top of page
  • 執筆者の写真acimajp

Indonesia Food Culture: Part 1

Hello everyone!

I think a lot of you had to cancel your holiday trips abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This is why I would like to introduce you this blog about different food cultures around the world! I hope you will be able to take a glimpse at the foreign atmosphere while staying at home.

This article’s topic is Indonesia.

What is Indonesia like as a country?

Indonesia is comprised of thousands of islands in the Indian Ocean.

Its area is 1 919 440 square kilometres which is around 5 times larger than Japan.

Its population is at the 4th place in the world after America – around 260 million people live in Indonesia!

You can find various kinds of beef, goat, chicken, and seafood on the Indonesian dining table.

Indonesian population is 85% Muslim, so most people do not eat pork. There is no alcohol culture for the same reason.

The staple food is Indica rice. Staple foods like cassava and sago palm are popular in those regions that are not suitable for rice cultivation.

Cassava is a type of potatoes that are also tapioca ingredients.

Sago palm is a plant with starchy trunks, if you strain and bake it, you will be able to make something similar to bread.

How to remember Indonesian cuisine? It is actually really simple!

When people think of Indonesian food, the first thing that comes up in their minds is often Nasi goreng. Nasi goreng is similar to fried rice.

“Nasi” means rice, while “Goreng” is “to fry”.

As you can see, Indonesian food names are comprised of the ingredients used and their cooking method.

Sapi – beef

Kambing – goat

Ikan – fish

Rebus – to boil

Campur – to mix

Pepes – to wrap something in banana leaves, then steam and bake

Gulai – boiled coconut milk

If you know these basic words, you will be able to easily get an idea of what every dish is.

For example, Mie (noodles) Goreng (to fry) is similar to fried noodles. Soto (soup) Ayam (chicken) stands for a spicy chicken soup.

bali food (acima blog)
bali food

Beloved Indonesian seasonings!

The seasonings that Indonesian food cannot exists without are Ketchup Manis and Sambal.

Ketchup Manis is quite sweet and reminds of thickened soy sauce.

If you compare it to Japanese food, it is similar to the sweet sauce for yakitori.

This ketchup is made of fermented soybeans and wheat. It is an essential seasoning for Nasi goreng, Mie goreng and other similar dishes.

Sambal is a spicy seasoning that goes together with Nasi goreng and similar food. It is a type of chili sauce.

You can mix it to different dishes to your taste.

It is not only spicy, but also has some sweetness and strong flavour to it.

Proper breakfasts for your early mornings!

Indonesian people take their breakfasts very seriously.

When they meet someone in the morning, they even greet each other with “Suda Sarapan?” which stands for “Did you eat breakfast?”

72% of Indonesian people think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

You can see a lot of people who eat Buburu (porridge), Soto (soup), or turn the leftovers from the previous day to Nasi goreng.

This habit is related to waking up early in the Islamic culture.

It is mandatory to pray 5 times a day in Islam, and the first and the earliest prayer is at 4:40 in the morning.

Muslims finish their morning prayers and then prepare breakfast, leaving their homes afterwards.

Some companies start their operation at 7:00-8:00.

Additionally, most Indonesian schools start classes at 6:00-7:00.

However, they also get off work or school early. The end of the working day is from noon to 14:00. People do not prepare lunch boxes; students eat lunch at home.

The most common lesson time for Indonesia is to have a 3-hour long class and then a 10-minute break.

You obviously get hungry after not eating anything for such a long time, so students often bring bread or snacks from home. Some students also buy sweets and snacks from school cafeterias or shops nearby.



World, foods, Indonesia, food culture, pandemic, spices, breakfast, Indonesian food, ketchup manis, sambal, nasi goreng, Islam, buburu, suda sarapan, mie goreng



bottom of page