When it comes to the most delicious salads from Indonesia, one thing is sure – the island of Java is one of the most important hotspots of this country – some of the best recipes come from this area. Although many other Indonesian islands’ cuisines also offer some spectacular recipes, it is said that the Javanese salads are the most popular not only in Indonesia but also all around the planet where people love to enjoy salads with a wide variety of special tastes.
Let’s check out some of the most famous, most ordered, and most delicious Indonesian salads!
The name of this interesting salad comes from the Indonesian verb “mengaddo”, which means “eating something that doesn’t include rice as the ingredient”.
This salad can be made of different vegetables, both fresh and boiled, such as potatoes, spinach, corn, bean sprouts. They are combined with the slices of tofu and tempeh (traditional soy product from Indonesia) and in addition to these ingredients, the flavor of gado-gado can be enriched with fried noodles, boiled eggs, and delicious peanut sauce that gives the special sweet and spicy taste to this salad.
The peanut sauce is also based on ingredients such as garlic, tamarind, chilies and a bit of lime. It is usually eaten combined with pretty small shrimps and it is really easy to find it anywhere in the country, especially on the island of Java.
Pecel and Lotek salads
Even though these salads are pretty similar to gado-gado (they are all served with the peanut sauce) and come from the same island (they are all Javanese specialties), many Indonesians will tell you that these salads are different because of some pretty obvious reasons:
- Pecel is usually prepared with either steamed rice or small rice cakes or crackers, and gado-gado does not consist of rice (even its name says so!)
- Lotek combines tomatoes with the ingredients characteristic for gado-gado.
Another delicious addition to the main courses in Indonesia that has the origins in the Javanese cuisine is the Urab salad that consists of steamed vegetables, such as cabbage, bean sprouts, and spinach, but it can also be enriched with some sweet flavor of banana.
Urab is spiced up with the coconut marinade with orange leaves, chili, sugar, and garlic. Even though it is usually considered as a side dish, it can also be served as a vegetarian main meal. In some parts of the country, it can also be prepared with some fresh cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, and basil.
As its name says, strait solo is a traditional Indonesian salad that comes from Solo, in Central Java, and this salad usually consists of a large number of vegetables, meat, and mayonnaise, and in a certain way, it resembles the European salads.
Some of its common ingredients are boiled beans and carrots, lettuce, pieces of spiced beef, and potato chips, all of them covered with the spicy homemade mayonnaise sauce.
This delicious Javanese salad is pretty special since it usually combines both fruits and boiled vegetables, even though it can be made without the fruit, as well. Some of the most popular ingredients whose combination makes this salad a mouthwatering specialty are manga, cucumber, peanut sauce, and rice cakes. It has a large number of variations and it is the inevitable part of the Tujuh bulanan, which represents the prenatal ceremony.
Rujak cingur can have sweet, spicy, and sour taste, and it is one of the favorite meals for pregnant women. Indonesians use to predict if the baby will be born as a girl or as a boy, based on the general taste of this salad. If it has a sweet taste, the parents will have a baby girl, and if it tastes spicy, a boy will arrive in the family.