The Ultimate Guide to Must-Try Indonesian Food

  • Post category:Indonesia

Indonesia is a melting pot of different flavours. Home to over 300 ethnic groups, it offers a
varied range of delicacies, many of which use herbs and spices to enhance the flavour. The
mouth-watering dishes will leave you wanting more!


Rendang is an authentic Indonesian dish from Padang, is often praised as one of the world’s
best foods. Its tender beef is cooked to perfection with flavourful herbs and spices. Because
of its juicy texture and a perfect balance of spices, rendang is a favourite among the
Legend has it that the Minangkabau people carried this dish with them on long journeys.
They required food that could be traditionally preserved and didn’t lose its taste and
freshness. Hence, the Minangkabau villagers used to cook beef with traditional spices and
coconut milk for about 7-8 hours, a conventional method to preserve meat while keeping the
tasty flavours intact.


Pempek, an Indonesian dish from Palembang, is a traditional fish cake made from ground
fish meat and tapioca. Having a crisp outer layer and a soft chewy texture, this delicious
cuisine is served with a sweet and sour sauce called kuah cuko. Pempek’s usual
accompaniments are sliced cucumbers and noodles.


Sold almost everywhere in Indonesia, Siomay is a simple street snack that everyone should
try at least once in their lifetime. It is very popular in Bandung, West Java. Similar to the
Chinese dish Shaomai, Siomay consists of steamed fish dumplings with a chewy texture.
However, Siomay is served with different ingredients, including sliced potatoes, bitter gourd,
rolled cabbage, and tofu. It’s accompanied with a delicious peanut sauce to add a burst of
savoury goodness.


Gudeg is an iconic sweet dish of Yogyakarta It is made from unripe jackfruit
or gori combined with thick coconut milk and palm sugar. To get the authentic flavour
of gudeg, people often cook it in an earthen pot over a wood or charcoal fire. This delicious
treat is often served with condiments, such as chicken, hard-boiled eggs, tempeh, tofu, and
sambal krecek or crispy beef skin with chili sauce. It is sold commonly on the streets of

Satay Lilit

One of the dishes that is sold by street vendors in Bali is Satay Lilit, an Indonesian street
food dish made from minced meat. This dish can be created using different types of meats,
but pork is the most popular form used. Herbs and spices like lemongrass, galangal, chili,
and lime leaves are added to give it a fresh spicy taste. This Indonesian dish is a must-try
when you get the chance to visit Bali!