5 Amusing Indonesian Food Names


There are thousands different food around the world, and admittedly some names do make us laugh a little. So it makes us wonder how it actually got its name…

Here are a few that has definitely raised some questions:


1. Nasi Kentut

Nasi Kentut

No farts required here, this dish was probably given that name as it is cooked with a leaf called ‘daun kentut’. This traditional dish from Medan has a sticky texture and is completed with tons of different spices. The dish is then wrapped with a leaf and left until the aroma seeps into the food. When you’re eating nasi kentut, you might notice that it has a bit of a green tint from the leaf and an amazing fragrant smell.

Nasi Kentut is usually eaten with ikan pepes, fried chicken, tofu or fried tempe. Some even like eating it with a side of sambal terasi, sambal goreng or any other sambal of their choice.


2. Nasi Kucing 

Nasi Kucing

No cats will ever be harmed in the making of this dish. Originating from Yogyakarta, Semarang and Surakarta, the meaning behind the name comes from the portion of the meal. The portion of rice served is the same as the portion often given to cats.

Nasi kucing is usually served with a side of sambal, dried fish and tempe. It is often sold ready made, wrapped in banana leaves.


3. Kueh Ketawa

Kuih Ketawa

Okay, this literally translates to ‘laughing snack’. It is given that name as the shape resembles someone laughing. Can you see it?

This classic snack is made from wheat flour and has a very fluffy texture with a crunchy outer layer. The outer layer is also sprinkled with tons of sesame seeds.


4. Rawon Setan

Rawon Setan

The devil soup? Rawon is actually a beef soup that has a black coloured broth because it is made from a fruit named keluwak. The soup’s taste is a delightful mixture of spicy, sweet and sour.

It’s given name is not only because of the spiciness but the fact that there are small restaurants in Surabaya that sell rawon until late at night.


5. Pempek Kapal Selam

Pempek Kapal Selam

Pempek is a popular dish from Palembang, South Sumatra. It is a fish cake with an egg inside. Pempek Kapal Selam is given that name because of its shape.

Pempek is usually boiled or steamed before deep-fried to be served. It is then cut into bite-sized portions, served with yellow noodles or rice vermicelli, covered with kuah cuko and sprinkled with cucumber and ebi powder.


What other food names have made you laugh a little?

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