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25 Trending Food in Indonesia: Delicious and Must-Try!

trending food in Indonesia

Traveling is everyone’s dream. Who does not love visiting new places, learning about new cultures, and even eating delicious cuisine? Of course, we do! Moreover, many people plan to visit Indonesia because it has a lot of islands and regions where they can try the trending food in Indonesia.

Before we have posted an  article about top facts about Indonesia. Not only can you visit recreational places and historical areas, but Indonesia’s cuisine will tempt you to eat. So if you are going to travel to this country, look no further than reading 25 trending cuisines in Indonesia. Without further ado, let’s dig deeper into this article!

25 Must-Try Trending Food in Indonesia

This article will recommend 25 trending food in Indonesia you can eat. But please remember that every region has different traditional cuisine. So then, take a closer look at the foods below and find which one is available at your destination!

1. Rendang

Rendang (source: unsplash)
Rendang (source: unsplash)

Rendang, an original cuisine from Minang, in West Sumatra, has captivated a lot of international tourists in Indonesia. This cuisine is commonly made during significant events, such as Eid al Fitr or to welcome guests. Nowadays, this food is available in most Minang and Padang restaurants in Indonesia.

Warung Nasi Padang (Nasi Padang Restaurant) that you can find in most places of Indonesia is famous for its Rendang.

Rendang is a popular Indonesian dish that consists of slow-cooked beef in a rich and flavorful sauce made from coconut milk and a variety of spices. The texture of Rendang is unique and complex, thanks to the slow-cooking process that allows the meat to absorb the flavorful sauce.

The beef in Rendang is typically very tender and has a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The sauce is thick, rich, and slightly grainy, with a bold flavor that is both sweet and savory. The texture of the sauce is due to the caramelization of the coconut milk and spices during the cooking process, which creates a thick and sticky consistency.

If you’re in the mood for bold and spicy flavors, Rendang is the dish for you. It’s so delicious that you’ll find yourself craving it again and again, and just thinking about it will remind you of Indonesia.

2. Nasi Padang

Nasi padang (source: unsplash)

Nasi Padang is available almost everywhere in Indonesia, from west to east of all islands. Especially if you are going to visit its origin in Padang – West Sumatra, this food is beyond compare. Nasi Padang is a cuisine that offers more than forty side dishes.

Nasi Padang is well-known for its bold and spicy flavors. It typically consists of steamed rice that is served alongside an array of dishes.

Some of the most famous dishes in Nasi Padang include:

  • Rendang: A spicy and flavorful beef dish that is slow-cooked in coconut milk and spices.
  • Gulai: A curry-like dish made with meat, vegetables, and a flavorful coconut milk sauce.
  • Sambal Balado: A spicy chili sauce made with red chili peppers, garlic, shallots, and tomatoes.
  • Dendeng Balado: Thinly sliced, dried meat that is fried and served with Sambal Balado.
  • Ayam Pop: Fried or grilled chicken that is seasoned with a variety of spices and served with rice.

When you eat this cuisine, you won’t be bored. Yup, there are a lot of sambals you can try!

Furthermore, you will learn how to eat with your hands! Get in touch with locals so that you shy using your hands to eat the dishes. Therefore, travelers would not say anything but are satisfied eating the dishes with steamed white rice.

3. Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice)

Nasi goreng (source: unsplash)
Nasi goreng (source: unsplash)

Nasi is rice, goreng is fried. As you can see, this Nasi Goreng cuisine is literally what fried rice means. However, this one is different because Indonesian makes it with thickening soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, and chili.

Nasi Goreng typically has a moist and slightly sticky texture, it can also vary depending on the specific recipe and cooking method used. Some variations may have a drier texture, while others may be more saucy or moist.

This food basically can be found anywhere. Wherever you are, you can always eat this delicious cuisine.

In addition, some sellers will allow you to add toppings, such as sunny side eggs, chicken, or maybe shrimp. Not only that, this cuisine tends to be affordable. If you purchase it on the street food stalls, you can have it for under $1. Meanwhile, the price in restaurant may be more expensive since it is cooked by expert chefs.

Being influenced by the Chinese cuisine, Nasi Goreng in Indonesia, according to my personal taste, has a sweeter taste compared to its traditional roots in China, due to the use of soy sauce by many Indonesians.

