The Most Delicious Indonesian Cuisine

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Indonesian cuisine often demonstrates complex flavour, acquired from certain ingredients and spices mixture. Indonesian dishes have rich flavour; most often described as gurih (savory which equate to umami) and pedas (hot and spicy), and also combination of basic tastes such as manis (sweet), asin (salty), asam (sour) and pahit (bitter). Six main Indonesian cooking methods are goreng (frying), bakar (roasting) or panggang (grilling), tumis (stir frying), rebus (boiling) and kukus (steaming).

Indonesian cuisine varies greatly by region and has many different influences. Sumatran cuisine, for example, often has Middle Eastern and Indian influences, featuring curried meat and vegetables such as gulai and kari, while Javanese cuisine is mostly indigenous, with some hint of Chinese influence. The cuisines of Eastern Indonesia are similar to Polynesian and Melanesian cuisine. Elements of Chinese cuisine can be seen in Indonesian cuisine such as bakmi (noodles), bakso (meat or fish balls), and lumpia (spring rolls) have been completely assimilated. The official national dish of Indonesia is tumpeng, chosen in 2014 by Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy as the dish that binds the diversity of Indonesia’s various culinary traditions.

These are some of the most delicious cuisine in Indonesia :


Literally “mix-mix,” the term gado-gado is often used to describe situations that are all mixed up. As a food, however, it is one of Indonesia’s best-known dishes, essentially a vegetable salad bathed in the classic peanut sauce. At its base are boiled long beans, spinach, potato, corn, egg and bean sprouts coupled with cucumber, tofu and tempeh.


Gudeg is from Central Java. The sweet jack fruit stew is boiled for hours in coconut milk and palm sugar, making the fruit so sweet, soft and tender it falls apart with little chewing. Other spices are thrown into the mix but teak leaves give it a brown coloring. It is served with rice, boiled egg, chicken and crispy, tofu and fried beef skin.

Nasi Goreng

Considered Indonesia’s national dish, this take on Asian fried rice is often made with sweet soy sauce and mixed with egg, chicken, sausage and garnished with pickled cucumber and carrots.


According to lore, the name pempek refers to the old man who first produced these Tenggiri fish and tapioca cakes from Palembang in South Sumatra. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most famed, kapal selam, literally submarine, contains a chicken egg and is rumored to be the most nutritious form of the spongy dough balls, which are sprinkled with shrimp powder and served with cuka, a dark dipping sauce made from vinegar, chili and sugar.


A beef stew from East Java that goes heavy on the keluwak nut to give it a nutty flavor and a deep, black color. The soup base also mingles with garlic, shallots, ginger, turmeric and red chili to make it nice and spicy.


Beef is slowly simmered with coconut milk and a mixture of lemongrass, galangal, garlic, turmeric, ginger and chilies, then left to stew for a few hours to create this dish of tender, flavorful bovine goodness. This cuisine – served with rice, boiled cassava leaf and chili sauces – is from Sumatra and can be found in Padang Restaurant.


These tasty meat skewers cook up over coals so hot they need fans to waft the smoke away. Whether it’s chicken, goat, mutton or rabbit, the scrappy morsels get marinated in turmeric, barbecued and then bathed in a hearty dose of peanut sauce or ketchup with chili and onion. It is served with lontong (a dish made of compressed rice in the form of a cylinder wrapped inside a banana leaf). Indonesians consider it as a national dish conceived by street vendors and popularized by Arab traders.


This traditional meat soup comprises a broth and ingredients that vary across the archipelago. Common street versions are made of a simple, clear soup flavored with chicken, goat or beef. Top it with crispy shallots and fried garlic, and as much or little sambal as your taste buds can take.

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