Culinary delights to Indonesian Traditional Snacks

Wondering what Indonesian snack you should eat for your afternoon tea? Then some traditional Indonesian snacks should be on your list. There are so many types of traditional Indonesian snacks that worth trying. From the sweet types into the savory ones, the crisp types into the softest ones, Indonesia has them all. Moreover, they come from different regions which made by their traditional recipes. That makes each of them has a different taste.


A martabak is a stuffed, thick-layered pancake that can be enjoyed with sweet or savory ingredients. Though savory martabak is popular in other Asian countries, sweet martabak is an Indonesian trademark and a guilty pleasure you have to try. Many local vendors have taken the next step and made sweet red velvet martabak.


This snack is made of glutinous rice filled with minced chicken or fish on the middle. The method of making lemper is similar to making sushi; you roll it up, except into banana leaves for lemper and roasted seaweed sheets for sushi. What makes it special is the use of cumin, ground coriander, and kaffir lime leaves for the stuffing and coconut milk for the glutinous rice, giving the snack a full-bodied, savory taste.


Modernists call this snack “onde-onde,” but they’re virtually the same thing. These green balls of rice cake are filled with melted palm sugar and coated in thin coconut flakes. Its texture resembles chewy mochi and is typically sweet in flavor.


If Hong Kong has mango sago, Indonesia has jenang. Jenang is an umbrella term for a type of dessert porridge that uses coconut milk as the essential ingredient. There are a variety of jenangs, such as jenang mutiara (pink sago pearls soaked in coconut milk with pandan leaves), jenang grendul (glutinous rice balls made with red sugar in coconut milk), and jenang abang (glutinous rice balls made with brown sugar in coconut milk).


Indonesians do go big on coconut milk. Serabi is another sweet snack that uses the vital ingredient. It is made using rice flour, pandan leaves, coconut sugar and of course, coconut milk and typically topped with sugar syrup or chocolate sprinkles. This is our version of traditional pancakes. The browned edges are crispy while the inside is super soft, full of coconut aroma and a hint of pandan flavor.

Kue Pukis

Having the alias “pie cake,” kue pukis is a soft, made with coconut milk. Its traditional semicircle shape and browned-bottom comes from the original kue pukis tray mold. Its texture is undeniably soft yet slightly chewy, you’ll ask for more than one. Variations of fillings for this snack are plain, melted chocolate sprinkles, jam, or cheese inside.

Bika Ambon

Often referred to the Indonesian honeycomb cake, one can mix tapioca flour, eggs, sugar, yeast, a pinch of salt, and coconut milk and bake it until it’s golden brown on the outside. It tastes sweet yet somehow salty. Other flavors, like durian, cheese, or chocolate, are often added to mix things up.

Now that you’re acquainted with this non-exhaustive list of traditional Indonesian snacks, it’s your turn to try them yourself. 

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