21 must try Indonesian breakfasts
What is for breakfast when in Indonesia?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so it is best to fill up your body with energy boosters and food high in nutrients! Bread, grains, dairies, fruits etc. usually fill up our breakfast table. Indonesian breakfasts are not far from those options but there are native cuisines that can surely be interesting to know and try! Let’s check them out.
21 Must-try Indonesian Breakfasts
1. Bubur Ayam
This is an Indonesian congee that is enjoyed every breakfast or as an afternoon snack. Bubur Ayam is rice congee richly topped with shredded chicken meat, chopped scallion, fried shallots, celery, preserved salted veggies, fried soybean, cakwe (Chinese crullers), soy sauce, yellow chicken broth and kerupuk (Indonesian-style crackers).
Bubur Ayam is a well-loved dish that it is served at warung (small local shops), by humble hawkers, at fast food chains, and hotels.
Fun fact: Mc Donald’s Indonesia serves Buryam (bubur ayam).
2. Nasi Uduk
This dish is originally from Jakarta and is comprised of steamed rice cooked in coconut milk and spices. Nasi Uduk means “mixed rice” which describes the process of creating this Indonesian breakfast.
Rice is cooked in coconut milk, lemongrass, cinnamon, and pandan leaf for aroma. Then you can choose side dishes to go along with it, namely: tempeh orek (stir-fried tempeh with veggies and soy sauce), eggs (hard-boiled or omelette), teri kacang (anchovy with peanuts), ayam goreng (fried chicken) and many more!
3. Nasi Pecel
A Javanese rice dish served with pecel (mixed veggies with peanut sauce). Nasi pecel is a healthier Indonesian breakfast option if you do not want a lot of fried side dishes on your plate!
4. Nasi Kuning
Translated as “yellow rice”, Nasi kuning is an Indonesian aromatic rice dish cooked with coconut milk and turmeric. Nasi Kuning is usually served with kerupuk udang (shrimp cracker) or emping chips, cucumber slices, tomato and many more!
5. Lontong Sayur
One of Indonesia’s morning favourite dishes is Lontong Sayur! It is composed of compressed lontong (rice cakes) and veggies in a bed of thick, savoury coconut milk gravy. Here is a link for a sample recipe!
6. Nasi Kucing
Translated as “cat rice” and no, it is not made from cat meat. Nasi Kucing is named this way because of its small serving portions which are akin to that of cat’s food. It is made of steamed rice with different side dishes like orek tempe, fried anchovies, fried milkfish and condiments. Get multiple of these for breakfast to fill up your tummy to the brim!
7. Ketupat Kandangan
Locals eat Ketupat Kandangan with their bare hands! This dish is made of ketupat (rice dumpling packed in a diamond-shaped container of woven palm leaves), snake-head freshwater fish, or duck eggs cooked in rich coconut milk.
Indonesian breakfasts usually have Soto or soups made from meat and vegetable broth. Examples would be Soto Sekengkel (soup base is made from the beef leg) and Soto Kambing (soup made from goat meat) and many more!
9. Bubur Sumsum
An Indonesian dessert which can be eaten as a breakfast meal as well. Bubur Sumsum is created by cooking rice flour in coconut milk and served with palm sugar syrup.
10. Lontong Balap
This is definitely one of the many Indonesian breakfasts which is quite unique. It is made with stuffed bean sprouts, tofu, and lento. Lento is made by soaking peanuts overnight, cleaned, crushed, seasoned with salt, orange leaves, garlic, onion, and cilantro. When everything is combined, form in hand and deep fry it.
This dish can be eaten any time of the day and is a consistent part of an Indonesian meal setting. Ketropak is a lontong (rice cake), vermicelli, bean sprouts, fried tofu, in peanut sauce, lime juice and cracker toppings. This dish surely has an interesting texture!
12. Nasi Krawu
This Indonesian breakfast is heavy! It is a rice dish with high oil and meat content, mainly beef. Some locals even add innards like intestines, tripe, even the eyes of a cow! Intriguing, isn’t it?
13. Kopi Luwak
Indonesia is the fourth-largest producer of coffee in the world! Among those produced is Kopi Luwak, which is one of the most expensive coffee on Earth. Kopi Luwak has a smooth and less bitter taste than regular coffee.
Rendang is a spicy meat dish which goes great with steamed rice, ketupat, or lemang (glutinous rice served in bamboo shoots). Heat up your stew pot and try this recipe for a spiced up breakfast!
Another great source of carb for your Indonesian breakfast is gethuk. This is a simple Javanese dish made of peeled, boiled and mashed cassava. Mixed with shaved coconut, sugar (palm sugar) and some salt to taste, gethuk will surely give your tummy a full load for the day!
This is an Indonesian rice cake made by cooking glutinous rice with Java sugar which gives its brownish colour.
This is a savoury fishcake that can perfectly fix your lazy mornings! It is made of fish and tapioca which is served with a sweet and sour sauce called kuah cuka. To make this Indonesian breakfast complete, some locals add yellow noodles too!
A dish that can be found all across Indonesia! Bakso is an Indonesian meatball or meat paste made from beef surimi. It can be served with yellow noodles and rice vermicelli (Mie bakso) or with plain bakso soup (bakso kuah).
Pepes is an Indonesian way of cooking using banana leaves to wrap food. This is made by mixing descaled gutted fish or any type of food with a concoction of spices like salt, chili, onions, garlic, turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, curry leaf, tamarind, tomato, lemon basil in a single banana leaf “wrapper”. It is then steamed or grilled.
Tip: Best enjoyed with piping hot white rice!
20. Nasi Goreng
Indonesia’s famous fried rice! It has a distinct dark brown hue because of the local sweet soy sauce added to it called kecap manis. Cook this up and add an over easy egg on the side and your morning will be as bright as the sun! Here is a recipe that you can try now!
21. Bubur Tinutuan
A hearty bowl of Bubur Tinutuan is one of the Indonesian breakfasts that will surely kick-start your day! Unlike your ordinary rice congee, it is cooked with pumpkin, sweet potato, cassava, corn kernels and leafy veggies. Then it is served with rich toppings of fried shallots, tofu, spring onions, leeks, sambal, smoked or salted fish, anchovies and many more! A festive bowl of Indonesian breakfast indeed!
Indonesians surely know how to stock up with energy for the whole day! Listed above are 21 native Indonesian breakfasts meals that you can try eating when you visit this country! Otherwise, look up their recipes and try to make it at home today!