By Sara Schonhardt, photos by Melanie Wood, for CNN
6:59 AM EDT, Tue October 24, 2017
40. Indomie —
Indomie is the most loved instant noodles in Indonesia. Its popularity has gone beyond the archipelago nation.
38. Bebek goreng —
Tricky to prepare, but when prepared right, fried duck with rice deserves a place in the top 40.
37. Otak-otak —
The famed fish cake is so good, you'll customize your forks for it.
36. Daun pepaya —
The all-purpose papaya comes through again -- this time with its bitter leaves.
34. Siomay —
Siomay is a traditional steamed fish dumpling known in China as shaomi. It comes with a steamed potato, cabbage, egg and bitter gourd, served together with a boiled peanut sauce.
33. Sop kambing —
Not that Indonesia needs it, but sop kambing is a comforting hot stew for a cold winter day. The soup is packed with celery, tomato and chunks of goat meat.
31. Rendang —
Perhaps Padang's most famed curry, rendang's secret is in the gravy, which wraps around the beef for hours until, ideally, it's splendidly tender.
30. Lontong sayur —
A popular breakfast, longtong sayur consists of a glutinous rice cake topped with a coconut milk curry made with young papaya, tofu and eggs.
28. Ketoprak —
Ketoprak is made from vermicelli, tofu, packed rice cake and bean sprouts.
27. Sop buntut —
A little bit of Australia sometimes finds its way into a bowl of oxtail soup.
26. Sayur asem —
From West Java with love -- as well as melinjo, bilimbi and chayote, sayur asem is a refreshing soup.
24. Perkadel —
Never judge a perkadel, Indonesian version of minced-meat frikandel, by its cover. Perkadel's unassuming appearance belies its flavorful punch.
23. Pempek —
Douse it in vinegar, chili and sugar sauce, and the spongy dough balls stuffed with a chicken egg will get eaten.
21. Cah kangkung —
Kangkung, also known as water spinach, is a common ingredient through Asia. Cah kangkung is stir fried kangkung with sweet soybean sauce, garlic, chili and shrimp paste.
20. Asinan sayur —
The secret to a great asinan sayur -- pickled vegetable salad -- lies in its dressing, a thin peanut sauce swirled with palm sugar to balance the salty snap of preserved mustard leaf, carrot, cabbage and cucumber.
18. Bubur ayam —
From blue-collar workers to government ministers, almost everyone starts their day with bubur ayam, a savory porridge served with soy sauce, fried shallots, shredded chicken, beans and crackers.
17. Gulai —
Gulai -- the common name for curry dishes -- comes in many styles. We prefer yellow.
16. Babi guling —
He'll look better in a few hours. Babi guling, or roast suckling pig, is one reason to visit Bali.
14. Opor ayam —
Once only a Ramadan necessity, opor ayam -- braised chicken in coconut milk -- is sold on a daily basis nowadays.
13. Pecel lele —
Fried catfish is usually served with rice and red and green sambal.
11. Gudeg —
Boiled for hours in coconut milk and palm sugar, gudeg might be the greatest fruit stew (with sweet jackfruit) in the world.
10. Bakmi goreng —
Bakmi goreng is pencil-thin noodles fried with egg, meat and vegetables. Some modern outlets now make noodles from spinach and beets.
8. Nasi padang —
Nasi padang is a feast of dozen dishes stacked up on your table, tp go with a plate of steamed rice. Back off, Singapore. It's ours.
7. Nasi uduk —
Who doesn't love coconut milk rice topped with melinjo nut crackers?
5. Nasi goreng —
If you think nasi goreng should be the top pick, you're not alone. Considered Indonesia's national dish, nasi goreng is a fried rice with sweet, thick soy sauce and acar, pickled cucumber and carrots.
4. Soto —
One of Indonesia's favorite comfort foods, soto is a traditional meat soup comprises of ingredients that vary across the country.
2. Satay —
Most underrated part of great satay? The stick.
1. Sambal —
The king of condiments -- the chili-based sauce sambal is a staple at all Indonesian tables.