The fourth most populated country in the world with over 255m people and it has the fourth largest coastline.
It comprises of over 17,000 islands that lie between the Pacific Ocean & the Indian Ocean.  The most known islands are Sumatra, Bali & Java.  Java is the most populated island in the world.
Some of Lonely planet’s highlights include; catching waves at Ulu Watu, Bali’s surfing mecca; Java’s Borobudur temple; trekking to Dani villages in Papua’s Baliem Valley and the enigmatic orangutan in Tanjung Puting National Park.
There are 400 active volcanoes, more than any other country.  Krakatoa is the site of the largest volcanic eruption ever recorded. Occurring on August 27, 1883, it had a force equivalent to 2,000 Hiroshima bombs and resulted in the death of 36,000 people.
It is home to some pretty scary wildlife, namely, the Komodo dragon (the largest lizard on earth), Python Reticulates, (the longest snake in the world) and the largest volume of shark species, approx 150.
As for Indonesia’s cuisine, according to wiki it is one of the most vibrant and colourful in the world, full of intense flavour.  So hopefully we are in for a treat!  I was entertaining friends so I opted for 3 of the most popular dishes; Sate Ayam Madura (chicken satay with peanut sauce); Padang Style Beef Rendang (rich beef curry) and Nasi Goreng (fried rice).

Rating:  10/10 – Sate, 9/10 – Rendang Beef and 8/10 – Nasi Goreng.  Overall 9/10

Sate Ayam Madura
Peanut Sauce:
250g peanut, toasted/roasted
3 candlenuts (kemiri)
6 red chilies
4 tbsp palm sugar
2½ tsp salt
600 ml water
600 gram chicken thigh meat, cut into ½ inch cubes
4 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (Kecap manis)
2 tsp oil Bamboo skewers (about 20)
Peanut Sauce: In a food processor, grind together peanut, candlenuts, and chilies. Transfer to a sauce pot along with the rest of the peanut sauce ingredients, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the sauce thickens. Turn off heat.Satay: Place chicken, sweet soy sauce, oil, and 150 gram of peanut sauce in a mixing bowl. Mix together and marinate for 30 minutes. Skewer the marinated chicken with bamboo skewers. Grill until cooked and slightly charred, baste with marinating sauce as needed. Serve the satay with peanut sauce & lime wedges 

Padang Style Beef Rendang
600g beef chuck steak, cut into 2 inch by 2 inch cubes
1 litre of water
150 ml thick coconut cream
3 kaffir lime leaves
3 bay leaves
1 lemon grass, gently bruised
1 inch galangal, peeled and gently bruised
1/2 tbsp tamarind pasteGrind the following into spice paste:
15 shallots
5 cloves garlic
50g red chilies
10 candlenuts (I used macadamia as I couldn’t find these)
1 inch fresh ginger
1 inch fresh turmeric
1 /2 tbsp pepper
1 /2 tbsp salt
Put all ingredients in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat a bit (still above simmering point) and leave the pot uncovered.
Cook until the liquid is reduced and thickened. Once the liquid has thickened, reduce the heat and simmer until all the liquid is almost gone and the beef looks a bit dark – this should take around 2 hours.
Remove from heat and serve hot or at room temperature.
Nasi Goreng
6 shallots
3 garlic cloves
5g shrimp paste
10 g red chilli
3 eggs
150 g chicken breast, deep-fried and shredded
1/4 cup cooking oil
600 g rice, cooked & cold
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 spring onion, chopped
4 shallots quick fried & left to dryGrind shallots, garlic, shrimp paste and chili to fine paste.
Heat cooking oil in a wok and stir-fry spice paste for 2 minutes on a medium heat, till brownish and fragrant.
Push spices to side of wok and pour egg into the wok. Quickly scramble the egg for a minute. Mix egg with spices, break them into smaller pieces.
Add rice, pepper, kecap manis, soy sauce & chicken.
Stir-fry everything quickly over high heat, for 6-7 minutes.
Sprinkle with the spring onion and fried shallots & serve 

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