Indonesia Crowned for the World’s Best Foods

Global EAT - Indonesia Crowned for the World’s Best Foods
Ayam Goreng: Before deep-frying, chicken pieces are marinated in a mixture of spices, such as, garlic, onion, cinnamon, black pepper, fenugreek, turmeric, bay leaves, coriander seeds, lemongrass for at least an hour. (Nikao Media)

Indonesia received number one ranking for its cuisine in a global survey.  What are the 10 Indonesian dishes ‘we cannot live without’?

Indonesia is home to more than 261 million people.  The Indonesian archipelago straddles the equator from the western Pacific to the Indian Ocean.

It’s vibrant and tasty cuisine may be as diverse as its 13,466 registered islands.  Over 5,350 traditional recipes is now archived as a national culinary heritage.

Celebrating 72 Years with Culinary Achievements

The world’s fourth most populous country has great cause to celebrate its Anniversary of Independence this year.

Cable News Network (CNN) readers voted Indonesian rendang and nasi goreng, the world’s top two best foods in the CNN World’s 50 best foods facebook poll.

Global EAT - Indonesia Crowned for the World’s Best Foods
Rendang: This spicy dry curry dish originates from Minangkabau in West Sumatra. (Nikao Media)

“We are very proud of achieving international recognition for our culinary.  This encourages us to further promote our food,” says Consul General Sri Wiludjeng of the Republic of Indonesia in Vancouver.

Wiludjeng hosted the country’s 72nd Independence Day celebration at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel yesterday.

What is Rendang and Nasi Goreng?

The top spot went to rendang from the Western Sumatran highlands.  Rendang is prepared with cubed stew beef, slow-cooked for several hours in coconut milk and spices.

Spices used include galangal, turmeric, ginger, star anise, garlic and chillies. Served at ceremonial occasions, and to honoured guests, the rich flavoured dish melts in your mouth and goes well with rice.

Global EAT - Indonesia Crowned for the World’s Best Foods
Nasi goreng: A traditional Indonesian one dish meal similar to Chinese fried rice. (FeelGoodPics/Pixabay)

Nasi goreng, the Indonesian version of fried rice was second on the list. The simple dish is made of cooked rice stir-fried with sweet soy sauce, vegetables, seafood or meat, then garnished with a fried egg and shrimp crackers.

Most Asian restaurants in North America and the Netherlands feature this popular street food.  Versions vary depending on the restaurant type.

Related: Canadian Chef Cherkas Making Waves in Asia

Indonesian satay took 14th spot on the CNN World’s 50 best foods list.  The delicious skewered grilled meat is served with coconut rice, cucumber slices and peanut sauce.

“The Ministry of Tourism plans to do more promotions to create awareness for our cuisine and culture,” adds Wiludjeng.

“We continue to promote Indonesian cuisine by combining food promotion with art and cultural activities.  Promotions are done in partnership with different institutions at trade shows and cultural events in Western Canada.”

Global EAT - Indonesia Crowned for the World’s Best Foods
Satay is a popular skewered meat dish in Indonesia and Malaysia. (Nikao Media)

Top 10 Irresistible Indonesian Dishes

CNN Travel listed 40 Indonesian foods we can’t live without.  Here are the top 10 picks.

  1. Sambal: Spicy sauce of chillies, shrimp paste, lime juice, sugar and salt
  2. Satay: Skewered meat seasoned with spices like turmeric, charcoal grilled and enjoyed with a peanut sauce dip.
  3. Bakso: Meat ball, rice vermicelli and wontons served in savoury broth, topped with fried shallots, boiled eggs and vegetables.
  4. Soto: Traditional soup of meat and vegetables, garnished with fried shallots and garlic.
  5. Nasi goreng: Cooked rice stir-fried with sweet soy sauce, vegetables, seafood or meat, served with a fried egg and shrimp crackers.
  6. Gado gado: A salad of boiled beans, potato, egg, corn, bean sprouts, tofu, tempe and cucumber, topped with peanut sauce.
  7. Nasi uduk: Rice cooked in coconut milk flavoured with clove, cassia bark and lemongrass.
  8. Nasi padang: Steamed rice served with an assortment of pre-cooked dishes.
  9. Ayam goreng: Chicken deep fried in coconut oil.  The chicken pieces are coated in spices instead of flour.
  10. Bakmi goreng: Stir-fried spicy noodles with sweet soy sauce, eggs and vegetables.

Indonesia is an amazingly diverse country.  Local favourites vary from place to place depending on the region’s historical influences and geography.  That’s what makes Indonesia an exciting gastronomic destination.