11 Most Popular Indonesian Meat Dishes

Indonesian Meat dishes

The traditional meal in Indonesia typically consists of its staple food which is the steamed rice, then with vegetables, soup and meat (pork) or fish. There is a wide variety of Indonesian recipes and cuisines in Indonesia. The meat used in Indonesian cooking are cooked with different herbs and spices along with adding coconut milk and it is either seasoned, skewered and grilled while grilled chicken or mutton are cooked as satay, BBQ and are cooked into soup. We have gathered in this post the most popular Indonesian meat dishes that you may want to try the next time you visit Indonesia

Popular Indonesian Meat Dishes

Since most of the Indonesian population are composed of Muslim, make up the majority of the population, eating pork is forbidden therefore most of the meat used in Indonesian dishes are beef, goat, lamb, chicken or mutton.

Indonesian Satay

Satay is considered to be a traditional dish in Indonesia. It is a skewered meat that is usually served with a delicious sauce such as peanut sauce. Satay is basically a meat that is skewered and grilled over hot coals.

Different varieties of meat can be used to make satay, most of the time the meat is usually marinated before it is grilled to make it more delicious. Marinade mixture is usually made of dark soy sauce, garlic, sugar, lime juice and seasonings to taste.

Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang is another meat dish in Indonesia that is popular for the spiciness and cooking procedure since it usually takes hours of cooking this dish to bring out beef’s tenderness. It is a dish originating from the Minangkabau region located in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Rendang is considered to be a national dish in Indonesia.

Beef Rendang is made of dry curry beef that consisting of coconut milk (used to slowly cook the beef), spices and gravy. The coconut milk is dry roasted until it turn golden brown, after which it is then crushed to make Kerisik (Coconut butter paste). Crushed coconut milk is then added to the curry.

Beef Rendang is best paired with rice and coconut milk rice or also called as Nasi Lemak.


Bakso is an Indonesian Meat ball soup. It is a popular Indonesian food, in fact it can be seen everywhere sold as a street food by Kaki Lima or also called street vendors but can also be found in restaurants as well.

The texture of Bakso dish is similar to that of fish balls, pork ball and or Chinese beef ball. The term “Bakso” refers to a meatball.

There are many different varieties of Bakso dish but each variety should have Bakso 3 main ingredient such as noodles, broth and meatballs. Other varieties also includes hard boiled eggs and or tofu to the soup.

Ayam Goreng

Ayam Goreng is an Indonesian dish made of Chicken, hence Ayam Goreng literally means Fried chicken in Indonesia as well as in Malaysia cuisine.

The cuts of chicken are first coated with batter or seasoned flour and are then either deep fried, pressure fried, pan fried and or air fried. The coating adds to the crispiness of the chicken while at the same time juices are retained. Chicken parts that is usually used with Ayam Goreng dish are thighs and drumsticks.

Other Ayam Goreng variations involves marinating the chicken first. Marinade mixture consists of spices such as turmeric, tamarind and galangal. Some used grated coconut or rice flour crumbs to coat the chicken. It is then braised and then fried.

Ayam Goreng dish is best paired with rice and salad or vegetables.


Betutu is a popular dish of Balinese. It is made of steamed or roasted duck or chicken. It comes in two varieties such as Ayam Betutu or the chicken based version and Bebek Betutu or the duck based version.

To make this dish, the duck or the chicken is coated and filled with local spices such as ginger, pepper, chili, turmeric and shrimp paste. If you prefer a spicier version of this dish, you can add onion slices, red chili peppers and coconut oil.

The traditional way of making Betutu is by wrapping the seasoned chicken and duck in leaves then placing in an oven then steaming with on hot coals. Most of the restaurants prepare this dish the old fashioned way, and since the cooking process takes time it is best advised to order a day before. Although there are other restaurants that prepares this dish another version in which it is barbecued.

Bekek Goreng

Bekek Goreng is a popular delicacy in Indonesia that is known for as a crispy and tender dish made of Fried duck.

To make this dish, it uses duck cuts and it is either steamed or boiled. Then coated with spices such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander and galangal. After coating the pieces of duck cuts, it is then deep fried in cooking oil.

Bekek Goreng is best served with rice and fresh vegetables that includes cabbage and cucumber. Also, served with spicy sambal (Chili sauce or Chili paste).

Ayam Penyet

Ayam Penyet is another meat dish in Indonesia made of chicken. The chicken is coated with sampal (Chili paste). The term “Penyet” means press or push, therefore Ayam Penyet is typically prepared by pressing the chicken using a pestle. The pressing method made the chicken meat more tender.

There are different cooking variations with Ayam Penyet, other usually coats the chicken with sambal after deep frying it.

Ayam Penyet is best served with rice, tofu, fresh vegetables and tempeh or tofu.

Not only is Ayam Penyet found in Indonesia, but can also be found in other countries as well especially in Singapore.

Bakso Goreng

Bakso Goreng is a popular dish enjoyed not only by Balinese but in other countries as well. It is a fried meatballs. It is usually prepared using different types of meat such as beef, fish, shrimp or chicken.

To make this dish, the ground meat is mixed with garlic, pepper, sesame oil, eggs, flour, sugar, starch and salt. And since it is named as meat balls, the mixture is usually formed into small balls. The balls are then deep fried until crispy brown or golden in color.

Best served when hot and accompanied with a dipping sauce such as a chili sauce.

Sate Padang

Sate Padang or also known as Padang Satay, is another Satay variation that also originated from Padang located in West Sumatra Indonesia.

It is made from beef. The beef is cut into small cubes. These cubes are marinated. Then skewered and then grilled.

The skewered beef are then served in a brown colored sauce that is a combination of meat broth made from rice flour. It is best served with rice cakes or also known as Ketupat.

Babi Guling

Babi Guling is a Indonesian dish made from roasting the pig. It is actually an Indonesian version of a roasted suckling pig. Roasting pig is not only served in Indonesia but in other countries as well such as in the Philippines where it is popular known as “Lechon Baboy”. The dish is commonly known as pig roast or hog roast. In this dish, a whole pig is barbecued.

To make this dish more flavorful and delicious, the pig is filled with spices such as coriander, turmeric, lemongrass, shallots, galangal, chili, garlic and shrimp paste. The skin is also rubbed and coated with turmeric. Since an entire pig will be cooked, it is usually roasted in an open fire.

Most of the time, this dish is served during special occasions and family gatherings. Although in Indonesia, it is commonly seen served in warungs (Indonesian Eateries).

Indonesian Fried Rice

Fried rice is a staple food in Indonesia, It is made by mixing vegetables with either seafood, chicken or beef. It is different from other fried rice variety since it uses a soy sauce called keycap. It is then garnished with acar, carrots and pickled cucumber.

Fried rice is considered to be Indonesia’s National Dish.

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