5 Indonesian Food You Should Eat – Before we get started, I just want to make it clear that this is not an exhaustive or complete list of food in Indonesia, but it’s a definite start to discovering the incredible cuisine of Indonesia. Some of the foods I included, such as durian and petai, are simply because I love them so much.
For each of the dishes listed in this Indonesian food guide I’ve included the dish, and if possible, the restaurant where I ate it in Jakarta
1.Sate Ayam / Kambing
I’ve had a lot of different types of sate (or satay) in Southeast Asia, but there’s nothing that compares to real Indonesian sate; In my opinion you’ll find some of the absolute best sate in Asia within Indonesia. in Indonesia you’ll find many different types and varieties of sate, but two of the common versions in Jakarta at sate ayam (chicken sate) and sate kambing (goat sate). Bandar Ceme 99
One of the common recipes includes the meat marinated in sweet kecap manis soy sauce, before being skewered. I think is the main reason why Indonesian sate is so good, is because the skewers of meat are typically grilled on an extremely hot charcoal fire, so the meat cooks quickly, while leaving it smoky and juicy.
Sate Padang is such a unique (and delicious) type of Indonesian sate that I had to include it in this food guide as its own. Originally from Padang, a food lovers province on the west coast of Sumatra, Sate Padang seems to have a cult following among food lovers – and after I had my first plate, I completely understand why.
The skewers of meat, which often include beef pieces, beef tongue, and offal, are first marinated in a mixture of spices, then grilled over hot flaming charcoal, and finally they are often served over sliced up compressed rice cake, called ketupat, and then covered in a thick brown colored sauce, and sprinkled with crispy shallots. The result of Sate Padang is not the prettiest dish you’ll ever see, but the taste is incredible.
3.Ayam Bakar Taliwang
Have you ever eaten three chickens by yourself in one meal? When you eat ayam bakar Taliwang, not only are the grilled chickens so good you might be able to eat three of them by yourself, but they are also very small because they either free range chickens or sometimes spring chickens.
This type of grilled chicken originates from the island of Lombok, and it’s popular with spicy grilled chicken lovers throughout Indonesia. When I saw the amount of chilies caked onto my ayam bakar Taliwang, I knew I was in for a life-changing grilled chicken experience, and it was true.
The chicken itself was so flavorful, and not too tender, but with just enough texture so that with every bite it kept releasing more chicken juices, kind of like that crazily juicy chicken I ate in Osaka. But along with just being a flavorful chicken from the start, it was beautifully spicy. Ayam Bakar Taliwang is one of the dishes you don’t want to miss if you love spicy food.
Even after eating ikan bakar, Indonesian grilled fish, dozens of times, I still can’t get over how good it is. Grilled fish is one of my favorite things to eat around the world, but I especially love it in Indonesia. 5 Indonesian Food Just like many of the grilled foods in Indonesian cuisine, what I like about ikan bakar is that it’s grilled over a very hot charcoal fire and grilled quickly, giving it a really incredible flame roasted fire flavor.
There are many different types of ikan bakar, but typically the fish is butterfly cut so it lays flat, then it’s rubbed in a sambal sauce marinade, and then finally it’s grilled. Ikan bakar is then served with either kecap manis or a variety of different sambal chili sauces and rice.
On a spur of the moment decision, my wife and I decided to eat at a restaurant in Jakarta that served Batak food, from the Lake Toba region of Sumatra. One of the traditional Batak dishes, is something called babi pangang (sometimes babi panggang), which is a type of grilled or roasted pork.
From my understanding, babi pangang can refer to grilled pork many different ways, but the version I had was nice and salty, and had the most incredible grill fire roasted flavor of just about any grilled pork I’ve ever had. And additionally, the pork itself was incredibly well marbled, not too fatty, but with a great ratio so it was still juicy and succulent. This is my favorit food 🙂 5 Indonesian Food