Indonesia Banget 14 – Similar Food in 2 Countries

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For this month Indonesia Banget, I am going to do something a bit different. This is not something I plan to do all the time. I just think this month is perfect to do a post that connect two countries (which used to be in war but now tied in friendship) together. Indonesia and Japan are two countries in the vast Asia continent, one is very famous for its technology while other is not as famous as the other one. As you know, I come from the not so famous country 😉

See all the posts I made for this challenge by clicking this button

Every month starting from last year, I always write something special about my country, both the good ones and the bad ones…and almost every month I joined a fun challenge hosted by Nat of In Spring It Is Dawn, the challenge is to write something about Japan. This month’s challenge is to compare  2 things Japanese, but since last year I got away by making comparison of Ringu and The Ring, I guess it is okay to compare SIMILAR FOOD FROM INDONESIA AND JAPAN.

I was planning to choose 2 similar food but it would be a very long post so I decided to write just 1 similar food. Although the title is similar food in 2 countries…but I actually want to call it like this:

Lontong versus Onigiri

When I first in love with things Japanese, I was quite surprise that some Japanese food is similar to Indonesian…maybe because we  both are Asian so we have this kind of similar food. Lontong and Onigiri are the most interesting one as I often said that Onigiri is Japanese version of Lontong. Remember that I said SIMILAR not SAME!!

Both are made of rice, the different is, the rice in Lontong is steamed while the rice in Onigiri is only being shaped by hand

Both have many kinds of filling.

Both are wrapped with a kind of leaf or plant, the different is, Lontong is wrapped with banana leaves and we can’t eat the wrapping while Onigiri is wrapped in Seaweed and we can eat the wrapping.

Both taste quite similar…I like both Lontong and Onigiri.

Now, let’s see how to make them.


This recipe is translated from Kliping Resep Boenda, along with the photo.


  • 1 kg of rice
  • 2 liter of coconut milk
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 pandan leaves
  • 16 gram of salt
  • banana leaves

Materials for filling:

  • 6 pieces of shallots, 4 pieces of garlic, 2 piece of chilli  …all nicely mince
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200 gram chicken fillet
  • 300 gram carrot, cut in small square
  • 200 gram potato, cut in small square
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 300 ml  coconut milk
  • onion leaves, slice it in  small pieces

How to make:

  1. For the rice: Boil the coconut milk with bay and pandan leaves. Pour the rice once the coconut milk is boiling.
  2. For filling: Stir fry shallot,garlic,chilli and bay till we can smell it.  Put the chicken and let it tillits color  has changed.
  3. Put the carrot and the potato.
  4. Add the curry powder, salt, pepper and sugar. mix it well.
  5. Pour the coconut milk, let it sip into the filling’s  content.  Add onion leaves.
  6. Take the banana leaves, flatten the rice on the banana leaves, put the filling in the middle, then shape it to look like a cylinder (see the picture).
  7. Steam it for 45 minutes.


Picture is borrowed from Onigiri Genuine, recipe is copied from Japanese Recipe.


  1. 250 grams of rice fluffier, wash
  2. 100 g white glutinous rice, washed
  3. 2 pieces of chicken-flavored bouillon cube powder, ready, knead
  4. 400 ml of water
  5. 1 / 2 teaspoon salt


  1. 5 pieces of bacon, cut into 2 cm thick (can be replaced with corned beef, shredded, chicken, etc.)
  2. 1 sheet nori or rather lau grass is dry
  3. scrambled eggs, thinly sliced
  4. black sesame seeds, toasted

How to make:

  1. Combine rice, white rice, and bouillon cubes until blended. Add water, cook over medium heat so the water runs out .Lift.
  2. Steamed rice in a hot steamer for 30 minutes until cooked, remove from heat. For the rice into 2 parts, one part of the remaining 600g 150g.
  3. Wet hands
  4. Sprinkle the salt into the hands
  5. Spread rice, given the space for a side dish, enter content / side dish to taste
  6. Fists and formed
  7. Nori paste

As you can see, the way to make Lontong and Onigiri are very different…but the taste is quite similar, Lontong has a bit richer taste due to the coconut milk.

