As we know, every religion has its own set of unique holidays, and Christmas is one of them. Various traditions are followed, complemented by a range of special dishes. Here, we'll delve into the 15 most popular Indonesian Christmas foods that grace every festive celebration.
Types of Christmas Dishes in Indonesia
1. Babi Panggang Karo
Babi panggang karo, made from roasted or grilled pork and typically enjoyed with sambal, is an ideal choice for a family meal. | Credit: Tribun News
Let's kick off with babi panggang karo, a dish prepared with a blend of lemongrass, garlic, and soy sauce, sliced into bite-sized pieces. This roast pork is generally served with a special sauce made from pig's blood cooked spicy over hot coals.
2. Poffertjes Cake
Poffertjes, a fluffy Dutch cake akin to pancakes but smaller in size and with a sweet taste, is a delightful option for a Christmas day breakfast. | Credit: Shutterstock
Ever tried poffertjes? Typically served during the breakfast hours on the first day of Christmas, this signature Ambon cake is made using a mixture of pumpkin powder and wheat flour. Resembling pancakes in shape, these delectable treats are just smaller in size.
3. Babi Guling
Babi Guling, a Christmas food tradition originating from Bali and Manado, is often shared with extended families. | Credit: Google
During the Christmas season in Bali, you'll encounter a dish known as babi guling. This spit-roasted suckling pig is also a holiday favorite in Manado. The preparation involves slow-cooking the pig over hot coals for hours until it achieves an even, mouthwatering tenderness, with occasional turning or rolling.
4. Bagea Cake
Bagea cookies, known for their crispy texture, make a delightful Christmas dessert. Crafted from sago flour, these treats offer a sweet flavor. | Credit: Tempo
Now, let's talk about another beloved Indonesian Christmas delight—Kue Bagea from Maluku and NTT. These round cakes boast an off-white color and are composed of a blend of sago flour, oil, sugar, wheat flour, and spices like clove powder and cinnamon powder.
5. Nastar Cake
Surprisingly, nastar cookies aren't just reserved for Eid celebrations; they're also a popular choice for Christmas cookies and often included in Christmas hampers. | Credit: Shutterstock
Nastar isn't limited to Eid festivities; it's a favored treat for Christmas as well. Are you a fan of these pineapple-filled cookies? Recognizable by their vibrant yellow hue and pineapple jam filling, presenting nastar as a Christmas gift is sure to create lasting memories.
Also Read: 6 Christmas Gift Ideas for Family
6. Ikan Woku Belanga
The spiciness of woku fish makes it a delightful choice for enjoying with family during the chilly evenings of Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. | Credit: Google
Ikan Woku Belanga stands out as a Christmas specialty for the people of Manado. The main ingredient, fish, is cooked in a yellow gravy infused with distinctive spices, resulting in a spicy and delicious flavor when paired with steaming hot rice.
7. Ayam Kodok
A generously sized ayam kodok, perfect for a festive family gathering during Christmas. | Credit: Tribunnews
Ayam kodok features a whole chicken minus the skin, filled with minced meat mixed with various spices. The cooking process involves roasting the chicken, and it's served with a delicious sauce.
8. Ikan Bumbu Arsik
A spicy and warming fish dish for a festive family feast during Christmas.| Credit: Cookpad
Ikan Bumbu Arsik holds a special place among Indonesia's beloved Christmas foods, particularly in Medan. Its spicy flavor is enriched with the distinctive Andaliman Batak spices.
9. Rica Rica Chicken
Ayam Rica isn't just a fantastic choice for everyday dining; it's also a delightful addition to your Christmas feast with loved ones. | Credit: Detikfood
While this dish might be a familiar favorite, it takes on a special significance when served during the Christmas season. Many from Manado consider it a go-to for their festive meals. Its spicy kick pairs wonderfully with a serving of steaming hot rice.
A sweet treat that doubles as a delightful Christmas dessert, wrapped in banana leaves for added flavor. | Credit: Detikfood
Lappet Ombus or Lappet is a traditional Tapanuli pastry crafted from rice flour and grated coconut, with a sweet brown sugar filling. Wrapped in banana leaves, this cake takes on a cone shape reminiscent of a pine tree.
11. Brenebon soup
A comforting and warm soup hailing from Manado, perfect for family members who don’t like spicy flavors but still crave a hearty meal. | Credit: Detikfood
This dish is a must-try among Manado's culinary delights. Brenebon soup features red beans, beef ribs, and a soul-soothing broth.
Indonesia's most beloved Christmas sweet, Klappertaart, is the perfect dessert for the festive season. | Credit: Shutterstock
Another sweet treat served during Christmas in Manado, Klappertaart, stands out as Indonesia's most cherished Christmas delicacy, making it a delightful dessert option.
13. Ayam Budu Budu
Budu Budu chicken boasts a savory and zesty flavor, with lime, ginger, and tamarind as the main ingredients. | Credit: Suara.com
Hailing from Makassar, Ayam Budu Budu is a Christmas favorite. The preparation involves marinating chicken with lime juice, spring onions, ginger, and tamarind. Once cooked, this dish becomes a delicious menu best enjoyed with hot rice.
14. Ikan Bumbu Kuning
More than just a daily dish, ikan bumbu kuning is a fitting choice for a traditional Indonesian Christmas meal. | Credit: Google
During Christmas celebrations in Ambon, Ikan Bumbu Kuning, made with muba fish or tuna, is a common sight. The fish is cooked using a yellow seasoning derived from a blend of turmeric and various spices. Enjoying this dish with papeda enhances its delightful flavor.
15. Selat Solo
Similar to steak, selat solo makes for a delectable and elegant Christmas meal, perfect for festive family gatherings. | Credit: Google.
Lastly, Indonesia's most popular Christmas dish, Selat Solo, offers a blend of Solo's local flavors with European influence. Resembling a steak, it comes paired with potatoes and vegetables.
These 15 dishes are meant to be savored with family, friends, and loved ones. Christmas is also synonymous with hampers, often exchanged among close ones. To make the right choice, consider selecting Christmas hampers from Studiokado, offering a variety of contents from snacks and exclusive chocolates to notebooks.
Explore the complete collection here.