4. Nasi Pecel

Nasi pecel (source: unsplash)
Nasi pecel (source: unsplash)

Are you a vegetarian? Then, no need to worry because Indonesian loves vegetables a lot! I recommend eating Nasi Pecel.

Nasi Pecel is a traditional Javanese dish that consists of steamed rice served with vegetables, usually mixed with a spicy peanut sauce. Plus, extra crips named peyek is a perfect combination.

The peanut sauce adds a creamy and slightly earthy texture, with a hint of spiciness that complements the dish’s overall flavor. Nasi Pecel’s texture is a delicious blend of soft and crunchy elements, making it a popular and satisfying Indonesian dish.

Nasi Pecel is commonly available in most of the traditional markets. Try to dig deeper into the market so that you can get the cuisine. Hence, you can stay vegan but are able to eat tasty trending food in Indonesia!

5. Sate Ayam

Sate ayam (source: unsplash)
Sate ayam (source: unsplash)

Sate Ayam or chicken skewer is another trending food in Indonesia. In Japan it’s similar to Yakitori.

Sate or Satay Ayam is paralyzing many travelers due to its delicious taste. Why? Because sellers make it with chicken meat and peanut sauce. You may also dip it in the sauce to add spicy flavors.

Moreover, people love this skewer due to its original cooking method. The seller will burn it on charcoal which results in a charismatic aroma. This smoking method will also ensure that every side of the skewer is ripe.

At the street food stall, you can buy Sate Ayam for only 1-2 USD.

Sate Ayam has a tender and juicy texture with slightly charred and smoky flavor.

Overall, Sate Ayam has a deliciously tender and juicy texture that is sure to satisfy anyone who loves grilled meat. It’s a popular dish in Southeast Asia and is enjoyed by people all around the world.

6. Nasi Uduk

Nasi uduk (source: unsplash)
Nasi uduk (source: unsplash)

If most rice is blend with no taste, Nasi Uduk is different. The Indonesian will cook it in coconut milk, bay leaves, lime leaves, and lemongrass. Do you know what this process will produce?

Of course, the rice is crispy yet tastes sweet. Furthermore, this cuisine is perfect whenever you are craving it. Day or night, no worries!

The texture of Nasi Uduk is soft and fluffy, with a slightly creamy and fragrant flavor due to the coconut milk used in its preparation.

Nasi Uduk is often served with a variety of side dishes such as fried chicken, tofu, tempeh, and shredded omelet, which add a range of textures and flavors to the dish.

According to Lilly T. Erwin, “Makanan Khas Betawi” (2018), nasi uduk is a Betawi signature dish that is very popular and easy to find in every corner of Jakarta. But today, Nasi Uduk is not only in Jakarta, you can find also in Bali, Java, or other places.

You can buy Nasi Uduk from under 1 USD.

7. Rawon

Rawon (source: unsplash)
Rawon (source: unsplash)

I know that people are always focusing on the visuals, especially on food. But please do not do that to rawon or beef stew.

Rawon is a traditional Indonesian beef stew that originates from East Java. The texture of Rawon is typically rich and thick with hints of spices like shallots, garlic, burned turmeric, ginger, keluak, candlenut, and other spices.

This cuisine is incredibly delicious so you could never forget the taste. The broth is black because of kluwak (Pangium) and other spices ingredients.

This trending food in Indonesia is a must-try, especially for travelers who love meat! Not only the tender meat, but also gulp the delicious broth. Add some steamed rice to your spoon, and bite the meat immediately. Therefore, you will eat every piece of the meat in your bowl in no time!

8. Opor Ayam

Opor ayam (source: unsplash)
Opor ayam (source: unsplash)

Do you prefer chicken meat to beef? Well, Opor Ayam will be the best option! Opor Ayam is a traditional Indonesian dish made with chicken that is cooked in a rich and flavorful coconut milk-based sauce. Additionally, this food is mostly available during a happy day, Eid al Fitr. Moslems will celebrate the day by eating this cuisine.

The texture of Opor Ayam is creamy and smooth, with tender and juicy pieces of chicken.

The use of coconut milk gives it a slightly thick and velvety texture, while the spices, such as ginger, galangal, and lemongrass, give it a fragrant aroma and flavor.

The chicken in Opor Ayam is typically cooked until it becomes tender and falls off the bone easily, which results in a melt-in-your-mouth texture that is highly satisfying.