Hope you enjoy this edition of Indonesian Banget and Hello Japan. Next month will be a special month I have been waiting since early this year…I wait till October to share my next Indonesia Banget post 😉

16 thoughts on “Indonesia Banget 14 – Similar Food in 2 Countries

  1. we don’t have coconut milk in my country 😦

    Tell me, Novia, is vegetarianism an ordinary thing in Indonesia like in China and Japan for example, or not? I’m a vegetarian 🙂 When it comes to Asian food, I can’t stand Indian food (too much spices and strange combinations), but I do like some things from Chinese cuisine.

    As you might noticed over at Facebook, I often make and sell cakes to other people 🙂 Making cakes is a stress relief thing for me.

    1. Eh? really? Making coconut milk is simple and it really changes the taste of food. Most of Padang food use coconut milk. You just need to squeeze the juice out of a coconut.

      Wow,i didn’t know you’re a vegetarian Dezz…I would have never expected it…you’re just like my Cillian 😉
      Vegetarianism is not an ordinary thing here but there is one suku bangsa that really like to eat raw leaves. The Sundanese is well known as people who enjoy eating uncooked vegetables. We often tease them by saying just give a Sundanese a sambal (chilli mixed with onion and other) and set him free in the forest, he will survive.

      For me, cooking is fun, either making cookies or dinner, the problem is cleaning the eequipment.

      1. Ah I forget to tell you that both Lontong and Onigiri can be turned into vegetarian food just by changing the filling into vegetables. You should try it Dezz. they are delicious

        1. we don’t really have coconuts either 🙂 We just have coconut flour which is very dry and is used in making cakes 🙂 For us it’s something used in sweet food not in savory one.
          I’m similar to the Sundanese, just give me some grass for lunch and I’m happy like a little bunny 🙂

    2. Indonesian food can be more vegetarian than western food if you know the reality. Just ask tempeh, tofu’s cousin. In Indonesia it’s widely sold and enjoyed by everyone everywhere. It can appear in coconut milk curry, deep fried, sambal, etc. Other delicious vegan menus include the famous Indonesian salad: gado gado. It’s a mixture of vegetables in spicy peanut sauce. There are also pecel, karedok, and lotek. You can order lumpia (Chinese roll filled with various vegetables) or tahu isi (stuffed tofu) or pastel (puff filled with vegetables). I believe there are still more so do visit Indonesia to find out and you’ll be surprised we accommodate meat eaters as weell as veggies eaters…..

    1. They are yummy 🙂 do try it Sara.
      We don’t use coconut milk in our rice for daily meal, some people use Pandan leaf because it made the rice smell nice.

      This is interesting, you in US can find coconut milk but Dezzy in Serbia don’t have one…very interesting.

  2. We can find coconut milk as well and like Sarah I love to cook with it.
    Both recipes look so delicious. Makes my mouth water. I nice idea for a post and I am amazed, they look very similar, the pricipal is the same.
    We don’t have anything like this. Vegetable wraps, but that’s not the same.
    I don’t think I could find pandan leaves though….

    1. Thank you Caroline, glad you like it 🙂
      I was quite surprise to when I first knew Onigiri and tasted it. The difference is mostly because of the coconut milk.
      As for Pandan leaves, it is only used to make food smells good and give extra flavour…but it’s not a necessary

  3. Yummy. I’m hungry now 🙂 Really enjoyed this post-You should definitely do more of them! I would also love to read posts/see photos of Indonesia.

    Over the next few months, I intend to post some pictures of Cork! The countryside etc.

    Do you have a favourite food? I love potato and eat it every day! (I am a typical Irish stereotype!). Have you ever heard of the Irish connection with the potato? A lot of jokes are made about that and about Guinness :/

    1. Thank you Roisin 🙂
      I miss having you around here.
      We, Indonesians, always eat rice whether we like it or not…it’s our potato. My favorite food are Padangnese (or is it Padangese?) food, my parents native food. They always use coconut milk.

      whoaa I would love to read all about Cork!!! Promise me you will really write the posts 😉 and what joke is it about potato?

  4. I love that you compared a similar food from Indonesia with Japan. Lontong looks and sounds yummy. I’d love to try it someday. I have to say I’ve never heard of bacon or corned beef onigiri. It’s usually some kind of fish or pickled vegetables for the filling. But why not? 😉

    1. Lontong is one of my favorite breakfast 🙂
      let me know if you have finally make it.
      I haven’t tasted beef onigiri either but is opened to any filling…even chocolate in Shinchan’s case 😉 (Shinchan is an anime character who loves filling chocolate into his onigiri)

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