As the world’s largest archipelago country, Indonesia is well known for having a lot of cultural diversity. With more than 250 ethnic groups across the nation, each group contributed their own influence into Indonesian culture, in the end it resulted in a lot of variety in Indonesian cuisine.
Throughout its history, Indonesian food has been influenced by China, India, Middle Eastern and Western country’s traditions. The most popular dishes that originated in Indonesia are well known in most Asian countries such as chicken satay, beef rendang, soto ayam (clear chicken soup) and many more. Not to mention about tofu and tempe dish are also very popular.
As an agricultural country, Indonesian plain is dominated by paddy field. Therefore rice is the staple food for Indonesian people. The meal usually combines rice, meat, fish or vegetable dish, soup and salad and all are served at once. Like many Asians, we consider a meal if it is served with rice. Spoon and fork are used while having meal although in many parts of the country it is also common to eat with fingers.
The basic flavorings of Indonesian cuisine are coming from herbs and spices such as candlenuts, coriander seeds, turmeric, peppercorns, lemon grass, galangal, shallots, garlic, lime basil, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar, tamarind and many more. Sometimes it is combined with hot chilies that makes Indonesian food somewhat tasting hot and spicy. Most Indonesian cooking needs a lot of preparation beforehand. Some also says it’s time consuming, but the end result is always a good surprise for all food lovers.
Among many other Asian countries, Indonesia is a heaven for hawker’s food. You can find them easily, everywhere. Sometimes the taste is much better than home cooking. There’s something missing if we try it at home even using the same ingredients. Just be careful if you dare to try it. You should try the hawker’s food which sells inside the shopping mall or in some particular place for hawker’s food. Some people just couldn’t stand with the street food due to hygienic issue. If you buy some food that is cooked on the spot, you don’t have to worry about it. That should be fine and the results can be magical!