Top Foods from Indonesia

The Netherlands and Indonesia have had intertwined roots for centuries, dating back to the 1800s up until 1949, when independence was proclaimed and recognized. Unsurprisingly, during this time, many Indonesian dishes found their way to the Netherlands, and have been part of the Dutch cuisine ever since. Going to Bali, we were eager to try these familiar foods in their original setting.

The national dish of Indonesia is nasi goreng: fried rice prepared with thick soy sauce (ketjap), with fried onions and krupuk (deep fried crackers, often made from caridean shrimp) on the side. Sometimes, it is accompanied by chicken satay: skewered chicken dipped in satay (peanut sauce).

The nasi goreng and chicken satay we tried in various restaurants tasted, almost without exception, fantastic, yet very similar to their Dutch counterparts. Especially the krupuk was sometimes indistinguishable from what’s available in Dutch supermarkets.

Other popular Balinese dishes include fresh fruit or juice for breakfast, and fried bananas or black sticky rice with coconut milk for desert. More often than not, a meal is accompanied by a Bintang, a light but good tasting beer. Finally, Bali produces a lot of Luwak coffee, also named the most expensive coffee in the world. We were not too impressed by it, and preferred regular Balinese coffee instead.

  • The best: the handmade chicken satay, or a good nasi goreng.
  • The worst: for six dollars a cup, we were disappointed by the Luwak coffee.
  • The healthiest: all the freshly squeezed juices and fresh fruit.

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We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.

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