Furthermore, it is unique because most people eat opor ayam with ketupat (a diamond-shaped rice cake) or lontong (a tube-shaped rice cake). Also, most sellers will add some fried onions to it to add aromatic flavor. Thus, you may spend a day with many people celebrating a big event and gulp down the yellow broth deliciously.

9. Ayam Betutu

Ayam betutu (source: unsplash)
Ayam betutu (source: unsplash)

Ayam Betutu is a Balinese traditional cuisine and a must-try for you who visit this Dewata Island. I know you will fall in love with the scenery in Bali, but do not forget to come to the nearest restaurant to eat this food.

Do you know the reasons why this cuisine is viral and popular among tourists?

First, it is marinated in various seasonings from turmeric, ginger, garlic, shallots, chili peppers,  and various balinese spices called base genep, leaving it for hours which will infuses it with a rich and aromatic flavor. Some of the sellers even leave the marination overnight! And then steamed or roasted in banana leaves.

The cooking method used for Ayam Betutu can vary depending on the recipe, but it’s typically slow and low, which results in a chicken that is perfectly cooked and has a satisfying texture.

As a result, you will eat the most tender meat with a juicy effect in your mouth. Not only it is soft, but also it will melt which is satisfying.

It’s a popular dish in Bali and is enjoyed by many people for its unique and delicious texture and flavor.

Ayam Betutu is a dish that is commonly served during Hindu ceremonies in Bali.

10. Ayam Taliwang

Ayam taliwang (source: unsplash)
Ayam taliwang (source: unsplash)

Another chicken dish you can try while visiting Indonesia is Ayam Taliwang. It is a cuisine that originally comes from Lombok, Western Nusa Tenggara. You may think that this cuisine’s visual is similar to the previous list. Truthfully, both are different because the ingredients differ from each other.

The chicken is typically marinated in a spice paste made from garlic, shallots, chili peppers, and a variety of spices, which imparts a rich and aromatic flavor. It’s then grilled over hot charcoal or wood fire, which gives it a smoky and slightly charred flavor.

The texture of Ayam Taliwang is tender and succulent, with a slightly crispy exterior from being grilled over an open flame.

Furthermore, it features brown sugar which adds a sweet taste to the meat. Once you bite the chicken, add some rice or dip it in the sauce. Do not forget to eat with your hand so that you can taste this trending food in Indonesia in the traditional way.

11. Babi Guling

Babi guling (source: unsplash)
Babi guling (source: unsplash)

Balinese dishes are varied and they are always helpful to fill your stomach. One of them is Babi Guling or suckling pig. When you see the above mentioned picture, you know exactly that the pork is crispy!

The pig is first marinated in a mixture of Balinese spices (base genep), including turmeric, lemongrass, ginger, and other spices which infuses it with a rich and aromatic flavor. It’s then roasted over an open flame, which gives it a crispy skin and a tender and juicy texture on the inside.

The skin of Babi Guling is one of its most favorite, as it’s typically roasted until it’s crispy and golden brown. The meat itself is also tender and juicy, with a slightly sweet and savory flavor from the spice marinade.

Babi Guling has rich flavor that you can’t find anywhere, only in Bali.

In my opinion, the two special parts of Babi Guling are the pork skin and the pork meat itself. I personally enjoy the crispy, smoky, and juicy texture of the pork skin the most.

In addition, you need to eat the cuisine traditionally according to the Balinese way. Sellers will provide steamed white rice, savoury or sweet choice of vegetables, crispy pork skin, and sambals. This method allows you to yum all of the mixed elements in one bite. Therefore, not only will you fall in love with the crisp pork, but also sambals will complete the taste.

Similar to Ayam Betutu, Babi Guling is also commonly present during Hindu ceremonies and is beloved by both Balinese and non-Balinese people.

12. Ketoprak

Ketoprak (source: unsplash)
Ketoprak (source: unsplash)

Another vegetarian cuisine you can eat in Indonesia is Ketoprak. It is a magical food that originally comes from Jakarta. Indonesia is known for its agricultural production, allowing the society to be creative in producing a lot of cuisines, including this one. If you see the picture closer, the food is simple.

Aren’t you curious why people like it?

The combination of bean sprouts, lettuce, noodle, boiled egg, lontong, and tofu will boom in your mouth. In addition, it is crispy yet fulfilling the space in your stomach due to the crackers. Not only is it easy to find street vendors, but also sellers offer affordable prices.

Thus, you can eat it directly when you arrive in Jakarta!

