Vegan Indonesian Recipes: A Journey into Plant-Based Culinary Delights - Today Resepi Ideas

Vegan Indonesian Recipes: A Journey into Plant-Based Culinary Delights

Indonesian cuisine, renowned for its bold flavors and diverse ingredients, is undergoing a captivating transformation as the vegan movement takes root. Vegan Indonesian recipes offer a tantalizing fusion of traditional flavors and innovative plant-based alternatives, creating a culinary experience that is both satisfying and nourishing.

Embark on a culinary adventure where tofu and tempeh reign supreme, vegetables dance with aromatic spices, and every bite celebrates the vibrant essence of Indonesia’s rich culinary heritage. Let us delve into the world of vegan Indonesian cooking, exploring the secrets of adapting beloved dishes to a plant-based lifestyle.


rendang indonesian

Indonesian cuisine is renowned for its diverse flavors and rich culinary heritage. In recent years, veganism has gained traction in Indonesia, influencing the culinary landscape and leading to a surge in vegan Indonesian recipes.Veganism, a lifestyle that excludes all animal products, has found resonance in Indonesia due to its emphasis on health, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare.

This trend has inspired Indonesian chefs and home cooks to adapt traditional dishes to cater to vegan preferences, creating innovative and delicious plant-based alternatives.

Popular Vegan Ingredients in Indonesian Cuisine

Indonesian cuisine is known for its rich flavors and diverse use of ingredients, including many vegan-friendly options. From tofu and tempeh to fresh vegetables and aromatic spices, these ingredients form the backbone of many traditional Indonesian dishes.

Tofu and Tempeh

Tofu and tempeh are staples in Indonesian vegan cooking. Tofu, made from coagulated soy milk, is a versatile ingredient that can be fried, grilled, or steamed. Tempeh, on the other hand, is a fermented soybean product with a nutty flavor and firm texture.

Both are excellent sources of protein, iron, and calcium.


Indonesian cuisine incorporates a wide variety of vegetables, including cabbage, carrots, beans, and eggplant. These vegetables are often stir-fried, steamed, or used in soups and curries. They provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.


Indonesian cuisine is renowned for its aromatic spices. Common spices used in vegan dishes include turmeric, cumin, coriander, and galangal. These spices not only enhance flavor but also possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Examples of Traditional Indonesian Vegan Dishes



A salad made with blanched vegetables, tofu, and tempeh, served with a peanut sauce.

  • -*Nasi Goreng

    Fried rice with vegetables, tofu, and tempeh, seasoned with soy sauce and spices.

  • -*Soto Betawi

    A coconut milk-based soup with tofu, tempeh, and vegetables.

  • -*Sayur Lodeh

    A vegetable stew made with cabbage, carrots, beans, and tofu, cooked in a coconut milk-based broth.

Vegan Substitutions for Traditional Indonesian Ingredients

vegan indonesian recipes

Indonesian cuisine is renowned for its bold flavors and diverse ingredients, but many traditional recipes rely on non-vegan elements.

Fortunately, there are plenty of vegan alternatives available to create delicious and authentic Indonesian dishes without compromising on taste or texture.

When substituting vegan ingredients, it’s essential to consider both the flavor and texture of the original ingredient. Here are some common non-vegan ingredients and their vegan replacements:

Shrimp Paste (Terasi)

  • Original ingredient: Shrimp paste is a fermented seafood paste that adds a pungent umami flavor to many Indonesian dishes.
  • Vegan alternative: Nutritional yeast, a deactivated yeast with a nutty and slightly cheesy flavor, can be used as a substitute for shrimp paste. It provides a similar umami taste without the seafood flavor.

Fish Sauce (Kecap Ikan)

  • Original ingredient: Fish sauce is a fermented fish sauce that adds a salty and savory flavor to dishes.
  • Vegan alternative: Soy sauce or tamari sauce can be used as a substitute for fish sauce. They provide a similar salty and savory flavor without the fish taste.

