Living in a nation which has an unlimited number of food and beverages, Indonesians do eat out, but most do not go to restaurants. The local food scene is based heavily on street food. In the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, you can find street food coming from many places in the country. Indonesians savor the yummy meals provided by omnipresent street vendors night and day for breakfast, dinner, and lunch. Street food is a quick meal offered by a vendor using a pushcart, basket, even at a stall, or at a shop where clients can see the preparation of meals clearly. It gives a close connection between the customer and the street food, unlike with a plate of food in a restaurant. The types of food provided vary from simple fried tofu into a more complicated dish like gudeg (raw jackfruit cooked in a traditional Javanese way that originated in Yogyakarta).

Another favorite soup-like street food is Soto. It’s principally comprised of vegetables and broth. The meat’s most commonly employed are beef and poultry, but there are also Sotos with mutton and pork. It’s typically accompanied by compressed or rice. Sotos are differentiated by the meat ingredients in them, such as Soto Ayam (chicken) and Soto kambing (mutton). There are many Sotos in Indonesia, as different areas and ethnicities have their own methods of preparing the cuisine, such as Soto Madura (from East Java), Soto Betawi (in Jakarta), Soto Padang (in West Sumatra), so to Bandung (from West Java), Soto Banjar (from South Kalimantan), and Coto Makassar (from South Sulawesi).

It’s a dish composed of chunks or slices of dice-sized meat (poultry, goat, lamb, beef, pork, or fish) on bamboo skewers, which are grilled over a charcoal or wood fire, subsequently served with various spicy seasonings, mostly made of ground nuts. Nasi goreng (steamed rice stir-fried with eggs, meatballs, chicken/beef/shrimp, many vegetables and often with sweet soy sauce seasoning) is also remarkably popular along with nasi rawon (rice served with dim beef soup) originally from East Java. The dark color comes from the seeds of kluwak nuts. Generally served with uncooked mung bean sprouts and salty duck eggs, pecel (a combination of vegetables and traditional crackers with hot peanut paste).