Indonesia, an independent nation with a 90%
Muslim population. consists of about 13,000 islands that stretch
from west to east along the equator, from the island of Sumatra,
directly south of Thailand, to Irian Jaya, just north of
Australia. Indonesian cuisine reflects the vast variety of
people that live on these islands and has influences from the
many nations that came to Indonesia to trade with its people for
The main meal in Indonesia is usually served at midday. Food
which was cooked in the morning is set out all at once. Starting
with the eldest the family help themselves to the feast, serving
with a spoon and eating with right hands. Most meals are built
around a cone-shaped pile of the long-grain, highly polished
rice. A meal may include a soup, salad, and another main dish.
Whatever the meal, it is accompanied by at least one, and often
several relishes that are called Sambals.
The most popular dishes that originated in Indonesia are common
across most of Asia, with satay's, Beef Rendang and Sambal's
favoured in Malaysia and Singapore. Other dishes that originated
in Indonesia are Gado Gado, a Vegetable dish with spicy sauce
and Ikan Pangang a broiled fish in a spicy marinade. Being an
island nation you are guaranteed to find all sorts of seafood on
the menu of most meals.