There is more to Indonesian food than Nasi Goreng. Yes, you heard me right. There is so much to Indonesian cuisine that giving you a Top 10 Must Eat is almost impossible, but we shall try.
Here is a list of the best Indonesian food you must eat when you are here. Though by no means complete, we will try our best to keep it open and up for debate.
May the best food reign supreme!
Nasi Goreng – Means fried rice; it is made like the usual famous Southeast Asian style of stir-frying cooked rice, but with its very own Indonesian spices and mix
Rendang – This means dry curry; rendang is a really popular dish in Indonesia that is a dry beef stew. It is originated from Minangkabau (also known as Padang) in West Sumatra. That is why it is either called Rendang Padang or Rendang Minangkabau.
Rendang is basically meat, typically beef but sometimes liver, chicken, goat, or other meats, which would be cooked in coconut milk and spices until dry resulting in an intense concoction of taste and texture. It is one of the best food in the world; try it to believe it!
Soto Betawi – There are a few Soto here in Indonesia that you must try, first is the Soto Betawi, which the soup is made of beef or beef offal with cow milk, a unique variation in itself with a distinct taste.
Ketoprak – Ketoprak is one of the traditional Indonesian food. It is a mix of bean sprouts, deep-fried tofu, onion, eggs with special peanut sauce.
Soto Mie / Soto Mee – Sotomie (or Mee Soto) is one of the most popular soto in its own right; it is either made of chicken or beef for soup and served with noodles, sliced risoles spring rolls. One o the best Sotomie in Jakarta can be found at a stall inside Mangga Dua.
Rawon – Rawon is a black beef soup made with beef and keluak (black nuts) as the main spice giving it a strong nutty taste and dark in color, along with other spices, and typically served with rice.
Sate / Satay ayam – Sate or Satay Ayam (chicken) are skewered and grilled (BBQ) chicken served with flavourful peanut sauce. It is also known as the national dish of Java, Indonesia, making it a strong contender to our Nasi Goreng.
Soto Ayam – This is a chicken soup that is yellow and slightly spicy, normally served with lontong or nasi empit or ketupat (rice cakes) and vermicelli (rice noodles).
Gudeg – A traditional food from Yogyakarta in Central Java, gudeg is a stew made from young jack fruit (nangka) with palm sugar, coconut milk, meat, garlic, and spices. It is one of the most flavourful food in the world, melding everything from taste to textures.
Sayur Asem – Sayur Asem or sayur asam (literally sour vegetables) is a tamarind soup made from peanuts, young jackfruit, melinjo, long beans, chayote, corn, and meat stock (usually beef), and of course, tamarind.
Bakso – Bakso or Baso in Indonesia, is a meatball made from beef surimi (meat paste, normally beef, with some tapioca flour). It is usually served in a bowl of beef broth with noodles, bihun (rice vermicelli), vegetables, tofu and eggs.
Nasi Kuning – Nasi Kuning (yellow rice) or sometimes known as Nasi Kunyit (turmeric rice) is a famous Indonesian breakfast rice cooked in coconut milk and turmeric. It is usually serve with some omelette, grated coconut and spices and fried anchovy and kacang (peanuts).
Ayam goreng – Ayam Goreng seem to be as simple as it sounds – fried chicken, but the Indonesian flash their frying skill here at the best with one of most amazing fried chicken you will find in the world, crisp on the outside juicy on the inside.
Gado-gado – Gado-gado (or Lotek) is an Indonesian salad, a combination of boiled vegetables doused generously with peanut sauce dressing. There are other similar dishes like pecel and atah or karedok.
Yes, the list is more than ten because we are still voting to see which of these make it to the top 10 and who knows if there would be a new entry. You will find yourself spoilt with choices from fine dining to restaurants to roadside stalls here in Indonesia. Don’t miss out on the Indonesian street food there too!
Please do comment below for your choice or if you have a recommendation of your own. Let’s spread the goodness of best Indonesian food!