Some of these most bizarre foods in Indonesia are side dishes that accompany meals served daily at local restaurants throughout the island. Others can be a bit rare and harder to find, but which you may stumble upon on your travels to the more rural areas. Most of these strange and weird foods are local favorites. Even adventurous visitors may find some unusual tastes to their liking. There’s a fruit salad that locals crave but which you may find awkward due to it being served in chilies and fish broth. There’s an ingredient that’s toxic but adds great aroma to stews when cooked! If you’re game, here are extreme and unique foods in Indonesia:
Unusual and Weird Dining Experience
Lawar, a ubiquitous traditional specialty, is very popular in Bali. In this unusual food in Indonesia, you will find an abundance of fresh pig blood blended with minced meat, shredded coconut, and Balinese herbs on top of the meal. There are several types of Lawar you can opt for such as Lawar Babi, made of pork, Lawar Nangka, made of young jack fruit, and much more. It’s often eaten with steamed rice and roasted suckling pork.
Kakul is snails widely found in Bali’s rice fields and is a valuable source of protein for agrarian communities on the island. The favored types are the darker to black ones, as they have a tastier and more delightful texture compared to the yellow types. The snails are gathered from the mud, shells cracked open, then washed. They are then boiled before cooked into soups, salads, or prepared on skewers to be grilled as satays, together with a blend of Balinese spices and become one of the bizarre dining experiences in Indonesia.
What do you think if your Batman superhero becoming a ready-to-eat main course? Believe it or not, people in Indonesia turn a wild bat into a delightful dish called Paniki. It’s often cooked with coconut milk, chilies, and some strong spices to clear out the mammal’s tangy smell. The fried and skewered ones are also the locals’ favorite. This unusual dining experience in Indonesia is good to cure allergies and asthma.
Lindung or freshwater eel is easily found in rice fields in Bali and is a popular source of protein among rural Balinese communities. Catching eels using strings and hooks is a favorite pastime among Balinese kids in the countryside, and they take their fresh catches home for their mothers to prepare and cook, together with an aromatic blend of garlic and galangal. The eels are also usually dried before being fried with a batter into a crispy snack.
5. Belalang Goreng
Belalang Goreng means “deep-fried grasshopper,” which is great for insect snack lovers. This strange food in Indonesia is commonly found and sold by the roadside vendors in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta. The animal’s legs and wings are removed before the cooking process. The locals usually marinate the grasshoppers with garlic, salt, kaffir leaves, and coriander then fry them to a crisp.
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The Balinese make herbal drinks from various types of leaves and fruits, much like jamu from the neighboring island of Java. Often, this weirdest cuisine in Indonesia is taken to maintain general good health, and the ingredients are known for their medical benefits. Some of the most commonly used are tibah or morinda fruit, hibiscus flower, don kayumanis, or leaves of the star gooseberry tree, with other herbs and spices such as salt, roast shallots, ginger, and turmeric to taste.
7. Ulat sagu
Be sure to snack on the Ulat sagu when you’re journeying to East Indonesia like Maluku or Papua. This odd food dish in Indonesia is actually made of sago worms. The locals usually hunt the creatures in the sago or coconut trees and eat them raw. Try either the grilled or boiled ones if you don’t like to swallow them alive. To enjoy the savory and juicy insect spicy sambal is a good companion.
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8. Tikus panggang
Another jaw-dropping, weird food from Indonesia would be the Tikus panggang or grilled rat. The burnt meaty animal sounds so weird, yet worth tasting. You will find this extreme food luscious and tender – the cute creature tastes like chicken. Don’t get perturbed whilst taking a bite of it! Indonesian use wood rodents, which is more hygienic than the regular one, a dirty variety.
Monitor lizard! Are you serious? Yes, some of the locals’ residents love munching on Sate biawak, the delicious monitor lizard satay. The meat is skewered and grilled until it’s tender. Then, the luscious smokey and one of the unusual foods in the Indonesia dish is smothered in spicy peanut sauce. It’s believed that the reptile is good to cure numerous diseases such as skin rashes and asthma.
10. Keripik ceker
Keripik ceker might sound attractive, yet wait. Do you know the words’ meaning? Keripik ceker literally means chicken foot chips. The crispy snack can be easily found on the island of Bali and Java. Before being deep-fried into a crisp, the poultry paws are marinated with salt, pepper, and some spices (garlic, coriander, and lime leaves). Eat this bizarre food in Indonesia with hot steamed rice and spicy sambal.
11. Sate Susu
Sate susu is a sort of satay made of cow udder and commonly consumed by Javanese Muslims during the Ramadan month. The chewy texture along with the mix of savory and spicy flavors is so appetizing. You probably regard it as a bizarre food in Indonesia due to its weird look but the locals present the skewered cow’s body part as a must-eat specialty to break the fast.
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12. Sate ular
Sate ular or snake satay should be in your culinary-to-try list while strolling down the busy roads in Jakarta – the vendors often use cobra meat to make the grilled dish. It’s usually served with sliced shallot, soy sauce, and spicy peanut sauce. Don’t forget to sip the reptile’s fresh blood mixed with the arak (traditional Indonesian liquor) and honey. The local men believe that this unusual dining experience in Indonesia is good to boost the libido.
13. Sate kelinci
Dare you witness a sweet bunny slaughtered and turned into a delicious meal? It’s pretty common to see people dine with sate kelinci or rabbit satay in Indonesia. The meat of furry mammals is diced into small parts, skewered, and grilled over the charcoal. This one of the weirdest food in Indonesia often served with compressed rice, spicy peanut sauce, and sliced shallot – don’t miss out on the soy sauce and chili paste to enhance the flavor.
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