Indonesian food carries a lot of influence in its own right, but Chinese immigrants contributed a great deal in making Indonesian cuisine what it is today.
As Chinese immigrants settled in Indonesia, every wave of arrival saw its traditions and recipes integrate with the local culture.
Check out Indonesian dishes you most definitely should try out according to Wanderlust
Among many variants in curry, the Nasi Padang dish from Padang in West Sumatera is a firm favourite.
It offers the hungry diner a generous portion of steaming rice with a wonderful range of curry flavours to sample including world favourite beef rendang curry, ayam kalio (chicken curry), jackfruit curry, or boiled cassava leaves served with sambal ijo (a rustic green sauce accompanied by crunchy baby anchovies) or sambal balado (red chilies, salt and coconut oil) plus slices of cucumber.
And there are many more curry dishes than beef rendang, from Acehnese in the northern part of Sumatera Island to North Sulawesi.
Arguably Indonesia’s favourite soup, soto is available in many varieties in Java and across the rest of the archipelago.
Soto is considered to be both a heartwarming stew and a reviving broth. Beef, chicken, or vegetables are the most popular ingredients with alternative recipes to choose from, depending upon regional preferences and traditions, expressed through local names such as sroto, coto or even tauto.
A delightful broth, infusing spices and herbs, Soto can be served with the optional extra of coconut cream.
Sate or satay is just one among a number of barbeque recipes. It’s probably the dish most associated with the Indonesian archipelago worldwide and is cooked over hot coconut charcoal with spices and herbs, with special sauces for marinating.
Whether pork, goat, seafood, beef, or even quail eggs, sate provides a superb choice and is always best served with a piquant peanut sauce or special sambal.
Despite the multitude of local specialties, the enjoyment of good sambal connects everyone.
Sambal is an essential condiment comprising chilies and salt at the basic level or sweet soya, chilies, and citrus plus a range of additional ingredients for more complexity. Sambal can be served raw or cooked.
It’s said there are over 300 varieties, with every region having its own version – proof of the addictive power of this delightful hot sauce. Sambal sums up a wealth of natural ingredients available, especially chili, and remains a signature national dish.
Sweet ending: Coconut and Palm Sugar
Classic Indonesian desserts are simple but full of flavour. Generally speaking, butter, eggs, and flour are not involved.
Coconut cream, palm sugar, and rice flour are essentials and also suitable for vegans. The palmyra palm and the flower of the coconut tree produce a sap, which is used to make palm sugar and should not be confused with palm oil.