11 Javanese Foods and Their Origins

Javanese food is rich in philosophy and is still used in traditional ceremonies and celebrations on certain days. Check out the recommendations below.

Blessed with fertile volcanic soil, the island of Java offers beauty from vast coastal plains to mountains. With cities inhabited by people from a variety of backgrounds, as well as extensive rice fields and plantations, the island of Java also offers a culinary variety with special flavors. Javanese food is rich in philosophies about harmonious living between humans and nature. Based on the book Sinau Saka Panganan Tradisional Jawa, dhaharan is an ancient Javanese way of expressing intentions and words.

Therefore, there are still many Javanese characteristics that are used in traditional ceremonies or celebrations on certain days. The delicious Javanese food can now be enjoyed through traders and restaurants that sell it, or made with their own ingredients. As an advice, below is a selection of typical Javanese foods and areas of origin.

1. Cabuk Rambak

Cabuk rambak is a typical Javanese food that comes from the city of Surakarta. In the book Solo Traditional Culinary Start Rare, the word cabuk refers to a sauce made from white sesame as the main ingredient used in this dish. While rambak is a cracker made from cow or buffalo skin.
This Javanese dish consists of ketupat that is sliced ​​thinly, then drizzled with sesame sauce and topped with some crackers. In the old days, this dish was served with rambak crackers. However, because the price of my rambak is expensive, now rambak is being replaced with karak crackers made from rice.

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2. Ketupat brongkos

Ketupat brongkos is a typical food of Central Java and East Java, precisely in the area of ​​Magelang and Jember. According to the book Pangan Tradisional Indonesia Seri 3, ketupat brongkos is a traditional nyadran food in Magelang.

In this tradition, there is a mountain grebeg procession that prepares approximately 1,000 servings of ketupat brongkos. These foods are made from a variety of ingredients, such as krecek (cowhide crackers), tofu, eggs, meat, potatoes, melinjo skin, tolo beans, and beans. All ingredients are prepared with Pawon seasoning (complete seasoning) with kluwak and cayenne pepper. Ketupat brongkos tastes delicious and slightly spicy with a thick chocolate coconut gravy.

3. Lumpia

Lumpia is a typical Semarang food with a variant of fried and steamed lumpia. The contents vary, but generally include meat and bamboo shoots. This dish is served with fermented sweet soy sauce (tauco) or sweet garlic sauce. Spring rolls are usually eaten with pickled cucumber and sweet and sour chillies.

4. Gudeg

Back in the city of Yogyakarta, there is a typical Javanese cuisine that is famous for its sweet and savory taste. Many gudeg foods are sold in the city of Yogyakarta, so the city is called the city of gudeg. The main ingredients of gudeg are jackfruit boiled with palm sugar, coconut milk, bay leaves, lemongrass, and galangal, until very soft and very well blended. Gudeg is usually served with rice, boiled eggs, chicken pieces, and pickled fried chillies stuffed with chewy beef skin.

In the book Kuliner Ngayogyakarta Kisah Di Balik Kenikmatan, it is explained that the name gudeg is derived from the Javanese language hangudek. The term hangudek means ‘stirring process’.

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5. Lontong Krubyuk

This typical Javanese food is similar to the general lontong cuisine. Lontong krubyuk comes from Jepara and contains lontong served with boiled chicken drizzled with meatballs and drizzled with a mixture of half-cooked bean sprouts and celery slices.

6. Gethuk

Getuk ya is a typical Javanese food made from cooked food. Cassava is ground, added sugar, then shaped into squares or similar, and served sprinkled with grated coconut. The presence of a mobile phone retailer has its own uniqueness. They use loud music by playing dangdut or campursari songs.

7. Botok

Botok ya is a traditional Central Javanese food made from grated coconut meat squeezed with coconut milk. Grated coconut mixed with chili, salt, pepper, basil and bay leaves. The dough is then placed on banana leaves and the leaves are wrapped tightly and tied with a stick and placed in the steamer. The simplest bots usually use cheap and readily available ingredients, such as tempeh, tofu or anchovies.

8. Bongko mento

This Javanese food comes from the Jepara kingdom. Bongko mento is a dish wrapped in banana leaves. It contains an omelet stuffed with fried chicken breast mixed with oyster mushrooms, vermicelli, and coconut milk.

9. Wingko

Wingko is a typical Semarang food that is often bought as a gift. This dish is a cake that is usually made from glutinous rice and dried coconut, baked and sold hot. Wingko is usually a round, almost dense coconut cake usually served in small, warm pieces. Wingko sold can be a large plate -sized cake or a small cake wrapped in paper.

10. Apem

Apem is a typical Javanese food made from a mixture of rice flour and wheat flour. Apem or apam is believed to have originated from Ki Ageng Gribig who was brought home from a pilgrimage to Mecca. According to the book Sinau Saka Panganan Tradisional Jawa, Ki Ageng Gribig was a scholar during the Mataram period. Ki Ageng Gribig spread Islam especially in Jatinom, Klaten, Central Java.


The word apem is believed to be derived from the Arabic word afwan or affuwun. It means ‘forgive’ or ‘forgive’. In ancient times, Javanese people found it difficult to pronounce these Arabic words, so it was called apem. This traditional meal is a symbol of asking God’s forgiveness for various sins

11. Tempe Mendoan

The crispy fried tempeh and super crunchy texture are always sought after by fans. However, this tempeh is deliberately half -fried and has become a trademark. Tempeh mendoan comes from Banyumas is a processed food made from fermented soybeans (soybean cake). Tempeh is then covered with spices and flour, don’t forget to mix in the onion slices. Then fry briefly in hot oil. Tempeh mendoan is served hot accompanied by green cayenne pepper and or sweet soy sauce.

Mendoan is half cooked because it is made as a fast food. This has the purpose of speeding up the making time and not waiting for the frying time to be very dry. Mendoan is seen along with tempeh, a food made from soybeans that is widely grown around Central Asia, China and Indochina. Then soybeans were brought by Central Asians during their migration to the southeast. This dish is not only a delicious meal to accompany a tea drink, but also a spearhead of Banyumas tourism.

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