Soto ayam: One of the most commonly featured soto (soup) on Indonesian menus is the comforting soto ayam (chicken soup). Of all the chicken sotos, the ones from East Java -- such as soto ayam Madura or Ambengan -- are among the most popular. They have a clear broth and include a generous amount of garlic, shallots, turmeric and chunks of chicken meat.
Gado gado: Chop up blanched vegetables, hard-boiled eggs and a ladle of peanut sauce and you have the humble but tasty Indonesian national salad -- gado gado.
Nasi goreng: If there's one staple that represents Indonesia's multi-faceted culture, it's nasi goreng -- literally translated as fried rice. There are many recipes with various ingredients and sides, but the use of terasi (shrimp paste) and kecap manis (a sweet and thick Indonesian soy sauce) unites most -- if not all -- versions.
Tempeh: A rising star in plant-based diets around the world, tempeh has in fact been a constant in Javanese culture for more than four centuries. The low-fat high-protein meat substitute is made of soybeans fermented in banana leaves.
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Beef rendang: One of the most common meats to appear in rendang is beef. It's stewed in coconut milks and spices including lemongrass, galangal, garlic, turmeric, ginger and chiles for hours until the meat is unbelievably tender and the curry mixture is reduced to a relatively dry coating around the meat.
Jamu: A traditional Indonesian herbal drink made from various combinations of plants and spices -- ginger and turmeric are two common ingredients -- jamu is believed to boost one's immune system.
Indomie: Wowing the market since 1972, Indomie, the Indonesian instant noodle brand, has amassed a huge following with its flavorful and convenient packaged noodles. If you're an Indomie newbie, start with a packet of Indomie mi goreng (barbecue chicken).
Rijsttafel: Rijsttafe (rice table) was first introduced during Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia, when the Europeans would serve small plates of Indonesian dishes -- from sweet to spicy -- to their visitors.
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Babi guling: Bali's famed roasted suckling pig is made by rubbing the outside with turmeric and stuffing it with a spice paste. Then, it's roasted on a spit. It's mostly served with rice, spicy soup and a series of condiments.
Sambal: For many Indonesians, no meal is complete without a bit of sambal. There are over 100 varieties but among the most traditional is sambal terasi, which is made with chiles, tomato, garlic, shallot and some spices.
Satay: A staple at every Southeast Asian restaurant around the world, satay -- or sate in local tongue -- is said to have originated in Java. One of the most loved versions is satay chicken, served with sweet peanut sauce that has a hint of spice.
Kerupuk: Arguably the best sidekick to any meal, kerupuk -- Indonesian prawn crackers -- can also be used to scoop up extra sauce or sambal from a dish.