The cuisine in Indonesia varies greatly depending on what island is visited. There are thousands of islands in Indonesia, each of them have a slightly different style of cooking. There are national and regional dishes that are all unique and flavoured well. It is common to see people eating with their hands in an Indonesian restaurant; it is a large part of their culture to do so. A truly authentic Indonesian Restaurant will serve the food to you as they would consume it in their own culture. Indonesia is known as the “Spice Islands”. They grow an elaborate variety of spices savoury, subtle, and spicy. Spice is a large part of their cuisine. Many of their dishes are spicy, but are cooled some with coconut milk. Rice, fish, spices, and tubular root vegetables are the main staples in Indonesia. A few more recognised Indonesian dishes are karedok, gudeg, Rawon, satay, Babi guling, and pempek. Indonesian food is influenced heavily by coconut milk, soy sauce and peanuts. You will see a lot of different versions of curries in Indonesian cuisine. Clove, garlic, soy, chiles, ginger, and tamarind are common spices used to flavour Indonesian dishes. Their food is often confused with other cultures because these cultures, such as Thai or Malaysian cuisine, are their sister cultures.
Indonesian food differs from Malaysian food. Malaysians start with their spice mixtures and build their dishes to match or showcase those spices. Malaysians have a larger mixture of fruits with savoury dishes, and include them more in their diets.Indonesian food and both Thai food and Chinese food have a few more differences. In Chinese cuisine you will see less use of sauce and more use of straight forward or raw ingredients. Chinese flavours are a bit more subtle. Chinese fusion dishes are where you will see the spice from chillies. Thai food is known to be hot and spicy, along with Indonesian food, however, more natural herbs and flavours in the heat levels of Thai food. Indonesian food is very similar to all types of Asian cuisine. Thai and Indonesian recipes both use the same Peanut sauce recipes. Thai flavours are simpler; they tend to showcase the ingredients more than cover them in sauce. Thai cuisine often has a laundry list of items to obtain a specific flavour where Indonesian food is a bit more straight forward using fewer ingredients but with stronger flavours.