Indonesian Food Vs Filipino Food: What’s the difference?

Food is one of the most cherished aspects of Indonesian and Filipino cultures. Whether it is a meal with family, a celebration, or an everyday meal, food is often at the center.

Indonesian and Filipino food may be similar in some ways, but there are also many differences that can make it hard to differentiate between them. If you’re trying to figure out which cuisine you prefer, here are some key features that can help you decide.

The Basics of Indonesian and Filipino Cuisine

While Indonesian and Filipino food may be similar in some ways, there are also many differences. The best way to figure out which cuisine you prefer is to learn about the similarities and differences between Indonesian and Filipino cuisine.

Indonesian food has a variety of influences that stems from its location on an archipelago with 240 million people spread over 6,000 islands.

These influences range from Asian to European, which you can taste in dishes like nasi goreng (fried rice), bakmi sapi (beef noodles), sayur lodeh (vegetable curry soup), ikan panggang (grilled fish), ayam masak merah (chicken cooked in red sauce).

Indonesian food is often spicy because it uses ingredients like shrimp paste, soy sauce, tamarind pulp, ginger root, red chilis, garlic cloves, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, galangal root.

Filipino food is influenced by Spain. It was introduced when Spanish colonizers arrived in the 1500s to subjugate the Philippines.

There are three regions- Luzon, Visayas & Mindanao- that make up the Philippine region. These regions have their own styles of cooking with each using different ingredients and spices while retaining common elements like rice as a staple. Dishes include pancit palabok (noodles with shrimp sauce), dinuguan sa sarsa (pork blood stew), adobo sa gata(

Similarities and Differences

Both Indonesian and Filipino cuisines are rich in flavor. They both use coconut milk, ginger, garlic, chilies, tamarind, soy sauce, curry powder, and shrimp paste. And both countries have dishes with similar ingredients like chicken adobo or beef rendang.

However, there are also some differences that can make it hard to decide between the two cuisines. Indonesians use more of a chili paste called sambal, while Filipinos tend to use more hot peppers for their dishes. Indonesians prefer sweeter sauces like kecap manis where Filipinos prefer vinegar-based ones.

And Indonesians tend to eat noodles or rice with their meals while Filipinos often eat rice with every meal but also enjoy eating noodle dishes like pancit or lugaw.


Filipino food is often hard to find in Western countries, but the flavors are not hard to come by. These are just some of the delicious dishes you can find at your nearest Filipino restaurant that are different from Indonesian food.