Nestled on the exotic island of Borneo, East Kalimantan boasts a rich tapestry of culture, tradition, and culinary heritage. Renowned for its diverse culinary offerings influenced by various ethnic groups and cultures, the region is a paradise for food enthusiasts eager to embark on a culinary adventure like no other.

From savory delights to mouthwatering desserts, East Kalimantan Typical Foods offer a tantalizing journey for the taste buds. Here, we delve into some of the tastiest and most beloved dishes that you simply must try when visiting this vibrant province.

1. Papeda

Hailing from the indigenous Dayak community, Papeda is a traditional staple food that holds a special place in the hearts of East Kalimantan’s residents. Made from sago starch, this thick and gooey porridge-like dish is typically served with fish or meat cooked in spicy and aromatic broth.

Papeda is not only a delicious culinary experience but also a cultural symbol, reflecting the deep-rooted traditions and culinary heritage of the Dayak people.

2. Terang Bulan Banjar

A beloved street food delicacy, Terang Bulan Banjar is a savory pancake originating from the Banjar ethnic group in East Kalimantan. Made from a batter of flour, eggs, and various spices, this delectable pancake is cooked on a griddle and topped with a generous layer of savory minced meat, vegetables, and condiments.

Served hot and fresh, Terang Bulan Banjar is a satisfying snack that perfectly blends sweet and savory flavors, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

3. Kering Tempe

No culinary journey through East Kalimantan would be complete without sampling Kering Tempe, a popular snack made from fermented soybeans. Tempe is thinly sliced, seasoned with a blend of spices, and deep-fried until crispy and golden brown.

The result is a crunchy and flavorful snack that packs a punch of umami goodness with every bite. Kering Tempe is not only delicious but also nutritious, making it a guilt-free indulgence for health-conscious food lovers.

4. Panganan Ikan Bawal

Seafood lovers rejoice, for Panganan Ikan Bawal is a culinary delight that showcases the bountiful marine resources of East Kalimantan. This dish features fresh tilapia fish marinated in a blend of spices and herbs, then wrapped in banana leaves and grilled to perfection.

The result is a succulent and fragrant seafood dish bursting with flavor, with the smoky aroma of the grill infusing every bite. Panganan Ikan Bawal is best enjoyed with steamed rice and a side of sambal for an extra kick of heat.

5. Sarikayo

Indulge your sweet tooth with Sarikayo, a traditional dessert that epitomizes the culinary richness of East Kalimantan. This sweet treat features a rich and creamy custard made from coconut milk, eggs, and palm sugar, which is then steamed until set.

The result is a luscious and decadent dessert with a velvety texture and a hint of caramelized sweetness. Sarikayo is often served as a snack or dessert during festive occasions and special celebrations, making it a cherished part of East Kalimantan’s culinary heritage.

6. Lempah Kuning

Lempah Kuning is a traditional dish originating from the Banjar ethnic group in East Kalimantan, renowned for its bold flavors and aromatic spices. This dish features fish, typically mackerel or catfish, marinated in a rich yellow spice paste made from turmeric, lemongrass, galangal, and other fragrant herbs and spices.

The marinated fish is then simmered in coconut milk until tender, resulting in a hearty and flavorful seafood stew that is both comforting and satisfying. Lempah Kuning is often served with steamed rice and fresh vegetables, making it a wholesome and nourishing meal that is sure to delight the senses.

7. Soto Banjar

Soto Banjar is a traditional Indonesian soup that is popular throughout East Kalimantan, particularly among the Banjar ethnic group.

This fragrant and aromatic soup is made from a flavorful broth infused with spices such as lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves, along with tender pieces of chicken or beef, vermicelli noodles, and a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables.

Soto Banjar is typically garnished with fried shallots, lime wedges, and sambal chili paste, adding layers of texture and flavor to this comforting and satisfying dish. Whether enjoyed as a hearty meal or a soothing pick-me-up on a chilly day, Soto Banjar is sure to warm the soul and tantalize the taste buds.

8. Kue Pancong

For those with a sweet tooth, Kue Pancong is a delightful Indonesian snack that is sure to satisfy your cravings.

These small, round cakes are made from a batter of grated coconut, rice flour, palm sugar, and pandan leaves, which is poured into small molds and cooked over an open flame until golden brown and crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside.

The result is a deliciously sweet and aromatic treat with a hint of caramelized goodness, perfect for enjoying with a cup of hot tea or coffee. Whether enjoyed as a midday snack or a sweet indulgence after dinner, Kue Pancong is a beloved part of East Kalimantan’s culinary heritage that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


In conclusion, Samarinda Traditional Food offers an interesting glimpse into the culinary diversity of the region, combining indigenous traditions with influences from various tribes and cultures.

From savory dishes like Papeda and Terang Bulan Banjar to sweet dishes like Sarikayo, each dish tells a story of heritage, culture and tradition, inviting diners to embark on a culinary journey like no other.

Whether you explore the bustling street markets or dine at a traditional restaurant, be sure to try these must-try dishes for an unforgettable gastronomic experience in East Kalimantan.