6. Soto

Soto is Indonesia’s traditional soup, which mainly comprises of broth, vermicelli noodles and vegetables, and the meats most commonly used are beef, chicken or lamb. Nearly every region of Indonesia has their own version of soto, such as soto Madura (from East Java), soto Padang (from West Sumatra), soto Bandung (from West Java), soto Banjar (from South Kalimantan), and coto Makassar (from South Sulawesi). While the broth of most soto dishes is clear, soto Betawi, which is native to Jakarta, uses coconut milk. Steamed rice and other condiments such as fried shallot, emping crackers, and lime juice are enjoyed together with the soup.

7. Bakso

Bakso is Indonesia’s version of meatballs, typically served in a hearty broth with vermicelli, rice or yellow noodles, then garnished with fried shallots. While the most popular kinds of bakso are made from ground beef, you can also find those made from chicken, fish or shrimp. Some vendors also serve fried bakso with their delicious soup instead. To add a kick to the dish, add sambal, or Indonesian chili paste to the broth.

8. Bubur Ayam

One of the most go-to meals found in many street vendors and pushcarts in the region is bubur ayam or chicken congee in English. Usually, opt as a breakfast dish, this simple rice congee is served with shredded chicken and condiments such as chopped celery, fried scallion, peanuts, shallots as well as preserved salted vegetables, and sometimes cakwe (youtiao or Chinese fried churros). Some bubur dishes also come with yellow curry gravy and sambal on the side.

9. Bakmi Ayam

Influenced by Hokkien Chinese immigrants from way back when Indonesians have developed a taste for a wide-variety of noodle-based dishes. One of the most popular ones is bakmie ayam, a simple soupy noodle dish served with marinated minced chicken, side condiments such as fried shallots and sambal. Another popular cooking-style for bakmie ayam is wok-fried with chicken breast and vegetables. Most pushcarts serve either one of the versions but to get both kinds to look for bigger street vendors or shops instead. 

10. Sop Kaki Kambing

This is another popular soup dish that is simply a must-try for all mutton lovers. Sop Kaki Kambing, which literally means goat feet soup, is a classic broth made of mutton brewed for hours and flavored with spices such as coriander, fennel, cumin, star anise, and cinnamon. The dish is commonly served at small street shops and is served with rice and pickles.