The richness and variety within a specific culture can be pretty much reflected in its food and traditional dishes. Everyone, who dares to discover a new country from the culinary perspective, can be sure, that this experience will be more intense, colorful, simply more complete! While in Indonesia, with no doubts one needs to try its famous and recognizable options, such as: nasi goreng (fried rice), gado gado (vegetable salad with peanut sauce) or sate (meat skewers).
However, the fun part starts one step further, when we manage to forget about traditional menu for a while and taste some original specialities served in local warungs or little treats sold by street sellers. The more surprising, the better, right?
Let us introduce you to some of our favourites. We recommend you to try all the options, at least once...
In general, 'rujak' states for 'mixture' in Bahasa Indonesia' as under this term you can find a wide variety of different fruity and veggie salads. This particular one contains young raw mango, pineapple, cucumber, cooked sticky rice, tofu or tempe (fermented soy cakes) and...thin slices of cooked cow lips. The last ingredient adds a specific 'meaty' flavour to the whole composition. Rujak cingur is usually served with a dark sauce made of fermented shrimp paste with peanuts and topped with a sprinkle of fried shallots.
Shortly speaking, bubur is Indonesian variation on a traditional, nutritious porridge. It's served for breakfast and unlike most popular dishes, is characterized by a very mild flavour. It's based on thick rice, cooked in coconut milk and served with shredded chicken meat, salted vegetables, fried soybeans and crispy shallot. Can be topped with both sweet and salty soy sauce.
Salad Buah Keju
Another salad composition, but this one is considered rather a dessert and served after the main dish or as a snack in between meals. Salad buah consists of various local fruits, chopped in pieces or sliced as well as dark algae jellies. The surprise is coming with the next layers, as prepared fruits are covered with a thick layer of grated cheese and topped with a decent dose of mayonnaise. This way it's not a low-calorie option anymore, so those on a diet, be aware!
Durian Es Krim
As we are in desserts section, durian ice cream is definitely one worth mentioning. Durian as the royal fruit, is strongly present in the local culinary landscape. You can love durian or you can hate it, but it's impossible to ignore it! Durian es krim is a portion of durian-flavoured ice cream served in a slice of a toasted bread. Usually the bread itself is also coloured and is available in various flavours, like vanilla or strawberry. The ice cream can be found on the street, sold by a nice elderly man moving around on his ice cream bike (or motorcycle).
We hope, you feel inspired to explore Indonesian cuisine a bit more! Remember, even if you cannot pronounce the name of a dish correctly – taste it! OR If you don't have any idea, what you just got on your plate – still, taste it! The best experience is often coming unexpected and as for culinary discoveries, Indonesia is definitely a place to experiment!