Last updated on December 22, 2014 by Liza Hawkins
Hello foodies! This is a guest post guide to the most popular Indonesian food from Chef Christopher, who hails from Singapore. Hope you enjoy! -Liza
Flavorful may be too much of a cliché to describe food, but in Indonesia, the food is literally full of flavors. There’s sweet, salty, sour, hot, and pungent — you name it, they’ve got it. Indonesian food owes its complex and intense flavors to a wide array of spices, herbs, and seasonings such as coriander, nutmeg, lemongrass, and of course, chili.
The kaleidoscope of flavors contained in Indonesian food can be traced back to its geographic and cultural diversity as a nation. Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, consisting of 18,000 islands where over 300 ethnic groups reside. There’s even a group of islands known as The Spice Islands (Islands of Maluku) where the country’s native spices originated. Because of this geographical setup, Indonesian cuisine varies per region and has been molded from different influences such as Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Beyond Hot: Identifying the Most Popular Indonesian Food
While Indonesian food is not that well-known abroad, it certainly has a lot to offer and should grow more popular over time. Indonesian food at www.efooddepot.com is available for people enamored with this cuisine. Here are some of the most famous Indonesian dishes and their special ingredients!
The most prominent staple Indonesian fare is rice (nasi). Indonesians eat rice everyday, all day. Usually served steamed, rice is accompanied by one or two meat, fish and/or vegetable dishes during meals. It is also cooked with spices and other ingredients and can be made into desserts, noodles, and even wine. So important is this food in the Indonesian cuisine that fried rice or nasi goreng is considered the national dish of the country.
Special Ingredient: Kecap Manis
What makes nasi goreng different from other kinds of fried rice is kecap manis, which is Indonesian sweet soy sauce. It has a thick consistency and its sweetness is due to the addition of palm sugar.
Satay (or sate) are pieces of meat, skewered and grilled, and served with peanut sauce.
The meat is usually chicken (ayam) but it can also be beef, goat, pork, mutton, fish, or even tofu. Celebrated as a national dish, it is one of the most well-known foods in Indonesia.
Special Ingredient: Peanut Sauce
Except for mutton (which is served with kecap manis), peanut sauce is what makes satay a standout from other grilled meat dishes. Known as bumbu kacang, Indonesian peanut sauce is not a very sweet sauce; rather, it has an earthy seasoning as it is made from various ingredients like garlic, shallots, tamarind, lemongrass, chili, and of course, fried peanuts. The use of peanuts is a main characteristic of Indonesian cuisine.
Literally means dry curry, rendang is a spicy, dry meat stew that originated inPadang, West Sumatra. Its most popular, and arguably the most delicious dish is beef rendang.
Special Ingredient:Coconut Milk
The rich flavor of beef rendang can be attributed to the coconut milk the meat is cooked in, along with a mix of ground spices.Since coconuts are abundant in Indonesia, the use of coconut milk is another trademark of Indonesian food. It is used widely in both savory and sweet dishes.
Considered a comfort food and a national dish, soto or coto is basically a soup composed of broth, meat, and vegetables. It is served in a wide range of variations depending on the region and main ingredient.
Special Ingredient: Turmeric
Perhaps the most popular variant of soto is soto ayam which is a yellow spicy chicken soup with lontong (pieces of rice cake) and/or noodles. The chicken broth’s yellow color is due to turmeric.
Cooking Indonesian food obviously requires distinctive spices and native ingredients that awaken the taste buds. There are plenty of spices and Indonesian food if you would like to create Indonesian dishes in your very own kitchen.
About the author: Christopher is a well known professional chef and professional blogger too, and here he is sharing the most popular Indonesian food around. Click here for more of Chef Christopher’s guest posts.