Just like what we promised on the previous article, we would now continue discussing about traditional foods and beverages of East Java. Enough said, here you go the continued list:

6. Bakso Malang

Bakso is a meatball stew with beef broth. This is the most common dish to be found in anywhere in Indonesia. Common serving of Bakso usually consists of several rounds of meatball made from beef, yellow noodles, bihun (rice vermicelli), Chinese green cabbage, and beef broth. Tofu, beansprout, and pangsit (crisp wonton) are sometimes added as well. On the top of it, diced celery and fried shallots are sprinkled as toppings. Mashed boiled chili, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, and vinegar are also served separately to add flavor on the broth if wanted.

Bakso Malang, on the other hand, is a serving of Bakso traditionally from the city of Malang, East Java. It is not far different than common Bakso. But Bakso Malang has more varied compositions on the serving. Besides the normal composition mentioned before, it also has fried meatballs, steamed dumpling, fried dumpling, dumpling roll, siomay (fish cake), and meat-stuffed tofu. The toppings and complements of Bakso Malang is the same as common Bakso.

A Serving of Bakso Malang (Source: Flickr. Credit: James 9000)
A Serving of Bakso Malang
(Source: Flickr. Credit: James 9000)

Bakso Malang is easily available. You can buy it on a restaurant or café on the mall. You can buy it on a humble stand at the street or culinary center. You can also buy it through the vendors who walk around the street carrying his cart.


7. Sate or Satay

Sate or Satay is a skewered meat dished with peanut sauce dressing. To cook this dish, first you need to dice the meat and skewer it to a stick. Traditionally the stick is the bone of young coconut leaf. After the skewer is done, it is then marinated with spices and sweet soy sauce. After that, the skewer is grilled. During the grilling, it is necessary to re-marinate the skewer for several more times to make sure the seasoning penetrates perfectly on the meat.

Satay on the Plates (Source: Flickr. Credit: Samandiman 2007)
Satay on the Plates
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Samandiman 2007)

Traditional satay is grilled on charcoal fire. The meat used for the satay is usually chicken meat. But sometimes, it could also use chicken innards, beef, lamb, or even pork. On top of the serving, extra sweet soy sauce is sprayed. Fried shallot is also sprinkled on the topping. Satay is served with separated chili and shallot as complements. Satay is usually eaten with warm steamed rice or lontong (bland rice cake) as the source of carbs.

Satay is a traditional food from the province of East Java. In some regions of the province, the satay is slightly different. In Madura, the satay sauce is mixed with palm sugar. In Ponorogo, the diced meats are slightly larger than usual and the taste is sweeter. In Blora, the diced meat is smaller in size and usually served with traditional soup made from coconut milk and spices.


8. Soto Kudus

Soto is the most common traditional dish in Indonesia. It is like a soup with broth, meat, vegetables, and several side dishes as complements. There are plenty variants of soto in Indonesia based on the region where the dish came from. One of the most popular variant of Soto is Soto Kudus. Just like its name, this dish came originally from the city of Kudus, East Java.

Two Portions of Soto Kudus with Extra Condiments and Complements (Source: Flickr. Credit: sotokudusm.pimdua)
Two Portions of Soto Kudus with Extra Condiments and Complements
(Source: Flickr. Credit: sotokudusm.pimdua)

Soto Kudus has clear broth, which means it does not contain milk or coconut milk. The meat used for this soto is usually chicken meat or buffalo meat. In Kudus, you will not find soto which is using beef as the meat. It is because of the local taboo that prohibits people for eating it.

In Hindu, cow is a sacred animal. Although the majority of the people are embracing Islam, their ancient Islamic leader, Sunan Kudus, had told his people to avoid eating beef in order to show respect towards the Hindu people in the city.

A serving of Soto Kudus usually consists of chicken meat or buffalo meat, bihun (rice vermicelli), and beansprout. Celery and fried shallots are sprinkled as the toppings. It is usually served with separated sambal (mashed boiled chili), soy sauce, and lime as extra condiments. For more varied combination of the dishes on your soto, you can add some side dishes such as quail egg skewer, perkedel (fried potato cake), fried tempeh or tofu, and more.


9. Dawet Ayu Rumput Laut

Dawet Ayu is traditional cold beverage from Java Island. The beverages include cendol, coconut milk, ice cubes, and liquid brown sugar. Cendol is like a small jelly made from sago flour or seaweed. There are two kinds of Dawet Ayu; the Central Javanese and the East Javanese one. On the Central Javanese dawet ayu, the cendol is made from sago flour.

Meanwhile, on the East Javanese dawet ayu, the cendol is made from seaweed. That is why the East Javanese dawet ayu is called Dawet Ayu Rumput Laut, which means “Dawet Ayu of Seaweed”. This variant of Dawet Ayu is known to have more health benefits as seaweed contains high protein and fibers, which is way better than sago.

A Glass of Dawet Ayu Rumput Laut with Ice Cubes (Source: Flickr. Credit: Hariani Salim)
A Glass of Dawet Ayu Rumput Laut with Ice Cubes
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Hariani Salim)

To make cendol from seaweed, the seaweed first needs to be submerged in water for about 30 to 60 minutes. After that, the seaweed can be processed to be cendol. Nowadays, a serving of Dawet Ayu Rumput Laut does not consist of cendol only. Several components are also added to enrich it such as diced jackfruit, avocado, coconut meat, or even nata de coco. Dawet Ayu Rumput Laut is mostly sold on street stalls or carts.


10. Wedang Secang

Wedang Secang is a traditional warm beverage from East Java. It is popular for its taste but not many people know that the beverage has lots of health benefits. Wedang Secang is effective to warm up your body and cure gassy stomach, especially during the cold weather. It is also good for reducing the risk of coronary heart as well as lowering your blood pressure, which is very helpful for people with cholesterol and hypertension problems. Besides that, this beverage can also boost your stamina.

A Glass of Wedang Secang Served with Lemongrass (Source: Flickr. Credit: Eko Juniarto)
A Glass of Wedang Secang Served with Lemongrass
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Eko Juniarto)

Just as its name, this beverage is derived from the peel of Secang tree, a species of Fabacea tree. The Secang extract is then boiled with some other spices such as cardamom, lemongrass, clove, and sugar or honey. All those ingredients are mixed and boiled until the water turns reddish brown.

A glass of Wedang Secang is usually served with a lemongrass to enrich the flavor and aroma. It is highly recommended to drink the beverage while it is still warm as the taste might be different when it already turned cold.


Culinary of East Java is quite famous and popular throughout Indonesia. Thus, it is not impossible to find those delicious foods and beverages on any other place in Indonesia outside the Province of East Java.

But sometimes, they have slightly edited the recipe to match the local taste. So if you have the chance to visit East Java, make sure to taste as many traditional culinary as you could to know the most original taste.


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