture so that with every bite it kept releasing more chicken juices. But along with just being a flavorful chicken from the start, it was beautifully spicy. Ayam Bakar Taliwang is one of the dishes you don’t want to miss if you love spicy food