13. Mie Aceh

Mie Aceh (source: unsplash)
Mie Aceh (source: unsplash)

Are you a fan of noodles? If so, this Mie Aceh is a must-try! This Aceh-originated cuisine is not instant. Instead, sellers will make it right in front of you so that you can see the cooking process. In addition, this noodle is rich in flavors, from a slightly sweet but sour and spicy taste. You will love eating this noodle at any time!

The texture of Mie Aceh can vary depending on how it is prepared, but generally it is a type of noodle that is thicker and chewier than regular wheat noodles.

The noodles are kind of thick and tends to have more volume than others. It has a signature orange color due to the various spice. Also, it features side dishes such as squid, crab, and shrimp. You can also wash your mouth with bean sprouts so that you can throw away the greasy taste while eating this delicious cuisine.

14. Soto

Soto ayam (source: unsplash)
Soto ayam (source: unsplash)

People who love broth would not take their eyes off this yellowish Soto cuisine. It is a trending food in Indonesia which offers a refreshing taste. In addition, you can choose between chicken or meat in your bowl. Sellers make this cuisine with noodles, green onion, and eggs. Plus, you must shred down the lime for tasty flavor!

Soto comes in many variations, including those made with chicken (Soto Ayam), beef (Soto Sapi), or pork (Soto Babi).

Commonly, Indonesian people place steamed rice under the broth. But if you want to gulp in the broth only, you may eat the food at restaurants instead of street vendors. Therefore, both the broth and rice will be separated, allowing you to taste the original taste.

15. Sop Buntut

Sop buntut (source: unsplash)
Sop buntut (source: unsplash)

I must say that Indonesian knows well how to cook. Why? Because Sop Buntut is made of oxtail! It is creative and unique, but what about the taste? Do not worry because it is not disappointing at all! Instead, sellers tend to create a flavor you could never forget. The oxtail is roasted until it gets tender.

The texture of Sop Buntut can be described as rich and gelatinous, with the meat falling off the bone easily due to its long cooking time.

Once it boils in the broth, they will add ingredients, such as carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, green onions, and celery.

When it is ready to serve, you can add some rice to your spoon. Thus, you will taste a variety of spices that are refreshing and warming to your throat. Not to mention that the oxtail is a masterpiece!

16. Pempek Palembang

Pempek (source: unsplash)
Pempek (source: unsplash)

Some people love broth, but others don’t. If you are one of the people who dislike broth, I recommend having this Pempek Palembang. Palembang is a city in Indonesia that is surrounded by water.

As a result, people in this region creates this cuisine from fish meat, and it becomes a must-try and signature.

Pempek Palembang is a type of Indonesian fishcake from the Palembang region, made primarily from ground fish and tapioca flour. The texture of Pempek Palembang can vary depending on the specific type of Pempek, but generally, it has a firm and slightly elastic texture. When cooked, the outside of the Pempek becomes slightly crispy, while the inside remains chewy and bouncy.

The cuisine is chewy due to the cassava and fish meat combinations. In addition, it features eggs, garlic, and salt to perfect the flavor. Sellers will deep fry the cuisine and serve it with a cuko, a spicy and sour sauce. Merely dip the fish cake into the sauce, and you can taste its delicious flavor!

17. Pecel Lele

Street foods in Indonesia are easy to find. You can purchase a different kind of cuisine on a sunny day or chilly night. One of the best and trending food in Indonesia you can have is Pecel Lele, which is a deep-fried catfish that is served on a cobek (a rounded plate made of clay). Note that this trending food is available in the evening.

Generally, sellers offer different kinds of sambals, such as sambal terasi or sambal ijo. You can choose whatever you like and enjoy this cuisine on the street. Furthermore, do not forget to have steamy rice and eat the cuisine with your hands. Therefore, traveling in Indonesia will give you a lot of memories and in love with the food.

18. Gudeg

Gudeg (source: unsplash)
Gudeg (source: unsplash)

Next, Gudeg is the original cuisine you can find in Yogyakarta. It is the trending food in Indonesia due to its unique ingredients. It is made with jackfruit which is boiled for hours with coconut milk and palm sugar. As a result, you can taste the creamy texture and sweet flavor while having this food.

You may think that the jackfruit will be too rough to eat. But, no need to think so because the boiling process will tenderize it. Add some rice and side dishes, then you can have this affordable price of cuisine while seeing the culture of Yogyakarta deliciously. So, are you ready to taste this food?