Chicken Stock

  • Original ingredient: Chicken stock is a flavorful liquid made from boiling chicken bones and vegetables.
  • Vegan alternative: Vegetable broth, made from simmering vegetables and herbs, can be used as a substitute for chicken stock. It provides a similar savory and aromatic flavor without the animal products.

Adapting Indonesian Recipes for a Vegan Diet

Indonesian cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors and diverse dishes, but adapting traditional recipes to a vegan diet can be challenging due to the frequent use of animal-based ingredients like shrimp paste, fish sauce, and eggs. However, with careful modifications and a few vegan-friendly substitutes, it’s possible to create delicious and authentic vegan Indonesian dishes.

To ensure vegan-friendliness, start by identifying the non-vegan ingredients in the recipe. Common animal-based ingredients in Indonesian cooking include shrimp paste (terasi), fish sauce (kecap ikan), eggs, chicken stock, and beef broth.

Vegan Substitutes for Traditional Ingredients

  • Shrimp Paste (Terasi): Use a mixture of miso paste and nutritional yeast for a similar umami flavor.
  • Fish Sauce (Kecap Ikan): Substitute with soy sauce or a combination of tamari and liquid smoke.
  • Eggs: For binding, use a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water) or a chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water). For omelets or scrambled eggs, try tofu scramble or chickpea flour omelets.
  • Chicken Stock: Replace with vegetable broth or a mixture of miso paste and water.
  • Beef Broth: Use mushroom broth or a combination of soy sauce and vegetable broth.

Tips for Veganizing Indonesian Recipes

  1. Start with a Vegan Base: Use vegetable oil instead of animal fats, and opt for vegan-friendly sauces and condiments.
  2. Enhance Umami: Add ingredients like mushrooms, seaweed, miso paste, or nutritional yeast to boost the savory flavor.
  3. Experiment with Spices: Indonesian cuisine relies heavily on spices, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations to create depth of flavor.
  4. Add Vegetables: Bulk up your dishes with a variety of vegetables, such as tofu, tempeh, beans, and vegetables.
  5. Use Plant-Based Protein: Incorporate tofu, tempeh, seitan, or lentils as meat substitutes.

Veganizing Popular Indonesian Dishes

  • Vegan Rendang: Use jackfruit or mushrooms as a meat substitute, and replace shrimp paste with a mixture of miso paste and nutritional yeast.
  • Vegan Nasi Goreng: Swap out eggs with tofu scramble, and use soy sauce or tamari instead of fish sauce.

Health Benefits of Vegan Indonesian Recipes

Vegan Indonesian cuisine offers an abundance of nutritional benefits. By eliminating animal products, these dishes are naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol, promoting heart health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Moreover, vegan Indonesian recipes are rich in plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, supporting a balanced and healthy diet.

Protein-Rich Vegan Indonesian Recipes

  • Tempeh Goreng: Fried tempeh is a protein-packed dish, providing approximately 15 grams of protein per serving. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be marinated and cooked in various ways.
  • Gado-Gado: This traditional salad features boiled vegetables, tofu, and tempeh, offering a balanced source of protein and essential nutrients.

Fiber-Rich Vegan Indonesian Recipes

  • Sayur Lodeh: This vegetable stew is loaded with fiber from ingredients like jackfruit, chayote, and green beans, promoting digestive health and satiety.
  • Bubur Sumsum: This creamy rice porridge is rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar.

Vitamin and Mineral-Rich Vegan Indonesian Recipes

  • Soto Betawi: This flavorful soup is a good source of vitamin C from tomatoes and vitamin A from carrots, supporting immune function and eye health.
  • Karedok: This raw vegetable salad is packed with antioxidants and vitamins from ingredients like cabbage, carrots, and cucumber.

