10 Extreme Indonesian Foods You Should Try - Updated 2024

extreme indonesian foods
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Indonesia may be renowned as an archipelago for its phenomenal cuisine, from the tempting satay to the mouth-watering nasi goreng. On the other hand, the country has a range of unexpectedly bizarre foods beyond foreigners’ imaginations, from the grilled bats to the skewed snake. Many regard exotic delicacies as something healthy and rich in taste. Book a vacation rental or resort accommodation and plan your trip! If there’s one thing to do in Indonesia, it’s eat! Keep reading to discover some extreme Indonesian foods you should try at least once in your lifetime.

1. Paniki

Paniki Rica Cabai Hijau
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gunawan Kartapranata used under CC BY-SA 3.0

What are your thoughts on your Batman superhero becoming a ready-to-eat main course? Believe it or not, people in North Sulawesi 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 animal’s meat is good to cure allergies and asthma.

Roa Manadonese Food

Address: Jl. Wolter Monginsidi No. 78, Indonesia

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2. Belalang goreng

Source: Piqsels

Belalang goreng, which literally means “deep-fried grasshopper,” is great for insect snack lovers. It is commonly found and sold by the roadside vendors in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta. Before the cooking process, the animal’s legs and wings are removed. The locals usually marinate the grasshoppers with garlic, salt, kaffir leaves, and coriander then fry them to a crisp.

Belalang goreng

Address: Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Website: Belalang Goreng

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3. Ulat sagu

Ulat sagu
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tipank used under CC BY-SA 4.0

When you’re journeying to East Indonesia like Maluku or Papua, be sure to snack on the Ulat sagu. It’s actually a typical dish made of sago worms. The locals usually hunt the creatures in the sago or coconut trees and eat them raw. If you don’t like to swallow them alive, try either the grilled or boiled ones. Spicy sambal is a good companion to enjoy the savory and juicy insect.

Ulat sagu

Where to get them: Maluku and Papua

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4. Tikus panggang

Fancy a rat satay? Tomohon animal market, Sulwesi, Indonesia
Source: Photo by Flickr user Niek van Son used under CC BY 2.0

Another jaw-dropping, uncommon dish from North Sulawesi would be the Tikus panggang or grilled rat. The burnt meaty animal sounds so weird, yet worth tasting. You will find it luscious and tender – the cute creature tastes like chicken. Don’t get perturbed whilst taking a bite of it! The locals use the wood rodent, which is more hygienic than the regular, dirty variety.

Pasar Tradisional Tomohon

Address: Tomohon City, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Estimated Price: 20,000 IDR (1.5 USD)

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5. Sate biawak

“Monitor lizard! Are you kidding me?” Yes, some of the Javanese 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 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.

Sate Kelinci N Bekicot, Biawak

Address: Jl. Ngagel Jaya Sel. No.30, Ngagelrejo, Wonokromo, Kota SBY, Jawa Timur, Indonesia

Contact Number: +62 87851230108

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6. Keripik ceker

Chicken feet snack
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sakurai Midori used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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 in 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 it with hot steamed rice and spicy sambal.

Kuliner Keripik Ceker Dan Keripik Usus

Address: Jalan Tawangmangu No.2A, Lowokwaru, Kecamatan Lowokwaru, Kota Malang, Jawa Timur, Indonesia

Price: 180,000 IDR per kilogram (13.5 USD)

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7. Sate susu

Satay is one of the things Indonesia is famous for, but this one is a little different. 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 due to its weird look but the locals present the skewered cow’s body part as a must-eat specialty to break the fast.

Kampung Jawa

Address: Jl. Kampung Wanasari, Denpasar Barat, Bali, Indonesia

Estimated Price: 2,000 IDR (0.15 USD)

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8. 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 the food is good to boost the libido.

Kedai Cobra Bekasi Timur

Address: Jl. Mandor Demong no 8, Rt 03 Rw 05 Babakan Bondol, Kelurahan Mustika Sari, Bekasi, Indonesia

Website: Kedai Cobra Bekasi Timur

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9. 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. It’s 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.

Sate kelinci

Address: Jl. Patimura No.126, Temas, Kota Batu, Jawa Timur, Indonesia

Price: 30,000 IDR (2.25 USD)

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10. Lawar

Lawar babi guling
Source: Photo by user ybs used under CC BY 2.0

Lawar, a ubiquitous traditional specialty, is very popular in Bali. In this dish 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.

Warung Lawar Kodi

Address: Gang Harum no 10 Jl. Sekuta, Sanur, Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali

Price: 30,000 IDR (2.25 USD)

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Balinese Cooking Class Experience at Montigo Resorts Seminyak - Klook

Duration: 3hrsDuration

Challenge your taste buds with the unfamiliar Indonesian cuisine

Instead of delighting in a plate of gado-gado, wolfing on the barbecued bat, seared sago worm and cobra meat will surely make your food adventures more worthwhile. Go make some memorable moments in this tropical paradise filled with beautiful beaches by trying these unique dishes!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Rofiq, hailing from East Java, Indonesia, is a passionate explorer who thrives on discovering new places, encountering diverse people, and immersing himself in various languages and cultures. His...Read more

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