South-East Asia is famous the world over for its incredible food. Thailands' green curry has inspired swanky Thai restaurants in cities across the world, while Vietnamese Pho pleases millions with it's cozy noodle joints on many a street corner.
However, there is no other country that produces food so deliciously appetising, so pleasingly spicy, so dangerously addictive that people - locals and visitors alike - crave it more than oxygen.
Here are 15 Indonesian foods that you never try just once...
(Disclaimer: WowShack is not liable for any lifelong addictions to the food suggested within. Taste and enjoy at your own risk.)
The Staple Diets
1) Nasi Goreng
Indonesia's most addictive dish is unquestionably Nasi Goreng. Simple but effective, fried rice is best served with chicken/goat/seasfood/veggies or all the above (a Nasi Goreng Special). Naturally, most come coated in or with a side order of sambal, lovingly prepared by your local warung. Best served with an egg, so your bowls can endure another naughty Nasi dish for the next meal.
2) Mie Goreng
If you're looking for the upmarket alternative to fried rice, yet something equally as scrumptious, Mie Goreng will have you slurping your way to a satisfied tummy. So popular are Mie dishes, packets of IndoMie have been satisfying customers the world over. Note: MSG required for full addictive effect.
No other country could have "meatball soup" so high up on it's list of must have cuisines. Noodles served in a tasty chicken broth, complimented by balls of meat that look suspiciously like an oversized roosters reproductive organs, Bakso quenches a hunger like no other. Best served by a kaki lima. Note: If the man shouting "Bakso!" sounds like he's been repeating the phrase for 40 years, you're on to a winner...
Lets pick it up a notch...
4) Nasi Uduk
If you find that chicken, beef and more chicken is getting a bit repetitive in your Indonesian diet, fall in love with the lethal combination of duck and rice. Cooked in coconut milk, Nasi Uduk is a duck filled extravaganza that someone has when they fancy a change from the usual nasi and mie dishes. And what a tasty change it is!
"But what about breakfast, WowShack?" we hear you ask. Well dear reader, any true addict of Indonesian food will know that there is never an inappropriate time of day to munch on any of these meals. But the supreme breakfast dish is hands down Bubur Ayam. Best served as a white sludge - like any good porridge - chuck in some chicken, and scoop up the sloshy slice of heaven with kerupuk for added crunch.
There is a special place in heaven for the man who invented chicken on a stick. Sate, when smothered in a juicy peanut sauced, fanned to perfection by the parked up kaki lima, has made many a vegetarian return to their meat eating nature. Note: the exciting risk of "is it chicken or is it actually rat" is half the fun.
A delicacy that mixes the best of curry and stew, Rendag is a slow cooked beef soaked in a sauce that doesn't have a mild option. No visit to the Padang on the corner is complete without a scoop or two of this meaty goodness, that even has Indian's choosing it over a Lamb Madras.
Desserts best served Indonesian
In the world of pancakes, Indonesia has devised a desert that can make the Belgian waffle sit down and the French crepe get to the back of the line. Enter the loveable and diverse Martabak. A member of the pancake family, Martabak can come either savoury or packed with meat. Perhaps the only food in the world that can be served as an entrée, main course and desert. Now THAT'S Indonesian efficiency.
Now, most countries wouldn't dare use rice in a dessert. But Indonesian chefs don't play by the rules. Klepon, a rice ball of coconut goodness, is a sweetness explosion to delight the senses after any meal.
At this point, our vegetarian and vegan readers may feel excluded from Indonesia's extensive menu. Fear not, for Indonesia has provided Gado-gado to satisfy the veggies taste buds. So good they named it twice, Gado-gado is an assorted veggie dish containing cabbage, spinach, bean sprouts and lontong. What separates gado-gado from the blandness of other vegetarian dishes is the tasty, morish peanut sauce. So enticingly addictive, it has teased many with a person with a peanut allergy into hospital.
11) Tahu & Tempe Goreng
Tofu, generally, is widely considered to be one of the lamest foods mankind has ever produced. However, deep fry it and give it an Indonesian twist, Tahu and Tempe Goreng can steer even the most ardent carnivore onto the meat substitute.
You may see a recurring theme here. Getting food Goreng is the surest way to get customers coming back for more. Gorengan, deep fried snacks of tofu, tempe, cassava, breaadfruit, banana, sweet potato etc., are as mouthwatering as they are cheap. Nobody who has ever tried one has only ever had just the one...
Simply known as "the King of fruits," Durian has a famous stench and unique taste that presumably exists to ward of the unworthy. Here's Jimmy Kimmel entering the category of unworthy of "The King"...
Jessica convinces Jimmy to try the durian fruit. Deleted Scene from "Batman v Superman" Starring Jimmy Kimmel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y8iRvQdSGA
The world has never invented a more versitle side dish that should accompany every meal. Kerupuk is like an edible spoon - a prawn cracker that you can use to mop up your Rendang, scoop up your Nasi and dip into your sambal. No other country's food is so addictive that you look forward to eating the cutlery as much as the dish itself...
15) Minnum Bungkus
Chowing down on the world's most addictive food is thirsty work. Thats why a fizzy drink, teh bottle or Eis Teh, poured into a plastic bag is the novel accompaniment to any Indonesian dish. There is no better thirst quencher than your favourite drink, stripped of its corporate labels, lovingly packaged in wobbly plastic bag.