Yogyakarta is home to Gudeg. Many different and popular places offer this particular dish. Some restaurants even grew so much in popularity with this dish, that they are found all over Yogyakarta. We went to a place near the Palace (Keraton Palace) for the authentic taste of Gudeg. We have heard from locals that this is the place where you can taste is how it is meant to be.
What is Gudeg?
Gudeg is the authentic dish of Yogyakarta. Jack fruit is one of the main ingredients. The fruit is simmered with sugar, coconut milk for several hours. Besides this, you will find Krecek (Cow skin, fat) Ayam kampung (free-running chicken). You can only call it Gudeg if it is made with a free-running chicken.
Gudeg comes from the name of the sirring process of the jack fruit. In the past, a tool called hangudek was used to stir the dish for hours.
Why is Gudeg so popular?
There is some history as to why Gudeg has become popular. Millennials grew up with it and it has been normal common dish ever since. But how did it come to this? Well, It was not always very famous. It started with the growth of the city. It was a commoner food available for everyone. When Yogyakarta started growing as a student city Gudeg became more and more in demand. From 1940s and after more universities were built in Yogyakarta. This attracted more people coming to study and live in the city. Yogyakarta is not just famous for being a student city, it has a lot of history with the Dutch, Independence of Indonesia, and a sultanate.
Bu Lies has a warung specializing in Gudeg. The locals have told us that this is the place for good and authentic meal from Yogyakarta as well. For a food day trip, you can visit Keraton Palace first. It’s nearby and an extra experience to see and learn about the culture, history of Yogyakarta and Indonesia. After the Keraton Palace, we went to Warung Bu Lies for the signature dish from Yogyakarta.
The authentic taste of Gudeg
After receiving my plate, as the image above, I was surprised by the first bite. The sweetness took me by surprise. I heard that Gudeg was sweet, but to make a warm meal taste so sweet was a weird experience. I was thinking about the amount of sugar they use to make it. Krecek and chicken are not that sweet (fortunately). The jack fruit sauce tasted like sweet but warm candy with a soft tender structure of jack fruit (super tender meat). This sensation is new to me. I was able to finish my plate but every bite just surprised me.
I have had this in Bali before, made by the people from Sleman, Yogyakarta. They have said it is not as sweet as in Jogja because otherwise, they cannot sell it here. I totally understand what they meant after the first bite. I would say that Gudeg in Jogja is for the sweet tooth. It’s sweeter than most deserts but it isn’t a desert. If you enjoy sweet things in life, try this food (and other food) in Yogyakarta. They love the sweet stuff there.
Where to find the authentic Gudeg
Did you try Gudeg at Yogyakarta? How was your experience?
Check out other places and things to eat while you are in Yogyakarta: