From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, the food in Indonesia is incredibly varied and all absolutely delicous! There’s an awesome fusion of local Indonesian food cooked in traditional warungs and modern cafes serving all the healthy choices (yup all the smashed avo you could wish for!). and of course, being in indonesia it’s all incredible cheap – you can grab some street food for less than 50p and eat a local main meal for as little as £1. Aside from the delicou-ness, theres something else I adore about Indonesian food – I love much love goes into everything that’s served, no matter where you’re buying it from – and if it’s served in a banana leaf then even better!
Here are my top 10 foods you need to eat in Indonesia…(and some of my favourite places to eat them!)
(P.S : this list is not exhaustive of course – there are hundreds of awesome dishes to try in Indonesia – but this is a good place to start!)
1. Satay Tempeh
The Satay we had in Indonesia was hands down the best satay I’ve ever had – which makes sense because satay apparently originated in Java! The skewers of meat, tofu or tempeh are cooked over hot coals and served with the delicious peanut sauce! Tempeh (or tempe) is made from soybeans a bit like tofu, and is packed full of protein and fibre so is great for vegetarians.
Where: Visit Biah Biah in Ubud and try the tempeh skewers. They serve tapas style dishes, so t’s a great place to try lots of Balinese foods at once. (I loved these small potato balls too from here, but I can’t remember what they are called!)
2. Grilled Corn
One of my favourite street foods in Indonesia was the grilled corn. The corn is brushed in a paste of butter, chilli, garlic, spices and lemongrass before being grilled and it’s so good!
Where : You’ll find it everywhere on street food stalls, but the best we had was on the beach front in Sanur.
3. Gado Gado
4. Mie Goreng and Nasi Goreng
5. Tropical Fruit
There is an abundance of incredible, tropical fruits across Indonesia and I don’t think there is a better way to start the day than a huge fruit salad of fresh dragonfruit, pineapple, mango, papaya and bananas. Tip: If you hate papaya with a passion like I did, then try squeezing lime on it first – game changing tip from a local!
- Cafe Vida in Canggu (pictured below)
- Kafe in Ubud
6. Smoothie Bowls
As well the incredible fresh fruit available, smoothies and smoothie bowls are really popular, particularly across Bali. These brightly coloured bowls are topped with granola, muesli, yoghurt and dried coconut!
- Ginger and Jamu / Nusa Lembongan (pictured below is there ‘Hulk’ smoothie bowl – made with avocado)
- The Cashew Tree / Uluwatu
7. Pisang Goreng (Fried Bananas)
Pisang Goreng is basically banana, covered in batter and deep fried! So it’s really not the healthiest recommendation, but you have to give them a try at least once – they taste too good! We were introduced to these during breakfast on our Rinjani hike, and they gave us plenty of energy for our days of hiking! It’s a really popular choice for breakfast as is banana pancakes – and we ate our fair share of these too! There’s something so good about the bananas in Indonesia – they are super sweet!
Where: We were always served them on our organised trips, but they are popular at street food vendors or in restaurants as a dessert.
I didn’t take a photos of these during our organised trips – but here are the banana pancakes!
8. Pepes Ikan
Pepes Ikan is a delicious, traditional fish dish, but if your not a fan of spice you might want to skip this one – it has quite a kick! The fish is rubbed with spices, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed, giving it an incredible melt-in-the-mouth texture.
9. Red Curry
Rendang curry is hugely popular across Indonesia (and elsewhere), but for me it was all about the red curry. This curry is full of flavour and colour and is made with a delicious combination of spices including turmeric, chilli, garlic and coconut milk.
- I had the most amazing red curry with tofu, tempeh and loads of vegetables from The Fair Warung Bale, a non profit organisation funding healthcare for the local community. The meal cost just £3, and provided healthcare for two people. This warung is in Ubud in Bali and is 120% worth a visit.
10. Drinking Coconuts
Paradise is… lying on a beach drinking straight from a coconut! Coconut water is really refreshing and is really good for keeping you hydrated in the Indonesian heat. You can pick up a whole coconut from locals selling them on the beach for as little as 80p!
I hope this was helpful if your heading to Indonesia – I plan to write a more detailed post about Healthy Food in Indonesia and also the Cost of Travelling Indonesia so keep posted for these! You might like to check out my Top 5 Things You Can’t Miss in Lombok and 5 Places You Can’t Miss in Bali here too. If you have any questions or comments, let me know – I’d love to hear what foods you loved in indonesia!
Thanks for reading,
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