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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Most authentic Indonesian dishes for tourists - when in Indonesia, eat as they do!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Most authentic Indonesian dishes for tourists - when in Indonesia, eat as they do!

Indonesian food, with all its savoury goodness, is beloved across the globe. If you're ever in Indonesia, make sure to try out these authentic dishes!


Nasi Goreng

One of the most popular Indonesian dishes around the world and one considered the archipelago's national dish; Nasi Goreng is the nuanced local version of Asian fried rice. It's made with a large number of different meats, carrots, pickled cucumber and Acar and topped with thick, sweet, soy sauce. The dish is found in just about any restaurant in Indonesia!



Satay might be claimed as their own by many nations around the world, but the Indonesian archipelago considers it a national dish, one that was first invented by their street vendors and then made popular by passing Arab traders. Meat – goat, chicken, rabbit or mutton - is marinated, skewered and barbequed to perfection over hot coals and covered in the nation's famous peanut sauce.



It would be a highly unlikely to visit Indonesia and never came across sambal. The phenomenal dish is a staple food and is essentially a sauce that is often used to complete most local dishes. A divine mix of chillies, fermented shrimp paste, lime juice, salt and sugar, sambal is so adored by the masses that many eateries have made it their main lure! So whether you're indulging your taste buds at award winning restaurants in Ubud like those available at COMO Uma Ubud, or simply stopping by a street vendor for a snack, sambal is one food you can't miss!



Soto is a traditional meat soup that has contents which vary slightly across Indonesia. The street version of the dish is a clear soup containing beef, chicken or goat served with fried garlic, sambal and crispy shallots. However, in Jakarta, the soup is famously made with a coconut-milk base that's a marvellous balance between sweet and creamy.



A mouth-watering noodle soup recommended by the former United States President Barack Obama himself! A beloved street food in Jakarta, especially among students, this soup is made using pork, chicken or beef meatballs the size of golf balls or bigger, sometimes the meatballs are a combination of meats! Served with wontons, fried shallots and boiled egg, Bakso is sold in pushcarts across Indonesia.


Ayam Goreng

Forget, KFC, try IFC – Indonesian fried chicken – instead! Good, healthy, delicious chicken fried with some of the hottest and most flavour-ridden local spices will make you turn your back on every generic fried chicken fast food joint ever established! And the cherry on top? The chickens are always free range!



Gado-gado is a salad dish, yes, but don't let that stop you from trying it out! Spinach, tempe, corn, bean sprouts, cucumber and boiled long beans, along with egg, potato and tofu are mixed together and bathed in the classic, delicious Indonesian peanut sauce.



A signature dish of the Royal city of Yogyakarta, this flavourful, jackfruit stew is served with rice, crispy, fried beef skin, chicken and boiled egg. The dish is made by boiling sweet jackfruit, seasoned with various spices, including teak leaves, in palm sugar and coconut milk for hours. By the time the dish is ready, the fruit is so tender that it almost literally melts in your mouth.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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