28/08 1-5 of 40 Indonesia's best dishes


1. Sambal

While technically more of a condiment, the chili-based sauce known as sambal is a staple at all Indonesian tables.

Dishes are not complete unless they have a hearty dollop of the stuff, a combination of chilies, sharp fermented shrimp paste, tangy lime juice, sugar and salt all pounded up with mortar and pestle.

So beloved is sambal, some restaurants have made it their main attraction, with options that include young mango, mushroom and durian.




2. Satay

These tasty meat skewers cook up over coals so hot they need fans to waft the smoke away.

Whether it’s chicken, goat, mutton or rabbit, the scrappy morsels get marinated in turmeric, barbecued and then bathed in a hearty dose of peanut sauce.

Other nations now lay claim to sate, but Indonesians consider it a national dish conceived by street vendors and popularized by Arab traders.

Each vendor seeks distinction, but "sate madura" –- served with rice cakes (ketupat) and diced cucumber and onion -– is distinguished by its boat-shaped street carts.


3. Bakso

A favorite among students, this savory meatball noodle soup gained international fame when U.S. President Barack Obama remembered it as one of his favorites during a visit to Jakarta last November.

It takes on many forms; meatballs –- springy or rubbery, the size of golf balls or bigger -– are made from chicken, beef, pork or some amorphous combination of them all. Sold mostly from pushcarts called kaki lima, bakso comes garnished with fried shallots, boiled egg and wontons.





4. Soto

This traditional meat soup comprises a broth and ingredients that vary across the archipelago.

Common street versions are made of a simple, clear soup flavored with chicken, goat or beef. In Jakarta, home of the indigenous Betawi, soto Betawi garners fame with its sweet, creamy, coconut-milk base.

Top it with crispy shallots and fried garlic, and as much or little sambal as your taste buds can take.


Nasi goreng

5. Nasi goreng

Considered Indonesia’s national dish, this take on Asian fried rice is often made with sweet, thick soy sauce called kecap (pronounced ketchup) and garnished with acar, pickled cucumber and carrots.

To add an element of fun to your dining experience, try nasi gila (literally :crazy rice") and see how many different kinds of meat you can find buried among the grains –- yes, those are hot dog slices.




Source: CNN


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