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13 Indonesian dishes that will not leave you indifferent!

Salads, main dishes, appetizers, desserts – all this is very unusual and unforgettably delicious!

Beef Rendang

This Indonesian meat dish is cooked from the softest beef over a very slow fire. Rendang beef originates from West Sumatra, however, in Indonesia it is very popular both in large restaurants and in modest cafes.
A special recipe for preparing such meat requires endurance and patience from the cook, because it needs to be simmered for several hours, using a mixture of coconut milk and spices as a dressing. Rendang beef can be served when it is as soft and spicy as possible.

Fried Rice

We are used to the fact that rice should be boiled, but the Indonesians have found another way to cook it. Local Fried Rice is a versatile dish that can be found in any gastronomic venue – from luxury hotels to street food tents.

Rice is literally fried in a pan, during which anything can be added: eggs, chicken, seafood, vegetables, sausage, meatballs, beef or goat meat. Serving of the dish usually consists of acar, chopped pickled cucumber, chili, shallots and carrots.


Traditional Indonesian soup Soto is a very colorful, fragrant, rich first course. To make a truly delicious broth, meat or chicken is added to the water, as well as herbs and spices. In some parts of Indonesia, different herbs and spices may be used, but the general specifics of the recipe remain the same.


Bakso are Indonesian meat balls, very similar to our meatballs. They are made from beef, however, in some places you can find this dish made from fish, chicken or pork. Bakso meat balls can be served in a variety of variations – with spicy broth, rice noodles, vegetables, less often with tofu or traditional dumplings.


Tempeh is a naturally fermented soy product that is shaped like a small cake. It can be fried, steamed or added as an ingredient to local recipes. So Tempeh is served as a good addition to rice or as an independent snack.


This exotic Indonesian salad is dressed with a fragrant peanut sauce, and as a base it has raw or boiled vegetables (cabbage, lettuce, carrots, bean sprouts), as well as fresh fried tofu and boiled eggs. It is traditionally served with rice cakes or a portion of regular rice.

Oxtail soup

The locals call this dish sop butut, and it actually contains an ox’s tail, a juicy, semi-circular tail that makes a delicious rich broth. Later, pieces of potatoes, chopped tomato and other finely chopped vegetables are placed in the cooking container. This delicacy, originally from the western part of the island of Java, is quite popular in Indonesia and is considered a festive treat.

Baby Gulling

Babi Gulling, a very popular dish in Bali, is a young pig fried according to an ancient island recipe. You can hardly find this dish outside of Bali, because most of the rest of Indonesians are Muslims and do not eat pork.


The recipe for this dish has its roots in the national cuisine of South Sumatra. Pempek is most often made from fresh fish mixed with tapioca. From this mass, a dish is formed in the form of a pie of various shapes and sizes. These fragrant fish cakes are served with a spicy-sour sauce of vinegar and chili. Pempek is simply adored throughout Indonesia, eaten as a main dish or as an afternoon snack.

Mar Tabak

You can find this dessert in many Asian countries, but it is especially popular in Indonesia. Mar Tabak consists of two pancake layers with various fillings: chocolate, cheese, nuts, milk, or even all of this at the same time! You can find this exotic dessert from street food vendors and enjoy it to the fullest.


The name Somali can mean both a set of dishes and the traditional dumplings that are part of this dish. The main ingredients of Somali dumplings are fish and dough, which in the finished dish are served with steamed cabbage, potatoes, as well as tofu and boiled eggs. All this is topped with aromatic peanut sauce.

In the country, according to various estimates, from 8 to 10 cuisines:
Javanese: The main food is soy products, rice, vegetables, chicken, egg, fish, seafood, lamb and beef, the main dish is fried rice.
Padangskaya: significant use of meat, except for pork, spices, spices and coconut milk, serving all dishes at the table at once.
Palembangese: The main product is river fish and shrimp, spices and spices are widely used, as well as fermented fruits.
Peranakan: Indonesian version of Chinese cuisine, uses all types of meat, seafood, fish, poisonous plants.
Batak: Pork, dog and buffalo meat is actively used, the main seasoning is Indonesian lemon pepper.
Balinese: they do not eat beef, pork, seafood, vegetables, spices are widely used, the main dish is suckling pig.
Madurese: all food is very salty, dishes are barbecue on skewers, thick soups, fried poultry, the main dish is sate madura in black sauce.
Banjar: base – rice, fish, vegetables, poultry, egg, spices and seasonings, add a lot of garlic.
Moluccan (East Indonesian): based on corn and sago flour, spices dominated by nutmeg and cloves.
Javanese cuisine – cooking of the Javanese, the most numerous people of the Republic of Indonesia – is considered the main one. It is her dishes that are more popular than others in the country. And abroad, the cuisine of the island of Bali, the most famous Indonesian region among Russian tourists, may well compete with it.
Other culinary traditions are closed and little known. Even Peranakan cuisine is known mainly in Malaysia and Singapore, with which Indonesia borders directly. And that’s only because there are a lot of Indonesian Chinese who created it.

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