With a wide variety of traditional dishes from all the different states of Indonesia, we can't emphasize how different some dishes are even though they might sound the same. Indonesia food is truly subtle but always packed with flavours and not always dangerously spicy. Here are some stories, guides and recipes that will open up a whole new Indonesia for you and what better way to do this then to get accquainted with the food. 


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Spaghetti Cabe Ijo (Green Chilli Spaghetti)

Seafood, spice and pasta is the perfect busy day combination that will appease any spice lover. Green chilies or cabai hijau, an everyday condiment in Indonesian cuisine, adds a refreshing oomph of heat to your usual pasta plate. Lime too, livens it up with a slight tarty, zesty taste. You can always take the heat down a notch by using less, so you don’t sweat too much over your dinner while coating your spaghetti or fettuccine with a slurp-worthy dose of Asian spices. Garnish with extra herbs or grated parmesan cheese on top and you’re all set to dig in!

Spaghetti Panggang

Spaghetti Panggang combines the best of classic Italian dishes like spaghetti and lasagne. This viral Brûléed Pasta is basically a lasagna recipe, but instead of using lasagne sheets, we use spaghetti. My favourite part is the golden brown crispy brûléed top, with savory, thick Béchamel or white sauce below. It is super rich and creamy, and will definitely be a very filling meal for you and your family.

South Sulawesi Beef Soup (Soto Makassar)

If you are a fan of earthy, wholesome broths and love indulging in offals now and again, this aromatic Soto (or Coto) Makassar, a beef soup of South Sulawesi, will leave you patting your belly in contentment in no time. The longer you simmer the beef broth, the better it gets, so prepping this hours in advance is key to the lusciously rich soup base. Serve with sambal tauco, a kind of Indonesia chili shrimp paste and Buras (Indonesian rice dumpling) or Ketupat rice cakes to soak up every last drop of this hearty Soto.

Sticky Date Pudding

Sticky date pudding always brings to mind the heavenly butterscotch drizzle and vanilla ice cream over a sticky warm pudding. You don’t have to head to a fancy restaurant to recreate this –we’ve got you covered with our homemade recipe below. Dates are naturally sweet (they are a source of fructose), so you can definitely add less sugar or even go without. You can also replace the sugar with molasses or honey to give it an even stickier texture. It’s one of our absolute favourite desserts –so give it a try!

Cat Tongue Cookies (Lidah Kucing)

What a cute name for a cookie treat! Lidah Kucing, lady finger cookies or cat tongue cookies are shaped like cat tongues and really easy to whip up. Texture wise, it is similar to French Tuile Cookies but more cakey. These biscuits are commonly served during Hari Raya, and are a huge hit among kids. Sprinkle some hundreds and thousands on it or even dip it in chocolate before adding sprinkles for a dash of color. We are definitely addicted to its buttery crunch!

Moss Jelly (Puding Lumut Mentega)

With its beautiful emerald green exterior, Moss Jelly or Puding Lumut Mentega is sure to be a star attraction on your dessert table. Most often served during Ramadan in Indonesia, this dual-layered custard jelly is delightfully creamy and is actually made out of refreshing veggies. It’s a really stealthy way to sneak some fresh cucumber and bean sprouts into snacks for the kids and adults alike. Grab a piece before it disappears from the table!

Healthy Pineapple Tarts (Nastar Sehat)

Who doesn’t love the gooey, sweet, sticky pineapple tarts? We can literally pop them by the dozen if no one is watching. Nastar Sehat or Pineapple tarts have been a staple dessert snack during Hari Raya and Chinese New Year. This version of Healthy Pineapple Tarts uses less sugar in both the cookies and pineapple paste while retaining the yummy, melt-in-your-mouth base and lightly spiced topping. Make it a fun family affair by getting the kids to help shape the base into circles, flowers or heart shapes to hold the pineapple paste. Just make sure they are about the same size for baking evenly.

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Late Night Guide: Indonesia


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Top Indonesian Recipes You Must Try



Don't be fooled by the number of ingredients required to prepare Asinan! Asinan is a common vegetable dish that can be easily found in Indonesia, Bogor. With this simple and easy Asinan recipe, you can easily recreate this anytime. Topped it off with peanut sauce, cucumber, and keropok, your Asinan is ready! It is that simple!

Ayam Betutu

Well known for its bustling night scene and beach clubs, is it any wonder that the Ayam Betutu, Balinese-style roasted chicken, is a dish excites the senses? The queen of this dish is the chicken –lovingly rubbed down with Base Gede, a spice paste made ofchili and a range of fragrant Southeast Asian herbs, and stuffed with cassava leaves. It is first browned, then bundled tightly with a Staghorn Fern leaf in banana leaves before it is popped into the oven for two hours. The result is the most succulent and aromatic chicken that you will serve with rice and some fried sambal.

Ayam Taliwang

Devour this spicy yet savory Indonesian fried chicken, you will be sure to ask for more!

Ayam Penyet

If you love chicken, why would you smash it? The only justifiable reason is to create this unique Asian dish from Java, Indonesia that has spread across Asia and is getting popular across the world as well. A crispy yet tender chicken dish that is quick, easy, and served with a delicious chili paste so you can spice it up to your liking. Best served with steamed rice and usually complemented with simple Indonesian sides including fried tempe (soy protein).

