5 Must-Try Dishes in Indonesia

Published on January 24, 2018

Indonesia is continuously growing as a major tourist destination. This is true for couples and honeymooners who head to Bali and for college kids who head to Indonesia for their famous island parties and incredible sites.

Indonesia has excellent wildlife and a rich culture and history, and it is no surprise that adventures are heading there constantly. However, culinary motivations are leading more and more tourists to come sample all that this country has to offer. Indonesia boasts an incredibly wide and distinguished menu that the casual visitor and the experienced foodie can both delve into. Here are some of those must-try dishes.

Indonesian Satay

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Satays are meat skewers that are cooked over hot coals. These juicy skewers are usually served with rice cakes (ketupat) and covered in peanut sauce. It is a national dish developed by street vendors and is quickly garnering worldwide acclaim.

Beef Rendang

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This dish originated from Padang, Sumatra. Padang food is famous for its spiciness and richness in flavor. Think beef curry but without the broth; the meat is especially tender given that it’s slow cooked to the point where it just falls off the bone.

Nasi Rawon

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Nasi Rawon is a beef stew from East Java. Rawon has a strong nutty flavor and a deep, black color given that it is made with keluak nuts. This dish is best enjoyed with a bowl of rice.


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As you may or may not already know, most of Indonesian street food has something to do with peanut sauce. Siomay is Indonesia’s version of dim sum. This dish contains steamed fish dumplings. The portion comes with steamed potato, cabbage, egg and served with peanut sauce. If you want to enjoy it as the locals do, the best way to enjoy Siomay is to buy it from one of the many bicycle vendors carrying around steamers in their carts.

Nasi Uduk

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This aromatic dish is also one of Indonesia’s national dishes. The meal features rice cooked in coconut milk and served with fried chicken, tempe (soybean cake), a shredded omelet, fried onion, anchovies and topped with sambal and emping (melinjo nut crackers). A dish unlike anything you’ve had before and a definite must-have.

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