Indonesian Food Vs. Thai Food: Is Thai Food Better Than Indonesian Food?

It might be hard to choose between Indonesian food and Thai food because these are two of the most popular cuisines in Asia.

Both have different flavors and spices that make them so delicious.

In this article, we will explore the differences in these cuisines so that you can decide which one better suits your tastes.

What is special about Indonesian food?

Indonesian food is often overlooked in the world of international cuisine.

The vast archipelago has been influenced by Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese, and Indian traders over centuries.

This has created a cuisine that is diverse and varies from region to region.

The use of spices such as cumin, ginger, turmeric, and chili can be found in most dishes which gives it a characteristic flavor that is hard to find anywhere else.

They also use coconut milk heavily in their cooking because there are more than 17,000 islands in Indonesia with a tropical climate which is very favorable for developing tropical fruits like coconuts.

There are three popular Indonesian recipes: soto ayam (chicken soup), nasi goreng (fried rice), and bakwan kepiting (spicy shrimp balls).

In some parts of Indonesia, pork and beef are forbidden due to the diet restrictions of Muslims and Hindus.

Therefore, they mainly eat lamb, chicken, and seafood instead.

What is special about Thai food?

The food of Thailand is a blend of several cultures, including Thai, Lao, Burmese, and Chinese.

The cuisine is spicy and often includes coconut milk.

One dish that has become very popular worldwide, including in American cuisine is Pad Thai noodles which are made with rice noodles, eggs, tofu, or shrimp (depending on your preference), chopped peanuts, and bean sprouts.   

The most common condiment used in Thai cooking is fish sauce which can be found at any grocery store in the Asian section along with other ingredients needed for this cuisine.

There is also tom yum soup which has a sweet lemongrass aroma that fills your nose with every spoonful you take.

In general, Thai food is balanced with a perfect blend of sweet, salty, spicy, and sour tastes.

Lime and mango are used in both savory dishes and desserts to add light citrus flavors.

What are the differences between Indonesian food and Thai food?

When it comes to comparing Thai food and Indonesian food, there are several popular features that need to be unraveled.

Here are some differences between these two Asian cuisines:

Thai food is spicier than Indonesian food

Thai food is one of the spiciest foods in the world, along with Indian or Mexican food.

They prefer eating spicy dishes because they make them feel better.

Moreover, heating agents like chilies and ginger also keep their food fresher for longer periods of time.

On the other hand, Indonesian food is also relatively spicy, but still milder than Thai dishes.

Thai food strongly relies on fresh herbs whereas Indonesian food focuses on bold ground spices

Another difference between Thai food and Indonesian food is that Thai people tend to use more fresh herbs and spices in their dishes.

Ginger, garlic, basil, turmeric, mint, or lemongrass are some of the most commonly used spices that are usually used raw and fresh.

Meanwhile, Indonesian cooking uses the ground form of their spices, such as turmeric powder, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin seeds, and curry powder.

This makes Indonesian food bolder and stronger in flavor.

Thai people eat more noodles than Indonesians

Thai people also eat more noodles than Indonesians.

Noodles can be served with soup or stir-fried like in Pad Thai recipes, typically cooked with seafood like crab or shrimp rather than meat.

Meanwhile, Indonesians mainly eat rice, potatoes, or corn.

Indonesians rarely consume pork and beef, while these two ingredients are mainly used in Thai cooking

As already mentioned, some Indonesians are Muslims and Hindus, who don’t eat pork and beef because these animals are sacred to them.

Lamb and chicken are mainly consumed instead in this country.

On the other hand, Thai cuisine has more access to different kinds of meat because there are not likely some diet restrictions here.

Thai people eat pork, chicken, beef, duck, water buffalo, and so on.

What are the similarities between Indonesian food and Thai food?

There are also numerous similarities between Indonesian cuisine and Thai cuisine.

Let’s take a look at the following section to figure out:

Both cuisines use a lot of coconut milk and fish sauce in their cooking

Both cuisines feature coconut milk and fish sauce as two of their main condiments.

Since these two countries are famous for their long coastlines with many beautiful beaches and islands, it is not hard to find tropical products in their cuisines, like coconut milk and fish sauce.

These seasonings provide a very special flavor to Thai food and Indonesian food.

Rice is a staple in Thai and Indonesian cuisines

Another similarity between Thai food and Indonesian food is that rice is a staple in both cuisines.

People here usually serve their savory dishes with steamed or stir-fried rice in their daily meals.

Rice is the main crop that is affordable and versatile, that’s why it is preferred by most people.

Indonesian cuisine and Thai cuisine focus on using fresh ingredients

Two cuisines also mainly use fresh ingredients in their cooking, from meat, seafood, to vegetables and fruits.

These cooking elements can be easily found in their homeland.

This sets Asian cuisine apart from American or Western cuisine, in which canned food and other processed food are very favored.

Which one is better?

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand more about two popular Asian cuisines, Thai food, and Indonesian food.

These two culinary cultures have many differences as well as similarities.

Therefore, our recommendation is to try both cuisines before you decide which one will satisfy your taste buds more.

After that, we are happy to hear from you if you prefer Indonesian food or Thai food.

Now, it’s time to make or order some food from these Asian cuisines. 

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