Indonesia is known as a country rich in spices. Many Indonesian dishes have distinctive aroma and often feature rich tastes of spices. The secret recipe behind this delicious flavor is from the typical spices of Indonesia that became the seasoning ingredient of cooking. Here is the list of spices which used by Indonesian in making delicious foods.

1. Nutmeg (Pala)

Nutmeg is a spice made from the seed of the nutmeg tree (Myristica fragrant) and is generally used as a cooking spice. The spice has a distinctive pungent fragrance and a warm slightly sweet taste. It is used to flavor many kinds of baked goods, meats, sausages, potatoes, sauces, soup, vegetables, and such beverages as eggnog.

2. Clove ( Cengkeh)

Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a Clove tree. Cloves are used in the cuisine of Asian, African, Mediterranean, and the Near and Middle East countries, lending flavor to meats, curries, and marinades, as well as fruit. Cloves may be used to give aromatic and flavor qualities to hot beverages.

3. Cinnamon (Kayu manis)

Cinnamon skin is a spice used for sweet and savory dishes. If cinnamon is mixed with the dish, it will add fresh after taste but the amount needs to be exact. Cinnamon is processed into a cinnamon powder and bar. Cinnamon sticks are sometimes used to flavour soups and stews, and also in desserts and drinks.

4. Ginger (Jahe)

Ginger is common to Indonesian cooking, like most other Asian cuisines. In Indonesia, ginger is also often used in drinks, such as hot ginger water, and black coffee with ginger.

5. Lemongrass (Serai)

Lemongrass is an herb with a lemony scent. The culinary herb is produced from the stalk of the lemongrass plant. Lemongrass imparts a flavor of lemon with hints of ginger. It has the same essential oil as lemons and it is often used in herbal teas to give a lemon flavor. Fresh lemongrass can have floral and minty notes as well. Lemongrass is used in soup and dishes with meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables. It is also widely used in tea and other beverages.

6. Cardamon (Kapulaga)

Cardamom is a kind of fruit that is often used as a spice of certain dishes, and can also mix as a mixture of herbal medicine. Usually cardamom is widely used as a spice for curry because it can make the taste of food tasted more delicious.

7. Pepper (Merica)

In Indonesia, pepper is less acrid and a little sweeter than varieties grown in India or China, and is much fruitier as well. In Indonesian cooking, it’s often incorporated in traditional bumbus, which are the aromatic curry pastes made from dry and fresh spices. Long pepper is great just like black pepper - in dishes with red meat or in soups and stews.

8. Cumin (Jintan)

Cumin is a creeping plant whose seeds can be used for spices and medicines. Seeds of this plant are often used as a spice kitchen for Indian cuisine.  The aroma is very fragrant, suitable to be the mixture of seasoning traditional dishes in various regions. This spice often added into opor and curry dishes. 

9. Turmeric (Kunyit)

Traditional Indonesian cuisine can not be separated from this spice. This spice has a specific feature such as finger,  the skin has yellowish brown color, and it has a thin feature. Turmeric is used to color yellow rice, spice opor,  and curry.

10. Candlenut (Kemiri)

Candlenut is one of the Indonesian spices with seeds that are used as a source of oil and spice for cooking purposes. It is used for creating a creamy and umami taste in soups, gravy dishes, and sauces.

Bakpao comes from the Hokkien language, Roubao. The name Bakpao comes from a combination of the words Pao and Bak. Pao means to wrap, and Bak means meat. So, Bakpao is a wrap containing meat. In the Hakka / Khek language, Nyukpao / Yungpao, the meaning is the same: wrapped meat.

Bakpao at first contains pork because most Chinese people consume pork. But along with time and culinary developments, the filling in the bun does not only have pork meat. There are many varieties to filling a Bakpao, including chocolate, peanut butter, fruit jam, chicken meat, beef meat, and vegetables.

History of Bakpao

The first Pao was developed in Chinese culture as a filled form of Mantau, created by legendary 3rd Century military strategist Zhuge Liang. On the way back from battle during his famous Southern Campaign to quash a rebellion around the area which is now Sichuan province. Zhuge encounter with an enormous logistical challenge. The strategist has defeated his enemies but was staring at the prospect of defeat not by an army but by a river that is impossible to cross.

