9 Typical Jambi Food that is Famous for Being Delicious

9 Typical Jambi Food that is Famous for Being Delicious

Nestled on the eastern coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, Jambi is a region rich in cultural heritage and culinary tradition. Renowned for its diverse flavors, aromatic spices, and mouthwatering dishes, Jambi cuisine offers a tantalizing array of culinary delights that reflect the region’s cultural diversity and natural abundance.

From savory snacks and hearty main courses to delectable desserts and refreshing beverages, Jambi Food scene is a feast for the senses. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll embark on a culinary journey through typical Jambi cuisine, exploring the flavors, ingredients, and dishes that have made this region famous for its delicious fare.

1. Pempek

Pempek is a beloved dish that originated from Palembang, South Sumatra, but has gained popularity throughout the region, including in Jambi. These savory fish cakes are made from a mixture of ground fish, tapioca flour, and spices, which are shaped into various forms such as balls, rolls, or squares.

The pempek are then boiled or fried and served with a tangy, sweet, and spicy vinegar-based dipping sauce known as cuko. Variations of pempek include pempek lenjer (elongated fish cakes), pempek kapal selam (fish cakes filled with egg), and pempek pistel (small fish cakes).

Pempek is a favorite street food snack in Jambi and is often enjoyed as a satisfying and flavorful treat.

2. Pindang

Pindang is a traditional Jambi dish consisting of fish or beef simmered in a savory and aromatic broth flavored with tamarind, lemongrass, galangal, and spices. The slow-cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a rich and hearty stew with a tantalizing balance of sweet, sour, and savory notes.

Pindang is often served with steamed rice and accompanied by side dishes such as sambal (chili paste), fresh herbs, and vegetables. This comforting and nourishing dish is a staple of Jambi cuisine and is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

3. Tempoyak

Tempoyak is a traditional Jambi condiment made from fermented durian fruit mixed with salt and spices. Known for its pungent aroma and bold flavor, tempoyak adds a unique and distinctive taste to a wide range of dishes.

It is often used as a condiment or flavoring agent in traditional Jambi dishes such as pindang, asam pedas (sour and spicy fish stew), and sayur nangka (jackfruit curry).

Tempoyak is also enjoyed as a standalone condiment, typically served with steamed rice or accompanying grilled fish or seafood. Despite its strong flavor, tempoyak is beloved by many for its complex taste and cultural significance in Jambi cuisine.

4. Gulai Ikan Patin

Gulai ikan patin is a popular Jambi dish featuring catfish simmered in a rich and aromatic coconut milk curry sauce. The dish is flavored with a blend of spices such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, and chili, as well as aromatic herbs like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal.

The creamy coconut milk adds a luxurious texture to the curry, while the tender catfish absorbs the flavors of the spices and herbs. Gulai ikan patin is typically served with steamed rice and accompanied by side dishes such as sambal, fresh herbs, and vegetables.

This flavorful and satisfying dish is a favorite among locals and is often served at special occasions and celebrations.

5. Kerupuk Jange

Kerupuk jange is a traditional Jambi snack made from thinly sliced and deep-fried cow skin, resulting in crispy and crunchy chips with a rich and savory flavor. The cow skin is first boiled to soften it, then sliced thinly and fried until golden brown and crispy. Kerupuk jange is often seasoned with salt, garlic powder, and other spices to enhance its flavor.

This crispy snack is enjoyed on its own as a tasty and satisfying treat, or served as an accompaniment to dishes such as pindang or soto (Indonesian soup). Kerupuk jange is a popular snack in Jambi and is often found at local markets, roadside stalls, and traditional eateries.

6. Es Kacang Merah

Es kacang merah is a refreshing and indulgent Jambi dessert made from red beans cooked in sweetened coconut milk and served over crushed ice. The beans are simmered until tender and infused with the flavors of pandan leaves, palm sugar, and coconut milk, resulting in a creamy and aromatic dessert with a delightful balance of sweetness and richness.

The dessert is typically served in a bowl with crushed ice and topped with additional coconut milk and palm sugar syrup for added sweetness. Es kacang merah is a popular dessert in Jambi, especially during hot summer days, and is enjoyed by people of all ages.

7. Sate Padang

Sate Padang is a flavorful and aromatic dish originating from the Padang region of West Sumatra but widely enjoyed throughout Indonesia, including in Jambi.

This dish features skewered and grilled meat, typically beef or chicken, marinated in a rich and spicy sauce made from coconut milk, turmeric, lemongrass, ginger, and a blend of aromatic spices. The skewers are grilled over charcoal until tender and charred, imparting a smoky flavor to the meat.

Sate Padang is often served with a side of rice cakes (ketupat) or steamed rice, as well as a generous drizzle of the spicy peanut sauce known as kuah satay. The combination of tender grilled meat and fragrant, spicy sauce makes Sate Padang a beloved and iconic dish in Jambi cuisine.

8. Tekwan

Tekwan is a traditional dish from Palembang, South Sumatra, but has become popular in Jambi and other regions of Indonesia. This hearty and flavorful soup features fish dumplings made from a mixture of ground fish, tapioca flour, and spices, cooked in a savory broth flavored with lemongrass, galangal, garlic, and shallots.

The soup is typically garnished with shredded chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, and various fresh herbs such as cilantro and green onions. Tekwan is known for its light and refreshing flavor, making it a popular choice for breakfast, brunch, or as a starter for a larger meal.

The combination of tender fish dumplings, aromatic broth, and fresh garnishes creates a satisfying and delicious dish that is enjoyed by people of all ages in Jambi.

9. Lempok Durian

Lempok durian is a unique and indulgent dessert made from durian fruit, a beloved tropical fruit known for its strong aroma and creamy texture. In this dish, durian flesh is blended into a smooth paste and mixed with sugar, coconut milk, and rice flour, then steamed until set into a dense and sticky cake-like consistency.

The resulting lempok durian has a rich and intense durian flavor with a sweet and creamy texture that melts in the mouth. This decadent dessert is often enjoyed on its own as a sweet treat or served as a complement to other desserts such as es kacang merah or es campur (mixed ice dessert).

Lempok durian is a must-try delicacy for durian lovers visiting Jambi, offering a taste of the region’s unique and beloved fruit.


Jambi’s cuisine is a testament to the region’s rich culinary heritage, cultural diversity and natural riches. From savory snacks and delicious main courses to delectable desserts and refreshing drinks, Jambi offers a wide variety of flavors and dishes to tantalize and satisfy the palate.

Whether you enjoy the tangy taste of pempek, savor the rich and aromatic pindang, or indulge in the refreshing sweetness of red bean ice, Jambi cuisine promises an unforgettable gastronomic experience that celebrates the region’s unique flavors and traditions.

Come on, start your journey of Typical Lampung Food, and discover the delicious delights that await in this vibrant and flavourful region of Indonesia.