Polished long grain rice is the most commonly used rice in Indonesian cuisine in dishes such as nasi goreng. This staple also extends to desserts featuring the black and white sticky varieties.
Generally made from wheat, rice, potato or cassava flour. Krupuk are thin, dried crackers similar to Chinese prawn crackers, which are deep fried before serving as a side dish. Available in many different flavours, the best quality are said to come from East Java. Indonesians love to dip the light fried crackers into sweet thick kecap manis as a snack.
A dark sweet soy sauce is made from soya beans and palm sugar and is much sweeter and thicker than its Chinese or Japanese counterparts. Manis actually means sweet.
A salty dark soy sauce used in Indonesia, a little thicker than the Chinese soy sauce.
Trasi Shrimp Paste is made from fermented, dried shrimp, dried and cut into blocks. Trasi or belacan is a key ingredient in many types of sambal. Roasted by wrapping a small block in foil and place in the oven or toasted over a flame, trasi is crumbled into dishes to add a deep flavour.
Candelnuts (kemiri) they look like macadamia nuts and have a high oil content and are loved for their creamy texture in sauces. Inedible in their raw state, the kemiri nut is a common addition to curry pastes and sauces.
A thin, nutty cake made from fermented soy beans, tempeh was originally made in Indonesia. It is a highly nutritious and versatile ingredient, and its firm texture allows it to be cooked in many different ways - marinated, deep-fried, boiled, or steamed.
A finger-shaped rhizome prized for its vivid yellow colour and fragrance, fresh turmeric is often used in Indonesian curry pastes. Also available in dried, powdered form and featured in most curry powders.
Petai or 'smelly beans' as they are affectionately known are actually seeds from a tree native to Malaysia and Indonesia. Bright green in colour, they are slightly bitter in flavour and used in stir fries, curries and sambals. Available frozen in packets in Australia.
Also known as water spinach and loved throughout Asia for its fine crunchy hollow stem and long green leaves. Its best stir fried quickly
An acidic fruit whose pulp is used for its sourness to balance the salty, the sweet and the hot. It's used in everything from salads to sauces and is the key flavour note in assam fish. It can be used in liquid form, in block form, that has been soaked in warm water and the seeds removed.
Palm Sugar is made from the sap of the palm tree which is boiled down and concentrated into moist sugar which can range from dense bark brown to a light honey coloured shade. Its best grated for easy use.
A tall, bulbous grass with a fragrant, creamy interior used finely ground in spice pastes or left whole and bruised or tied in a knot when making curries and soups