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Author: William Wongso
Co-writers: Unggul Hermanto, Ve Handjojo, Dharmawan Handonowarih, Miranti Andi Kasim, Photografer: Kefas Sendy Wong

Size: 230 x 210 mm
Pages: 198 pp
ISBN: 978-979-8926-32-7
Price: US$ 29.95


For Indonesians, plats du jour come in perhaps far too many choices. But rendang Padang is an absolute favourite. Its sheer goodness comes from a thick, caramelized beef curry that churns out the aroma of spiced coconut milk and the molten sugar of ripe coconuts. The final look is somewhat blackened, but not burnt. In this heavenly dish lies the quintessential taste of Indonesia—rich yet subtle, both complex and elegant. 

However, that is not to say that the vastness of Indonesia’s culinary treasures can be reduced to one single dish. Each region in Indonesia is home to distinctive cuisines, many of which can be traced back to an exciting  history. In this great nation, food is about a harmonious mélange of diverse flavors, passions and experiences. 

At home, Indonesians customarily put all the dishes on the table at the same time. Sambal (hot sauce) or kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) are set apart as an option to add according to personal preference. Fresh green leaves serve as a salad to accompany the meal. The rest is a combination of different kinds of cooking: deep-fried crispy, boiled, curried, grilled or stewed. 

This book begins by introducing readers to the regional specialties and characteristics of the world’s largest archipelago. Connoisseurs and foodies alike will appreciate the detailed descriptions of the culinary prizes in each region, complemented by their historical backgrounds. William Wongso will take you on a journey from the enchanting West to the mysterious East. You’ll retrace the religious, architectural and culinary ascendancy of royal Java as seen through the island’s royal cuisine. Learn more about old spices and fresh ingredients as you tread through local markets in Sumatra. Devour the zesty food of Sulawesi, and more. 

As elsewhere across Southeast Asia, some of Indonesia’s most appetizing treats are to be found on its streets and in its alleys. Wongso shares his picks of the must-haves of street food and snacks in a dedicated chapter. Detailed descriptions of the most widely used ingredients and spices are provided. 

He then follows through with recipes and techniques applicable to modern kitchens. Go beyond the predictable lines of nasi goreng and sate and recreate some of Indonesia’s tastiest and most daring dishes in their original forms yet with contemporary presentations. Experience the true flavors of Indonesia. 

“......thrilling, enjoyable and essential reading.” Anthony Bourdain

“Flavors of Indonesia is essential for any food lovers’ wishing to learn, understand and cook authentic Indonesian cuisine. Recipes include long-forgotten dishes from obscure villages across the vast culinary landscape of the archipelago of Indonesia. William is the perfect culinary guide who’s knowledge and passion are evident on every page.”

Bobby Chinn, 
Chef restaurateur & TV presenter