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10 Must Try Local Cuisine of Jambi

by Annisa Putri Adriza
Local Food of Jambi

Indonesia has a range of culture that forms the characteristic of the country. There are diversity of culture, religion, beliefs, language and tribes. The diversity of Indonesia can be shown through the local cuisine that each region has.

The unique taste from food in Indonesia, comes from the traditional ingredient which is processed in certain ways according to each region and tribes. One of the region that has a variety of cuisine is Sumatra, there are delicious foods of West Sumatra but today we are going to see one region which is Jambi, let us see 10 local cuisine of Jambi.

1. Tempoyak


Tempoyak is the first on the list, this is made from fermented durian. To make this fermented durian, you need to take the flesh apart from the seed, mix it with salt and keep it in a container for 3 to 6 days then it is ready to be used.

Tempoyak is usually eaten as an ingredient for cooking, like if you cook it with coconut milk curry for Tempoyak Ikan Patin or mixed with spicy chili pepper as sambal tempoyak.



This is already a popular food that is known through Indonesia. Even tough it does come from Palembang but it is also a widely known in Jambi.

Pempek is fishcake made from fish and tapioca, it is served with cuko which is a sweet and sour sauce. Yellow noodles and diced up cucumber also accompany this dish to balance out the cuko.

There are many variants of Pempek such as Kapal Selam, Lenjer, Kulit, Keriting, Adaan and more. As mentioned before you can see Pempek in popular south sumartran foods.

3.Gulai Tepek Ikan

Gulai Tepek Ikan

This dish is served when there is a wedding or traditional event in Jambi. Gulai Tepek Ikan is a coconut milk curry which is filled with pieces of barred or snakehead fish that is made like pempek.

The name “tepek” comes from how to make the food is by “tepek-tepek” in other words flattened. Pineapple is usually added to the curry, to create sourness.

4.Kerutup Ikan

Kerutup Ikan

Kerutup Ikan is made from freshwater fish like carp, nile tilapia or goldfish. This dish is like the ordinary fried fish but there is tumeric leaf added to make the different flavor.

The unique part about this dish that the fish is wrapped using banana leaf and then fried. We have discussed two fish dishes, you can find more about best fishing spots in Indonesia.

5.Nasi Gemuk

Nasi Gemuk

We are halfway on our 10 local cuisine of Jambi. Nasi Gemuk is a popular dish to be eaten as breakfast in Jambi. Nasi Gemuk is similar to Nasi Lemak in Malaysia or Singapore.

The rice is cooked with coconut milk, pandan leaves, bay leaves and orang leaves. Nasi gemuk is eaten alongside egg, fried anchovy, chicken, sliced cucumber, fried shallots and chili sauce.

6.Nasi Minyak

Nasi Minyak

Nasi Minyak is not just known in Jambi but also in Palembang and Medan. Nasi minyak is cooked rice with minyak samin or ghee and spices. Nasi Minyak is usually found during special events and celebration, like weeding or traditional event.

There is a variety side dishes that is served with nasi minyak such as: malbi meat, satay, fried chicken, pickled cucumber, egg and of course spicy chilli sauce sometimes with pineapple. There is more about local foods in Medan.

7. Burgo


Burgo is a dish with folded rice pancake served in savoury coconut milk-based broth, flavoured with fish and sprinkled with fried shallots.

The pancake batter is made with a mixture of rice flour, sago or tapioca with water, next is is fried on the frypan just like making thin pancake but then it is folded into rolls. The broth is made with fish flesh, usually various fish can be use but the most common is snakehead fish.



The next 10 local cuisine of Jambi is Gandus, this is a cake made from rice flour, sago, coconut milk, garlic paste, salt and chili. It is usually steamed in round shape but it also made in small rectangle shapes.

This cake is usually give a topping made of roasted ebi, celery leaves, fried shallots, chili slices, meat and fish abon.

9.Mie Celor

Mie Celor

Indonesia noodle dishes are one of the favourite dishes for the society in Indonesia. Mie celor is easy to find in Jambi, this is a noodle dish that has a coconut milk broth poured on top of the noodles.

Alongside the noodles is usually given bean sprout and sometimes sliced chicken or beef. The coconut milk broth usually has a thick texture. This dish is a popular to be eaten for breakfast.

10.Kopi AAA

Kopi AAA

Coffee is trending these days, for that there is a popular coffee in Jambi called Kopi AAA. This coffee is produced by PT.NEFO, the coffee is created with selected beans with the recipes given from generation to generation from 1966 until present.

Deep black is the color of this coffee, more bitter, it smells nice and smells just like freshly ground coffee. Kopi AAA can only be found and bought in Jambi.

These are only a few local cuisine that is in Indonesia and even in Jambi. We can see that some local cuisine in Jambi can also be found in Palembang, since Jambi is close to Palembang.

Most of these local cuisine is using coconut milk and spicy is also the main characteristic. We know that local cuisine comes from tradition, that is why some dishes only can be found in certain celebration.

Beside the 10 local cuisine of Jambi that has been mentioned, there are still a lot more food that you can find through out Indonesia with its distinctive and unique flavor.

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