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The must try Indonesian traditional snacks

Updated on July 11, 2015

Indonesian snacks

Indonesia has so many traditional snacks from Aceh to Papua and it's impossible to introduce all of them here. So, below are five sweet and five savory snacks you can try in Indonesia.

Sweet Snacks
1. Klepon
Pronounced KlĂȘ-pon, is made from glutinous rice flour, rice flour, water, salt, sugar, brown sugar or palm sugar and grated coconut. Mix the flour, water, salt and sugar. Shape the dough become little sphere and add palm sugar inside as the filling.
Bring water to boil, add the klepon and cook them until all klepon are floating. Lift and roll them on grated coconut. You'd better steam the coconut first.

You can find Klepon sellers in any part of Indonesia, specially in traditional wet market and street food stalls.
We used to add green pandanese pasta to the dough as Klepon trademark color, but there is no rule that Klepon has to be green. You can modify the filling too. Taste sweet and chewy.

2. Kue Lapis
Steamed or baked, we have many delicious Kue Lapis or Layer Cake. The traditional one is made from rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk. Steamed not baked.

We used to have more than two colors for steamed layer cake and we have to steam layer by layer. Yes, it's time consuming, so I prefer to buy them in the market ^^

3. Dadar Gulung
It's my favorite snacks from childhood. Basically, it's a thin pancake filled with steamed and sweet coconut grated. Indonesian fold it like spring rolls.
We used to combine pandan thin pancake with steamed sweet coconut or chocolate thin pancake with sweet vla / custard (My mom used to add rum a bit in the vla).

Steamed Layer Cake

4. Martabak Manis
Martabak manis or Sweet Martabak. Martabak is like a thick pancake with wide variation of filling. From banana to cheese, sweet condensed milk, peanut butter, chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles, Oreo biscuits, etc.

Martabak manis is so popular in Indonesia, people used to buy it in the afternoon for snack with tea. One of Indonesian President's son has a few Martabak Manis outlets and he combines 8 toppings on one big Martabak for $5.

5. Kue Putu
Putu steamed cake is made from rice flour, green pandan pasta and palm sugar. Mix all ingredients and put them in a small bamboo tube then steam it.
Putu tastes more or less like Klepon but they have different shape and cooking method.

Savory Snacks

1. Lemper Ayam
It's a steamed glutinous rice filled with spicy chicken and wrapped in banana leaves. It's like a super fast breakfast for most Indonesian.
Lemper tastes much better if it's served warm.

2. Risoles
You will find "risoles" in any place in Indonesia. It's a fried thin pancake filled with chicken ragout, vegetables, cheese, eggs, and sometime vermicelli noodles. Deep the pancakes into egg batter, then roll them on bread crumbs before frying.

3. Pastel
Pastel is like Italian calzone, the difference is, we fry the pastel not bake it. Here is the recipe :

Pastel wrap ingredients :
250 gr all purpose flour
30 ml cooking oil
50 gr butter/margarine
80 ml mineral water
1/2 ts sugar
1/2 ts salt

Mix all ingredients, knead it until the dough feels unsticky. Rest it for about 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into small spheres and flatten each sphere until paper thin. Set aside.

Filling :
We used to mix chopped vegetables like carrots, green beans, shallots, and onions. Sautee them with garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. Sometime we add boiled egg and vermicelli noodles.

Prepare the Pastel :
1. Take a piece of pastel wrap, add a spoonfull filling then fold it and press to seal.
2. Heat the cooking oil on a skillet and fry the pastel until golden brown.

How to Make Risoles


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    • peachpurple profile image


      2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      philyunsenda is the same as our local ondeh ondeh, delicious palm sugar with coconut shreds

    • febriedethan profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Indonesia

      Hi choosetolive, thank you for dropping by :)

      Hi poetryman6969, yes most of our food contains coconut milk. Thank's for the vote ^^

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      3 years ago

      I am not much for coconut but I would love to try the rest of it. I am especially a fan of how different culture prepare chicken. Voted up.

    • choosetolive profile image

      Ravi and Swastha 

      3 years ago from London, Canada

      Wow. Looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing !


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