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Shaddow Puppets (Wayang Kulit)


Although Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands and many different ethnic group, the main staple in everyones diet is the same- RICE

Other alternatives are grown in abundance, such as corn, sweet pototoes and sago- these are know as the poor mans food and rice is definately the prefered option.

Cooked rice or nasi, is eaten at the 3 daily meals; with left over rice being stir-fried for breakfast and rice cakes often being served as a mid morning snack. Lunch is rice served with 2 or 3 meat and vegetable dishes, while supper is rice served with as many as 5 or 6 other dishes.


Nasi- cooked rice

Pisang goreng- fried bananas

Sate/satay- grilled skewers of meat served with a peanut sauce

Soto-  a nourishing soup

Bakmi- noodles

Martabak- savory meat pancakes

Gado gado- vegetable salad served with peanut sauce

Longtong/ketupat- boiled rice

Sambal goreng dading- fried beef in cocnut sauce

Rendang- curried beef

Bubur- rice porridge

Cap cai- stir fired vegetables with added meat and served with rice

Ketupat- compressed boiled rice served with satay

Lumpia- spring rolls

Mie goreng and nasi goreng- fired rice or noodles served with shrimps and meat

Nasi campur- a cold rice mix with chicken, beans etc

Nasi gudeg- rice with chichen, jackfruit and cooked in coconut milk

Nasi kuning- yellow rice cooked in tumeric and coconut milk

Opor ayam- chichen cooked in a creamy coconut sauce

Rijstaffel- 'rice table' served with as many as 16 other dishes

Sayur lodeh- mixed vegetables in coconut milk

Serabi- scotch pancakes

 lumpia ayam                                                Beef Rendang                                   nasi goreng ayam


In many larger towns you will find vendors roaming the street selling sate, soto or bakmi from their carts, with larger fixed establishments also common place.

As well as rice you will see that there are several other common ingredients in Indonesian cooking; coconut milk, ginger, chilli peppers and peanuts are used nationally, while dried salted fish and soybeans are used as sources of protein. In costal areas fish is more commonly used than meat- for obvious reasons.

As Indonesia is 80% Muslim, pork is not widely eaten, although Chinese restaurants usually serve it in the more touristy areas.



Water MUST be boiled before drinking, for atleast five minutes in oder to kill od all the organisms. Hotels and most restaurants will as a matter of routine boil all water given to customers.

Ask for air minum  or drinking water- but in cheaper establishments it might be best to ask for bottled water.

Mineral water or aqua  is increasingly common- but there have been some reported cases where the bottles have been refilled so check the seal first.

Western drinks such as cola or sprite are widely avaiable in Indonesia and are cheap. Fruit juices air jeruk  and milk from a fresh coconut are also on offer, both would be offered with ice but it safer to have it without.

Coffee kopi and tea teh are normally served without milk, as this is normally only served in the more touristy areas.

Despite being a predominately Muslom county alcohol is widely available, with the two most popular beers brewed locally being Anker and Bingtang. Imported spirits like gin and whisky are normally only served in the most expensice restaurants and hotels. But try the local brew of brem- rice wine or arak- rice whisky and tuak- palm wine.



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