19. Bakmi Goreng

Bakmi (source: unsplash)
Bakmi (source: unsplash)

You might be curious why Bakmi Goreng is trending in Indonesia. The reason is that there are Chinese people who stay in Indonesia and live together with the natives. As a result, this cuisine is created. I must say that the food is must-try, especially for noodle lovers!

This noodle combines a lot of ingredients, including vegetables such as tomatoes, Chinese cabbage, and chili. Furthermore, you will find chicken meat or shrimp inside it! So not only can you taste the crunchy and healthy vegetables, but also this cuisine features delicious protein.

20. Tumpeng

Tumpeng (source: unsplash)
Tumpeng (source: unsplash)

I know that you may think the attached picture is unique. Why is the rice in a cone shape? Or the question may be why is the rice yellow. Tumpeng is a trending food in Indonesia that originally you can find in Javanese culture. It is a dish that you commonly use to celebrate events or become a symbol of gratitude.

Additionally, the dish is complete with side dishes. Most people place tempe and tofu, chicken, etc. So if you visit Indonesia, especially regions that are located across Central Java and East Java, you may have the chance to eat this delicious yellow-turmeric rice and its side dish.

21. Bubur Ayam

Bubur ayam (source: unsplash)
Bubur ayam (source: unsplash)

Some people prioritize breakfast because it can supply energy all day long. Bubur Ayam or chicken porridge is perfect for you who love to eat warm broth in the morning. It is a trending food in Indonesia that you can enjoy from 6 to 10 AM. Commonly, street vendors may close the store faster if the ingredients run out.

This cuisine is unique because it features rice-based porridge, fried shallots, peanuts, shredded chicken, and crackers. Additionally, the food is cost-effective, allowing you to eat two or more bowls if you like the taste. Thus, you can fill in your stomach with delicious food before traveling further on that day.

22. Terong Balado

Terong balado (source: unsplash)
Terong balado (source: unsplash)

Vegans who visit Indonesia would never run out of cuisine. This country serves everything from the field and creates unique foods. One of them is Balado Terong, an eggplant dish with chili sauce. But please be aware that the dish might be spicy for some people.

If you find it too spicy to eat, mix the dish with steamed rice and a different side dish. You may also bite crackers to divert your focus. However, if you are an adventurous person who wants to eat different culinary foods, this Balado Terong is a must-try! Not only is it 100% vegan, but also it offers a delicious taste!

23. Ikan Bakar

Ikan bakar (source: unsplash)
Ikan bakar (source: unsplash)

Indonesia is a country that is surrounded by seas and oceans. You know it well because most regions and countries have beaches to visit. Due to this plus point, Ikan Bakar or grilled fish, becomes the trending food in Indonesia. Commonly, every restaurant has different fish to offer, such as carp, gourami, or milkfish.

Sellers will marinate the fish with a special paste and grill it over hot charcoal. Every spice will deeply absorb the fish, allowing you to eat the cuisine deliciously. I recommend dipping it in sambal so that the taste is more incredible to your mouth.

24. Gulai

Gulai (source: unsplash)
Gulai (source: unsplash)

Gulai is the next cuisine you can try while visiting Indonesia. Its main ingredient is meat, but some sellers creatively change it to chicken or goat. In addition, this food is similar to curry. They use coconut milk to add a creamy texture to the food.

Furthermore, you can have a bowl of steamy rice and crackers to complete the cuisine. Not to mention that the food is marvelous to eat with your beloved people. So, everyone can have a delicious meal while spending time together.

25. Gorengan

Gorengan (source: unsplash)
Gorengan (source: unsplash)

The last trending food in Indonesia is easy to find, everywhere! Gorengan is also known as a deep-fried snack with ingredients mainly tofu, tempe, cassava, and a variety of vegetables.

Even better, the price is affordable to purchase! You can choose a lot of kinds of snacks and have them in the morning, afternoon and in the evening. Not only is it crispy, but also it can fill in your stomach before going with a full-course meal.

Which Trending Food in Indonesia Will You Try First?

Visiting a country such as Indonesia will give you a lot of chances to eat many foods. This country has many choices of trending food in Indonesia, allowing you to choose the cuisine for each meal.

Therefore, which of the lists above attracts you the most? Let’s make a bunch of lists and visit your favorite cuisine now!

Read more:

7 Most Popular Misconceptions of Indonesia

10 Top Facts About Indonesia You Must Know

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