Indonesian national cuisine is extremely interesting. It is a combination of regional cuisines, common on different islands, and ethnic cuisines. Culinary traditions were also influenced by religion, the cuisines of neighboring countries, as well as dishes and products imported by Europeans. There are so many unusual dishes that you can taste only a small part of them in one trip. Dishes have a spicy taste. Indonesian cooks use a lot of spices and spicy food combinations. A lot of seafood and fish, chicken, as well as rice, sweet potatoes, and corn are used in cooking. Each region has its own characteristics and dishes.
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Indonesian and Malaysian culinary traditions are found in Borneo. Indigenous traditions have influenced them. Few hundreds of ethnic groups live on the island. Most of the population is Muslim. Therefore, pork is prohibited. The most famous dishes are fried rice, grilled shrimp, and noodles. Garlic, ginger and thick sauces are generously added to dishes. Unusual fruits grow in tropical forests. These are bambangan (a giant fruit resembling mango) and rambutan (a juicy fruit similar to lychee). Thick soups with noodles, chicken and fish are prepared in pots. Delicious jaruk is made from wild boar meat or fresh river fish. They are the filling for a bamboo tube. Rice and salt are also added. The dish is ready in a few weeks.
Mackerel, chili, ginger, red onion, grated seeds of bambanga, and a couple of tablespoons of lime juice are used to prepare hinava. This dish is served with white rice. Pinasakan Sada made from fish basung, fruit takob akob, fresh turmeric, and salt. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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The Minangkabau ethnic group inhabits a large part of Sumatra. Their ethnic cuisine is called Padang. The unusual serving of dishes is typical for this cuisine. All dishes are served at the same time without dividing into the first course, main dish, and dessert. Food is eaten with the right hand. A bowl with water and lemon slices is placed on the table for washing. A lot of meat but only not pork is consumed in Sumatra. Most of the local residents practice Islam. Rice was developed very early on the island. It was made the main agricultural crop. The inhabitants of the country also began to raise a lot of livestock, especially cows.
Pre-marinated meat, poultry, fish or seafood are used to make the popular gulai sauce. The ingredients are boiled in coconut milk with spices (coriander, black pepper, chili, garlic, shallots, cinnamon, and others). There are many variations of the sauce depending on the ingredients. Rendang is one of the most popular dishes. Beef pieces are stewed in hot coconut milk and chili sauce until the liquid evaporates. There are variations on the theme with duck, chicken or mussels. In addition to meat, offal is often consumed. For example, gulai sauce can be made from beef liver or brain. A Karupuak Jangek is crackers from cow skin.
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The cuisine of the island of Java was influenced by Arab, Chinese, and Indian cuisines. Spices are not overused here. Therefore, the dishes are not too spicy. Local cuisine is divided into Central Javanese, East Javanese, and regular Javanese cuisine. The difference between them is mainly in tastes. The cuisine of Central Java is sweet and not spicy. Eastern dishes are less sweet. Adding chili to a meal is a special feature of it. Boiled rice is the most famous food. It is served with many dishes. Tumpeng is yellow rice, which is laid out in the form of a cone. It is used for various ceremonies. The rice used for the preparation of lontong (sausage made of rice boiled in banana leaves) and ketupat (rice boiled in a woven palm leaf wrapper). Rice is cooked in coconut milk. Turmeric is usually added to it. Javanese are also very fond of taro, yams, and sweet potatoes. Cereals and bread are unpopular here. Rice can be served with noodles and potatoes. Palm sugar, sweet soy sauce, coconut milk, nut sauce, tamarind, shrimp paste, shallot, garlic, turmeric, and ginger are actively used in cooking.
Soto Ayam is a soup originally from the town of Jepara. The people of Java are very fond of it. It is made from chicken, lamb or beef and seasoned with turmeric. Kuluban is a traditional salad originally from Central Java. One of the oldest dishes in the region is made from green beans, parka and jackfruit (Indian breadfruit), orange leaves, bean sprouts, kaempferia, shrimp paste, crushed coconuts, red pepper, salt, and sugar. Krupuk (chips made of starch or flour) is also added sometimes.
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The culinary traditions of Balinese cuisine were formed under the influence of Indian and Chinese cuisines. Most of the inhabitants of Bali are Hindus. Therefore, the local cuisine differs significantly from the rest of the Indonesian cuisine. Pork is eaten here. One of the region's signature dishes is a spiced suckling pig, roasted on a spit. Beef is not consumed on the contrary. Cooked rice is served with almost all dishes. Garlic, Kaffir-lime, ginger, and turmeric are used as spices. The classic set of Balinese spices includes 8 components: white pepper, black pepper, coriander, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, sesame, and lumbang. The gods are honored before the meal. Some products are used for rituals.