09 Jul 2016

Indonesian Street Food – 5 of the best dishes

Indonesian Street Food using traditional Indonesian recipes

Anyone who’s ever travelled to Indonesia and tried Indonesian street food loves the exotic flavour and appetising smell of easy traditional Indonesian recipes.

Let’s have a look at some of the most popular and absolutely delicious Indonesian street food.
Tourists and others who don’t speak Bahasa (the Indonesian language) may find it difficult to order Indonesian dishes. Displayed by most street vendors, however, are big pictures of the food they serve. It is easier for the customer to order the food they want that way.

Viewed by newcomers and especially those from the Western world, the sight of the street stalls can be quite off putting. Unlike traditional restaurants they appear to be unhygienic, but they are generally safe to eat from and the food tastes amazingly good.

indonesian street food cart
Street Food Carts

Nasi Goreng

We couldn’t start with anything else but this Nasi Goreng recipe, simply because this meal is the closest thing to an Indonesian national dish that there is. Translated, Nasi Goreng means Fried Rice. Served in many different variations Nash Goreng can come with chicken or goat’s meat or prawns as serving options. Served with steamed or boiled green long grain beans although Nasi Goreng can be served alone or as part of a rijsttafel recipe. Meaning rice table in Dutch.


Food offered like Martabak is quite different from any of the other Indonesian dishes you will encounter. It is very popular on the island of Java, the most populous of Indonesian islands. It looks quite like a square roti stuffed with a sweet or savoury. Indian cuisine has influenced Indonesian food a lot, or so the locals say. However its origins actually go back to Middle East recipes. If it’s the savoury option you’ve chosen then you can enjoy duck eggs (up to five upon request), chopped green onions, cilantro (coriander) and chicken meat. The sweet Martabak resembles more of a big, fat pancake. They are often covered in layer of butter, dark chocolate sprinkles, grated cheese and condensed milk. That’s a rather intense and filling desert, isn’t it?

Want to see Martabak being made on the Streets of Indonesia? 


Indonesian Street Food Bakso Meat balls
A Bakso Meat Balls purveyor

Looking for sauces and not a big fan of dry food? Maybe you should try Bakso, the popular Indonesian street soup. Cooked to an easy traditional Indonesian recipe, Bakso tastes quite delicious. Actually meaning meatballs, it can be made out of various meat or even fish, served in a brilliantly flavoursome broth. Perhaps you are looking for a vegan Bakso option such as tofu, or as the locals call it Tahu.

Kepiting Saus Padang and other street seafood

Widely eaten food served in Indonesia are seafood recipes, like a chilli crab recipe, this is much preferred as a street meal. The fact that Indonesia, as a country, is comprised of over 13,000 islands, approx 6000 of which are inhabited, means that that quantity of seafood should comes as no surprise. The cooking of such a diversity of seafood dishes is overwhelming. Try eating great dishes such as Kepiting Saus Padang – a spicy crab or breaded cuttlefish. Servings usually include exotic toppings or sauces, such as Pineapple Samba sauce.

Indonesian Street Food grilling Chicken
Chicken Grilled on the street

Kwetiau Bagan

Influenced by many other foreign cuisines such as Chinese, Indian, Arab and Dutch all have shaped Indonesian food. Influenced by the Chinese, like much of Jakarta’s Indonesian street food, Kwetiau Bagan is a typical noodle recipe. Usually stir fried Flat noodles, then cooked in homemade chilli sauce and served with bean sprouts and mini shrimps. Don’t you think that is quite a fusion of flavours? Kwetiau Bagan is a must try..

AUTHOR: Appetti