Indonesia is an archipelago with thousands of island that are rich in culture. This heterogeneous condition also results in a wide range of food. Apart from the main dishes, Indonesia also has a lot of snacks that come with a various taste. Below, we will see several snacks that are sweet, savory and spicy!
Martabak is one of the most popular street foods in Indonesia nowadays. The name “martabak” actually came from “mutabbaq”, an Arabic word which means “folded”. So Martabak is basically a stuffed pancake or a pan-fried bread with many flavors. Martabak can easily be found throughout the city, from humble food carts/hawkers on the streets to fancy air-conditioned cafes. They usually open at night, after 5 pm. There are two types of Martabak in Indonesia: the savory/ salty one; and the sweet one. For the savory one, you need to choose how many egg fillings you like. The standard one is a two-egg filling, but at most stands you can request up to five egg-fillings. A mixture of egg, grounded chicken meat, sliced green onions and cilantro are spread unto the dough and folded.
For the sweet martabak type, there are a lot of toppings you can choose from. The original ones are made with chocolate, cheese or peanut butter; but nowadays there are a lot of unique toppings such as green tea, red velvet, oreo and nutella.
The savory martabak is usually eaten as a side dish (as Indonesian people usually eats rice for every meal); but the sweet martabak is usually eaten as a late night snack.
Rujak is a traditional fruit and vegetable salad dish commonly found on the streets in Indonesia. The typical Indonesian fruit rujak consists of various tropical fruits slices such as pineapple, jicama, mangos, water apple, cucumber, green apple, and star fruit. The sweet, sour and spicy rujak dressing is made of water, palm sugar, tamarind, ground sautéed peanuts, shrimp paste and red chili pepper. This rujak dressing is poured on the fruit slices, with an addition of simple mixture of salt and ground red chili powder as an alternative for those who love a salty taste for their rujak.
There are a lot of rujak vendors on the streets of Indonesia. You can easily differentiate them as they usually use a transparent cart with all the sliced fruits placed inside. You can also customize your own dressing such as the level of spiciness, or the type of fruits that you want to have.
3. Gorengan (Indonesian fritters)
Gorengan, literally translated into “fried food”, is a popular snack in Indonesia. It is usually sold in street carts and is made with bean curds, bananas, sweet potatoes and other vegetables. This “gorengan” snack comes in various types such as fried tempe (soybean cake), fried tofu fried bananas, or fried bakwan (vegetables fritters made from shredded carrots, bean sprouts and cabbage). In Indonesia, gorengan is considered as a cheap, tasty and easy-to-find snack. The only thing you need to be aware is that the cholesterol level may be high (since they are all deep fried). Nowadays, gorengan are also sold in shopping malls. This “upgraded” gorengan is usually made from higher quality ingredients and are also fried in better cooking oil. With a more beautiful appearance and a nicer packaging, the price is also higher.
By Ivana Monica Bing Sarah, ASEAN Correspondent from Indonesia