The river was said to be closely guarded by a Deity, who refused to allow safe passage to Zhuge unless he threw the heads of 50 of his soldiers into the river. Wanting to satisfy the Deity's demand without sacrificing his troops, Zhuge ordered 50 buns that looked like a human head to be thrown into the river due to their flat bases and round shapes. The plan was successful. Zhuge and troops deceived the Deity, a safe passage was granted, and the buns were named Mantau (Barbarian's head). Since then, the food has been known as Bakpao until to this day.

How to Make Bakpao

1. Prepare the pao dough

First place the flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Use a mixer and add cold milk or room temperature water. Add cooking oil. Besides, you need to knead for 7 minutes. After 30 minutes, divide the dough, roll, and shape each piece into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.

2. Prepare the pao filling

You need to prepare the filling in advance and leave it cool. The filling is various depending on people's tastes. Hence, suggestions for char siu filling:

Prepare the filling. Also you can start mixing all the ingredients and seasonings except flour. Let it to a boil and cook the pork until it is cooked. Put 2 tsp of the red yeast rice powder and 2 tsp of all-purpose flour. Finally the pork mixture will start to thicken and glue together. Set aside wholly cool before wrapping.

3. Wrapping the pao

Wrap and pleat the dough to seal the filling. Allow it 20 minutes at room temperature before steaming.

4. Steaming the pao

Place the pao in the steamer tray. Furthermore, Boil some water into the steaming pan. Please leave it to steam over medium heat for 10 minutes. Please turn off the heat and leave it cool for 5 minutes. Finally, the Bakpao is ready to serve, eat while still nice and warm.

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Read more about Introduction to pepes.

Here is how you can make Chicken Soup for your own.

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

Recipe by Albert TioCourse: UncategorizedDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time








  • 1 whole chicken

  • 3 stalks celery with leaves, cut into chunks

  • 2 large carrots, cut into chunks

  • 2 onions, peeled and halved

  • 2 bay leaves

  • sea salt

  • To finish the soup
  • 2 potatoes

  • 2 carrots

  • sea salt

  • chopped parsley


  • Place the chicken, celery, carrots, onions, parsnip (if using), parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves and salt in a large soup pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to very low. Adjust the heat until the soup is “smiling”: barely moving on the surface, with an occasional bubble breaking through. Cook uncovered, until the chicken is very tender and falling off the bone, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • When cool enough to handle, use tongs to transfer chicken from the pot to a container. Taste the broth and continue to simmer it until it is concentrated and tasty. Strain broth through a fine sieve (or a colander lined with cheesecloth) into a separate container. Discard all the solids from the strainer (or reserve the vegetables, chill and serve with vinaigrette, if you wish).
  • When ready to finish the soup, use your fingers to separate chicken breast meat from bones and skin. Discard bones and skin. Use two forks to pull the breast meat apart into soft chunks, or use a knife and cut into bite-size pieces. (Reserve dark meat for another use.)
  • Skim chicken fat from top of broth and set aside. Place 3 tablespoons of the fat in a soup pot with a lid. Add leeks, stir to coat, and heat over medium heat until leeks begin to fry. Then reduce the heat to a gentle sizzle and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add carrots, sprinkle with salt, stir, and cover the pot. Cook until vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes more. (Keep in mind that vegetables will continue to cook in the soup.) Do not brown.
  • Pour broth into pot with vegetables and heat to a simmer. Add noodles and simmer until heated through, soft and plumped with chicken broth. Add the breast meat, then taste broth and add salt and pepper to taste. For best flavor, soup should have some golden droplets of fat on top; if needed, add more chicken fat one teaspoon at a time.
  • Serve immediately, in a tureen or from the pot, sprinkling each serving with herbs.


  • Easy enough

Read Also Another Article about another recipe: Cheesy Bacon Chowder.

Another one: Balinese Meals you can dig in Jakarta.

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