Ayam Taliwang

Devour this spicy yet savory Indonesian fried chicken, you will be sure to ask for more!

Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang is a spicy meat dish from Indonesia, and it is well-loved by everyone, especially the Malay community. Beef rendang can be easily switched up with chicken or lamb and is best paired with rice! This recipe is easy to follow and recreate within just three simple steps! Do remember to simmer your Beef Rendang under low heat for an hour or until the stew turns dark brown for better texture It is definitely worth the wait!


Known in Indonesia and Malaysia as begedil, it is crispy on the outside and super tender on the inside. A party favourite, begedil is also paired with Soto Ayam & Nasi Lemak. Whichever you eat it alone or with others,

Garang Asem

Rich and spicy, the Garang Asem Bumbung is an Indonesian coconut chicken curry guaranteed to keep you coming back for more! A spoonful of this curry will expose your palette to many layers of amazing flavour, all of which comes from the combination of Southeast Asian spices, and the way it is cooked -fried, simmered then finished in a bamboo steamer. Enjoy it with steamed rice!

Ikan Goreng Kicap

If you are a fish lover, the Ikan Goreng Kicap is the dish for you! A whole fish, fresh and marinated with turmeric powder and cornstarch, is deep fried to a crispy golden wonder and slathered with a dark sauce filled with umami. Best eaten immediately and topped with finely julienned spring onions and large red chili!

Ikan Kerisi Asam Jawa

Hosting a small dinner party with family and friends? Try your hand at the Ikan Kerisi Asam Jawa –a dish that will send their palettes to the moon and back! A whole fish that is cooked in tangy and spicy concoction of Southeast Asian herbs and spices, and... the pineapple! If you’re not one for too much spice, simply reduce the amount of red chili in your spice paste!

Indonesian Nasi Goreng

Indonesian Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng) is one of the most popular dishes in Indonesia and across Asia for a very good reason. Quick, flavorful, authentic, and works at all hours from breakfast all the way up to after a late night out. It can also be customised with any meat or vegetables, with chicken being one of the most popular. The fried blended chili paste (sambal goreng) method is what makes our Indonesian Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng) with Chicken the quickest, easiest and most delicious ultimate Asian comfort food.

Kerak Telor (Spicy Glutinous Rice Omelette with Grated Coconut)

Not your regular breakfast omelette, the Kerak Telor is an omelette dish from Betawi, an indigenous culture from Jakarta. So many things make this a standout street snack but the most important of all –the use of sticky rice, which makes the omelette thick and chewy. A quick tip –Kerak Telor is traditionally make with duck eggs, which is not only healthier than chicken eggs, but the creamier and richer too!


Lontong consisted of compressed steamed rice cakes soaked in rich coconut vegetable curry stew. Lontong is a dish that can be commonly found at cafes, hawker centres and restaurants in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It’s a hearty meal for any hungry diner who loves a tasty curry and vegetables.

Indonesian Cuisine

Indonesia is a country that is rich with tradition and history. Likewise, Indonsiean food and cuisine is defined by its culture and history. Different Indonesian recipes have different stories to tell depending on which region of Indonesia it originated from and if it was influenced by flavour profiles from other countries in the region, be it Thailand, China or Malaysia.

The spices, herbs and ingredients used in Indonesian cooking gives the cuisine a refreshing and unique identity of its own in the Southeast Asian region. Fried and mixed rice dishes such as ‘Nasi Goreng’ and ‘Nasi Padang’ are special to Indonesian cuisine, but the region is not without its fair share of savoury meat curries and traditional desserts either.

Indonesian Food And Culture

The flavour profiles of Indonesian food can vary region to region. Take the ‘Sate Sambas’ for instance - there are over 30 different recipes across Indonesia, with each recipe adapted to represent the local flavors and taste profiles. Depending on where you get these sticky sweet meat skewers from, you may experience a variation in ingredients used, from coconut milk to spice-based curry mixes.

Travelling in Indonesia? Our handy guides will give you all the information you need to sample the diverse flavors of Indonesian cuisine. If you find yourself in Padang, Medan or Bandung, be sure to try these amazing dishes that are iconic of Indonesian cuisine there:

  1. Late Night Guide to Padang
  2. Late Night Guide to Medan
  3. Late Night Guide to Bandung

Try Our Indonesian Food Recipes!

From the ever popular ‘Nasi Goreng’ to savoury meat dishes like the ‘Soto Ayam’ and classic ‘Ayam Penyet’ Indonesian cuisine will surprise you with its range and diversity in dishes. Instead of going out for dinner, why not try making some of these Indonesian recipes right at home?

Complete with photos, a video and step-by-step guide, the Asian Food Network has a collection of recipes that are perfect for satisfying that craving for Indonesian food.

Whet your appetite with our Indonesian recipes - easy to follow, simple yet authentic.

Tried Our Recipes? Share With Us On Social Media

Put a spin on the recipe and make it your own! Share your Indonesian dishes with us by tagging us on Instagram! For new recipes, stay connected with us on our Facebook page!

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