Food & Drinks in Indonesia

Brought together by its cultures and customs, Indonesia has a large culinary variety, r...


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Food & Drinks in Indonesia

Brought together by its cultures and customs, Indonesia has a large culinary variety. In Sumatra region, you will find very spicy food that is heavily cooked on coconut milk, while in the Java region sweet tasting foods are dominant. In Bali, chili peppers are very common used in dishes, while in Sulawesi and Eastern part of Indonesia you will rarely find spicy food in the dishes. However, the dishes still have their own characteristics as well. Pork is hardly eaten because most Indonesians are Muslims; their religion prohibits eating pork, but you can find it easily in Bali where most of the Hindus live. Bali is also famous for its dishes called Bebek Betutu (spicy duck) and Babi Guling (roasted pork).

There is famous saying that says “If you haven’t had rice, you haven’t eaten at all !”, that is because it is already become a staple food of Indonesia. Rice is eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rice grains are also commonly used to make porridge, flour, and rice cakes. While in the eastern parts and some regions of Indonesia sago and corn also become a local staple food.

Rendang is perhaps the most famous Indonesian dish known. Rendang originates from West Sumatera and it is basically chucks of beef that are slow-cooked together with many spices and coconut milk, it taste hot and spicy and commonly served in Padang restaurant. The typical Padang restaurant meal consists of many small dishes that are brought in by waiters who can carry up to eight plates on each arm. When the table is set, a plate of hot white rice is served. You choose from this selection of dishes and would not be charged for the dishes that were not touched. You only pay for the dishes that you have eaten. Other popular foods are Soto (Indonesian meat soup), Tahu telor (fried tofu with egg), Otak-otak (traditional fish cake), Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Gado gado (vegetable with peanut sauce) and Kerupuk (crackers). Soto is one of a famous dish that serves in different versions depending on the regions, such as Soto Betawi from Jakarta Coto Makassar from South Sulawesi, Soto Lamongan, Soto Ambengan, etc. Another popular Indonesian dish is Sate or Satay (pronounced sah-tay) served with peanut sauce, ketupat (pronounced ke-too-paht), cucumber and onions.

For beverages, Indonesia has a high quality of coffee and tea. These 2 (two) drinks are commonly served throughout Indonesia in small food stalls to accompany the meals. Famous coffee from Indonesia includes Mandailing, Bali, Toraja, for example. Tea is usually planted and produced in Java and Sumatera. Desserts often consist of tropical fruits such as starfruit, mangga (mango), manggis (mangosteen), rambutan, durian (you should try this!) and nangka (jackfruit). Indonesian desserts are often made from glutinous rice flour, palm sugar and coconut milk. Some favourites are Kueh Lapis (layer cake), Bubur Hitam (black glutinous rice pudding) and Es Campur (mixed ice).

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