Indonesia undoubtedly remains a land of great diversity not only in terms of its geographic archipelago but in terms of culture and food too. Indonesia remains a country with over 6000 populated islands out of the 17,000 islands. People living in these islands have diversified sets of culture, taste and food habits which rightly nicknamed Indonesia as the land of flavours. Moreover, Indonesia has a varied population of people from various ethnic diversities and classes retaining a varied culinary taste. This makes Indonesia a colourful country not only in culture but in food too. At Indonesia, you get a wide range of food and drink as they come from the contrasting cultural background of people living here. In case you are in Indonesia for a culinary hunt, it remains an endless journey. Over here is a comprehensive guide about the top foods and drinks in Indonesia that you must try.
But do you know some of these interesting facts about Indonesian cuisines?
- You can find over 5000 traditional recipes in Indonesia.
- Many Indonesian cuisines have Indian, Chinese and Dutch Influences.
- The smallest chilli available remains the hottest.
- Over 17 varieties of Soto and Satay (traditional food) are available in Indonesia.
- Rice is the staple food in Indonesia which they eat during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice) remains the countries national dish.
- You find a special type of coffee, Kopi Luwak at Indonesia processed from the animal poop.
If you travel to Indonesia, go for the culinary hunt because it remains a great experience. Having said so, let us find out more about the top foods and drinks in Indonesia that you must try during your Indonesia Backpacking.
Top foods and drinks in Indonesia: The Specialities
Satay remains an exclusive delicate food of Indonesia and comes under the specialities category. This mouthwatering food is typically prepared with meat. The minced meat with added spices is pierced into skewers and slowly cooked over coal until the meat gets soft. This remains a famous Indonesian street food and served with ketupat (rice cakes).
Padang Beef Rendang
Beef Rendang is a traditional Indonesian cuisine from the Padang region of Sumatra. It might look like a Beef curry but there remain great differences in its cooking method and used spices. The tender soft meat gives melt-in-mouth taste.
The most popular and the national rice dish of Indonesia remain Nasi Goreng. This is so popular you find this name on all any restaurant menu across the country.
What makes Nasi Goreng so popular?
- Its versatility in preparation i.e. you are free to mix any vegetable, meat, chicken, beef and even seafood with it.
- Its flavours unique because of the unique soy sauce called keycap used in the preparation.
- The garnishing remains amazing as it’s dished out with a half fried egg on top. Chicken or meat skewers, Cucumber and carrot pickle and shrimp crackers are served along.
- Nasi Goreng remains so tasty that often travellers order this dish every day on their meal.
This unique traditional dish is prepared from the beef stew and originated from East Java. A special nut, Keluak is used during its preparation giving this dish a nutty flavour along with a deep-black colouration. It is served along with a bowl of rice and gives a mouthwatering authentic taste.
We all are aware of Chinese dim sum right? Now taste the modified version of dim sum in Indonesian style called Siomay. These remain as steamed fish dim sum and served with steamed potato, cabbage, egg and peanut sauce spread on top.
Nasi Uduk is not an Indonesian traditional dish however immensely popular in the country. This remains a complete meal where the rice in coconut milk instead of water and served with fried chicken, soybean cake, shredded egg, fried onion, and anchovies.
At Indonesia you find many traditional drinks with medicinal values, Bajigur remains one of them. It is a simple drink prepared from basic ingredients like sugar, coconut milk, ginger and vanilla essence mixed together. This drink remains extremely popular among locals.
Tuak is a local alcoholic beverage drink popular in the north Sumatera region and prepared using the fermented rice.
Arak is an extremely popular local alcoholic beverage drink and popular in the Island of Bali. This is also known as Bali’s local spirit made from fermented white rice. You can taste Arak while eating seafood dinner at the Jimbaran Bay in Bali. Over there the restaurants serve Arak inside a coconut shell. Sipping the Arak and enjoying the seafood dinner remains a divine experience.
The list of the top food and drinks in Indonesia remains incomplete if you don’t try Luwak Coffee or Kopi Luwak. This unique coffee is fermented and processed in a traditional way from the poop of a cat-like animal called civet. It is widely available across Indonesia. However, if you travel to the northern region of Bali, you find several areas where the Luwak coffee is fermented and processed. Over there, you can even taste a brewing cup of hot Luwak coffee.
The culinary journey about Indonesian foods remains like travelling to the seven continents. It remains absolutely unique to find such a diversified range of food. They not only differ in taste, but they differ in their cooking method too. Indonesian food remains flavorful because of the homemade sauces and seasonings used. Any food item remains accompanied by these special sauces which increase its delicacy in taste. Moreover, traditional food and drinks always justify some herbal medicinal value. A journey to an Indonesian island, therefore, always comes with a bucket list of activities and tasting the top food and drinks remains an added priority.