Indonesian cuisine is as diverse as its geography. Many traditional meals and dishes stem from the original people who settles Indonesia. This includes the Javanese, Chinese and Indian people. Regional specialties include chicken and fish in Java, beef in Sumatra, duck and pork in Bali.
Certain areas have distinctive styles of food. Food in Yogyakarta and central Java, for example, is sweeter and Padang restaurants (originating from Sumatra) has spicier dishes like curries. A favorite is beef rendang. Pork is almost never eaten because of the predominance of Islam. While alcohol is legal, many Muslims do not consume it.
A typical meal consists of steamed rice. People in Indonesia eat rice up to 3 times a day. It’s a staple and considered something that you’re supposed to eat every day. Eating rice is a euphemism for eating a complete meal and rice is served with vegetables or meat.
Desserts normally consist of tropical fruits. These include jackfruit, starfruit, mango, rambutan, durian and mangosteen. These are mixed with glutinous rice flour, palm sugar and coconut milk.
You can find small Warung which will have regional specialties. These are normally cooked ahead of time and then served. To avoid traveler’s diarrhea, order a la carte.family style eateries called
Padang restaurants are more like all you can eat restaurants. Different dishes are served on saucers and you are charged for the foods that you select. When you’re dining at a restaurant, it is typical for the person who extended the invitation to pay the bill.
If you’re at a restaurant outside of town and it’s called Rumah Makan you might have to eat with your fingers. To do this, dip your right hand in the bowl of water with lime. Keep your left hand in your lap.
Street vendors typically sell one type of food and call out with a bell or shouting.
Many meals are served with prawn crackers and a fried egg. Most food is eaten with with your fingers or utensils. Only Chinese food places use chopsticks. As well as regional delicacies there are also standard Western fast food places.
Some popular dishes include satay. This is cooked meat served on skewers cooked over glowing charcoal and served with peanut sauce or sambay.
Gado-Gado is a popular dish for vegetarians. It is stir fried vegetables coated with peanut sauce for protein. The name actually means hodge podge.
Tempeh is a popular vegan dish. It is pressed and fermented soybeans.
Ayam Goreng is a popular option the world over. It is fried chicken served with rice.
You can also find fried rice and noodle dishes as well as soups and curries. There are a lot of different kinds of good food available in Indonesia. Many dishes are typically served with condiments like spicy chili.