Vegan Indonesian Recipes for Different Occasions

Vegan Indonesian cuisine offers a diverse range of dishes suitable for various occasions, from everyday meals to special events and holidays. Whether you’re looking for appetizers, main courses, desserts, or drinks, there are plenty of vegan options to satisfy your cravings.

To help you navigate the culinary landscape, here’s a list of vegan Indonesian recipes categorized by occasion, along with some popular choices in each category:

Everyday Meals

  • Nasi Goreng: A classic Indonesian fried rice dish made with vegetables, tofu, and tempeh.
  • Gado-Gado: A mixed vegetable salad with peanut sauce.
  • Soto Betawi: A traditional soup made with coconut milk, vegetables, and jackfruit.

Special Events

  • Rendang: A spicy beef stew, which can be made vegan using jackfruit or seitan.
  • Ayam Betutu: A Balinese dish of steamed or roasted chicken, which can be substituted with tofu or tempeh.
  • Sate Lilit: Grilled skewers made with minced meat, which can be made vegan using tempeh or mushrooms.


  • Ketupat: A woven rice dumpling served during Eid al-Fitr.
  • Opor Ayam: A chicken stew served during Eid al-Adha, which can be made vegan using jackfruit or tofu.
  • Kue Lapis: A layered cake served during holidays like Christmas and Chinese New Year, which can be made vegan using plant-based milk and eggs.


  • Bubur Sumsum: A sweet rice porridge made with coconut milk.
  • Es Campur: A shaved ice dessert with various fruits and toppings, which can be made vegan by omitting the condensed milk.
  • Kolak Pisang: A sweet banana stew made with coconut milk and spices.


  • Es Teh Manis: A sweet iced tea made with black tea and sugar.
  • Es Jeruk: A refreshing orange juice.
  • Wedang Jahe: A ginger tea with honey, which can be made vegan using maple syrup or agave nectar.

Resources for Vegan Indonesian Cooking

Embark on a culinary journey with our curated resources for vegan Indonesian cooking. Discover a wealth of recipes, techniques, and connections to enhance your plant-based Indonesian culinary adventures.


  • Vegan Indonesian Kitchen: Over 100 Authentic and Easy-to-Make Recipes by Hetty McKinnon: A comprehensive guide with recipes ranging from traditional dishes to modern takes.
  • The Vegan Ricecracker: Plant-Based Indonesian Home Cooking by Siska Chandra: A collection of flavorful recipes inspired by Siska’s family traditions.


  • Vegan Ricecracker: Siska Chandra’s website features recipes, cooking tips, and insights into Indonesian vegan cuisine.
  • The Indonesian Vegan: A blog with a vast collection of vegan Indonesian recipes and cooking techniques.

Online Communities

  • Indonesian Vegan Community on Facebook: A supportive and active group for connecting with other vegan Indonesian food enthusiasts.
  • Vegan Indonesian Recipes on Reddit: A subreddit dedicated to sharing and discussing vegan Indonesian recipes and cooking experiences.

These resources provide a valuable gateway into the world of vegan Indonesian cooking. They offer a diverse range of recipes, culinary knowledge, and opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals.


Vegan Indonesian recipes are a testament to the boundless possibilities of plant-based cuisine. By embracing the versatility of vegan ingredients and adapting traditional techniques, we unlock a world of culinary delights that cater to both vegans and non-vegans alike. Let these recipes inspire you to explore the vibrant flavors of Indonesia in a compassionate and sustainable way.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key ingredients in vegan Indonesian recipes?

Tofu, tempeh, vegetables, and spices form the foundation of many vegan Indonesian dishes, providing a rich source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients.

How do I substitute non-vegan ingredients in Indonesian recipes?

Vegan alternatives such as plant-based milk, yogurt, and cheese can be used to replace dairy products, while tofu or tempeh can be used instead of meat.

What are some popular vegan Indonesian dishes?

Vegan rendang, nasi goreng, and gado-gado are just a few examples of the many delicious and authentic vegan Indonesian dishes available.

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