Indonesia cuisine has many tangy and delicious dishes but of course some of them can be super unhealthy. As an Indonesia female who is doing a triathlon and living a healthy lifestyle, eating out can be a challenge. Food is often either deep fried or sinked in coconut milk or santan with full of sat fat. Most of food also often has high density of solid carb. As millions of other Indonesia who love eating out, I explore that some restaurants, which people consider unhealthy, actually can serve my need for healthy diet. Even more there are endless combinations of healthy menu. Here I share some below for those who want to keep their body slim while keep eating out.


 1. Padang cuisine

Food in padang restaurant is publicly known as generally unhealthy because they are deep fried and/or sinked in coconut milk and kept for days with repeatedly fried to preserve the unsold food. Still in this kind of restaurant I can find what I can eat without compromising my healthy eating lifestyle. The typical Padang restaurant allows you to choose a mix of items to be eaten together with a mountainous white rice on your plate. When I come to Padang restaurant, I always ask for a half portion of rice, boiled cassava leaves without any sauce (plain), a boiled egg with the sauce removed, green chilli sambal (if you like hot or spicy sambal of course). Often Chicken pop is not always available, the safe option is of course double the egg portion or if my tolerance level is somewhat going to tangent that day, I will pick a fried mackerel tuna in Balado flavour.


Photo credit: tridear


2. Javanese cuisine

Food in java restaurant is a mixture of home food and sophisticated food depending on whether it is warung or a real restaurant. In general I do like eating in a medium size warung where you can have a decent sitting place but relative cheap and grounded. There are many options I have here, but I often go for a portion rice (the portion usually is not as much as in Padang restaurant), tempeh or tofu in bacem style (bacem is boiling the tempeh of tofu in sweet soya and lots of ingredients), grilled fish (ask whether this is fried first because they usually do that), cassava leaves tossed with salted fish or any other green leaves options. I do not find eating in this kind of restaurant is particularly difficult. 


3. Sundanese cuisine

I can consider sundanese food is quite healthy actually. There are many fresh uncooked side salad to be eaten together with the main dish. When I go a sundanese style restaurant. I always asked for this uncooked side salad, boiled vegetables, a portion of white rice (go with red/brown rice if they have), grilled chicken or fresh water fish with sweet soya (kecap manis) style, sayur asam or (sweet source soup), pepes tofu/salted fish/mushroom (tofu/salted fish/mushroom boiled in pandan/banana leaves) and sambal. With this menu, the fat level is minimum and you can still enjoy the authentic Sundanese cuisine.

4. Balinese cuisine

Lots of things you can considered as Balinese food but most of Balinese will eat with nasi campur in their daily life. It is considered as home food and easy food to get in Bali plus it is one of the cheapest options you can get in many warungs (or small delis) in Bali Island. I usually mix and match items for my nasi campur. I choose chicken shreds long beans and chilli tempeh and fish/chicken satay (sate lilit). It is one of my favourite dishes although the tempeh are deep fried and the shreds consist of fat and skins.


5. Others

There are other menus I can pick from the street or restaurant. For either lunch or dinner, my easy pick is satay. Lamb or goat satay is very nice after training and please ask the seller to not take off the animal fat and separate the sauce so it is not mixed up with peanut sauce if you have allergy or avoiding fat. For late night snack I love ordering sekoteng (a ginger pandan soup with palm sugar and milk plus kolang kaling (sugar palm fruit) and some thin biscuits. I usually ask to exclude bread and peanuts to be put aside simply because I do not like them. The other snack option is kembang tahu (beancurd) in sugar palm and ginger syrup. Superfood with lots of protein!!! If you want solid snack you can either find otak otak (fish custard wrapped in banana leaves). They generally have low fat level in fat but very solid carb.



These are a few among many local gems which I would miss so much if I am abroad. But if you are around either in Jakarta Bandung or Bali, I hope this gives you some ideas where you end up for the next meal. :)