Asian Food Primer: Indonesian Food

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
by David Johnson

Asian Foods Guide

Common ingredients and popular dishes of various cultures.

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Since Indonesians speak more than 500 languages and dialects, and live on more than 17,000 islands, it is not surprising that Indonesian cuisine is quite varied. While most Indonesians are Muslims, who don't eat pork, Hindu influences can also be found, especially on the island of Bali. Traders from China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East have all influenced Indonesian cooking, as have the Europeans, including the Dutch, who colonial masters of the country off and on for 350 years. The most famous Indonesian dishes come from the islands of Java or Sumatra.

Common ingredients:


seafood, beef, chicken, rice, cucumbers, peanuts, pineapples, bananas, pistachios, coconuts, mangos, sweet potatoes, soybeans, peanuts, spices

Popular dishes:

satay (beef, pork, or chicken prepared with ginger, garlic, pepper and soy sauce); curried crab; chicken fried in soy sauce; sweet and sour cucumber salad; pepper salad with sesame seeds; cooked vegetable salad; peanut sauce; fried rice; rice rolls

More Information:

Map of Indonesia

Sources +