Indonesia Food Culture

Southeast Asia always catches the eye of tourists, with its sunny tropical shores, tall and big coconut trees, and hospitable locals. With the development of Southeast Asia tourism, Indonesian food is increasingly appearing on the tables of foreign tourists, which are accepted and favored by tourists. Indonesian food culture forms an important part of tourism for this charming country.


indonesian food


Indonesian Food Characteristics

Indonesian food culture has the international trend. In the capital Jakarta, there are dishes from all over the world, such as Chinese, European, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean dishes, etc. Indonesian dishes are similar to the dishes of Southeast Asian countries and the taste is strong. Coconut milk, pepper, cloves, ko beans, curry and other spices are usually added to the food. On the tables you can find the spicy sauces.


Among the dishes throughout Indonesia, the most typical is Padang food, which is famous for its spicy and fried taste. Tourists who like spicy food can try it. Due to the hot weather, Indonesians generally do not like hot foods, and they do not drink very hot soups. Indonesians have a habit of drinking coffee or tea after a meal, usually with sugar when they drink.


indonesian food


Indonesians like sweets. There are many types of desserts after meals. The most common are fried plantains and various cakes made with rice flour, glutinous rice flour, flour, tapioca flour, soy flour, coconut, and sugar.


Structure of Indonesian food

Staple Food

Indonesia is located in the tropical zone, therefore it does not produce wheat. The staple food is rice, corn, or potatoes, especially rice. Apart from cooking rice, Indonesians like to wrap rice or sticky rice with banana leaves or palm leaves, and then steam them. In addition, Indonesians like foods made from wheat, such as a variety of noodles and breads etc.



As the majority of Indonesians are Islamic, therefore most Indonesians do not eat pork, but meat of sheep, beef or fish and shrimp.



Indonesia is a country rich in spices. Indonesian dishes are made with various spices, hot peppers, gingers, garlic etc. Therefore, one of the characteristics of Indonesian food is strong flavor. Indonesian dishes are different from other Southeast Asian dishes, which use two particular ingredients: shikuri and black kuri.


indonesian food


These two spices will appear in almost any traditional dish. For example, the famous Patong beef should be pounded with stone chestnuts and then sauteed to produce a unique oily aroma, which is authentic. The taste of black chestnut mixed with cloves, cinnamon, mint, etc. is an essential ingredient for cooking "Black Beauty". It is a kind of traditional beef soup, named for the black chestnut soup with black color, which is considered to have beauty and nutritional effects.



Indonesia is a coffee-rich country, so drinking coffee is very popular in the country. Due to its tropical geographical position, Indonesians like to drink cold drinks. Apart from ice cream, soft drinks, there are many cold drinks such as pineapple, coconut, mango drinks etc. Islamic people don't drink hard liquor, therefore most Indonesians drink beer.



In Indonesia, tropical fruits are abundant, especially bananas. In Indonesian markets, you can find all kinds of tropical fruits.


Popular Dishes in Indonesia

The most popular dishes in Indonesia are Gado-Gado (vegetable salad), Sate (grilled meat), Ikan Panggang (grilled fish), Sapipang-Gang (grilled beef), Kambing Panggang (meat from grilled mutton). The most popular soups are Soto Sapi (beef soup), Soto Kambing (mutton soup), and Soto Ayam (chicken soup) etc.





Indonesian Food Tips

  • To travel to Indonesia, you must pay attention to food hygiene. Many cities in Indonesia, including the capital Jakarta, have poor quality water. In some places, tap water cannot drink directly. It is not recommended that visitors drink non-boiled water, but drink boiled water or drinkable mineral water.


  • Indonesians sometimes eat rice with spoons and forks, sometimes with both hands. When eating Pilaf with their hands, they place the rice on the plate first, then use their right finger to pinch the rice into small balls and thus eat them directly. On the side of the table, a bowl of water is placed. When they grab the rice, they submerge it with water from time to time, so that the rice does not stick with their fingers. People who like pilaf find that it is very appetizing to eat like that.