Balinese food excites me every time we return to the most popular vacation spots in Indonesia.
I am delighted by the earthy flavors and time-tested spices that produce a delicious meal,
that is never enough for me, While other Southeast Asian cuisines may offer a similar selection of dishes,
Let’s start with dessert. Because there’s nothing sweeter than my all-time favorite – fried bananas.
Bali has various kinds of bananas from small, sweet to large ones that look like weapons. Various types make fried bananas a treat all the time.
Served with honey or palm sugar syrup, a little coconut or vanilla ice cream,
or just from a roadside stall, it doesn’t get any better than Fried Banana.
A staple of classic Indonesian fried noodles often served with vegetables and a choice of chicken, shrimp or pork.
Sometimes served with a fried egg on top, chicken skewers, prawn crackers, and peanut sauce.
Oh, and don’t forget the pickled vegetables. Josh’s favorite.
Similar to Fried Noodles, but fried rice is not noodles. It is the most popular staple food in Bali. They literally eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rice is grown all over Bali, so there is no shortage of this grain all year round.
I don’t think I’ve ever had bad fried rice in Bali – every chef knows how to do it fairly,
from 5-star resorts to roadside stalls. Very simple but very delicious.
Unlike its Malaysian counterpart, Indonesian satay is not satay. Mashed chicken mixed with various spices, melted onto a stick of wood (usually lemongrass), and grilled. Unless it’s written on the menu, it probably won’t include peanut sauce. While we prefer chicken satay, Indonesia specializes in fish satay (Lilit Ikan).
The most famous Balinese food – Babi guling. Pork is rubbed with turmeric, filled with a spice paste (usually coriander seeds, lemongrass, lime leaves, bay leaves, chilies, black pepper,
garlic, shallots, ginger, and small galangal), and then grilled over coconut or wood husks. until super soft. Be careful when ordering this – it’s a nose-to-tail treat, so you may receive a cut of pork on your plate. Enjoy!
A favorite of the locals, Nasi Campur means “mixed rice” and usually consists of small portions of vegetables, fish, or meat with mounds of steamed rice.
No 1 “right” flavor combination, so it’s rare at all. That’s what makes it so much fun – you never know exactly what you’re going to get. Think of it as Indonesia’s antipasto.
Smoked duck is probably one of the most unique dishes in Bali.
The duck is rubbed and filled with a mixture of spices,
wrapped in areca leaves or areca tree bark, and smoked with coals of rice husks. Most restaurants require one day’s notice as cooking takes about 12 hours.
A mini rijstafel is a treat that will be shared. Rijsttafel is a Dutch word that literally means “rice table”, a name that dates back to colonial times.
Depending on where you order, they usually all come out at the same time and contain a wide selection of Balinese and Indonesian dishes
such as Bebek betutu (smoked duck), chicken with chili sauce, prawns, pork & chicken satay,
sayur urap (Balinese mixed vegetables), potato croquettes. , Tempe, tofu, and yellow tumpeng rice.
Who doesn’t love crispy spring rolls? Filled with mixed vegetables and chopped chicken, served with peanut sauce or sweet chili sauce. Winner every time.
“Mix-mix” or Gado – Gado is one of Indonesia’s most famous dishes. It’s basically a vegetable salad smothered in a classic peanut sauce. Even though it’s a cold salad, I think it will be warm too. The basics are boiled long beans, spinach, potatoes, corn, eggs, and bean sprouts plus cucumber, tofu, and tempeh.
You can try this Balinese food almost anywhere, from budget restaurants to high-end, from street food vendors to luxury hotels.
The culinary that is most synonymous with Bali is satay lilit which is famous for Balinese food from the way it is made. Unlike other types of satay, satay wrap is indeed made by wrapping the meat mixture into a skewer.
While most of the processed satay sticks one by one the meat has been cut into small pieces before being grilled.
Apart from being different in terms of placing the meat, it is also different in terms of whether or not the peanut sauce is attached to the satay preparations. In the satay lilit, you will not find the use of peanut sauce, because the satay spices have been mixed with the meat before grilling.
Usually, to make satay wrap, the ingredients used are tuna meat, but some also use chicken meat. To make it, you only need to puree the meat by grinding it and then adding the spices from onions, lemongrass, lime leaves, and garlic.
Furthermore, the dough that has been evenly distributed will be wrapped around the skewers before being burned until cooked. Sweet spicy taste with lemongrass aroma will immediately appear when enjoying Balinese specialties that are almost all over Bali.
Sambal Matah Smoked Fish
The island with the name Serangan Island may not be too well known, but its signature dish called sambal matah smoked fish is one of the best foods. Made from fish caught by the islanders who are still fresh such as tuna, tuna and grouper smoked with a spicy taste, that is Serangan Island’s smoked fish.
The uniqueness of this halal Balinese food is the use of coconut coir which is used to smoke it, giving it a distinctive coir aroma. In addition to creating an aroma, it is cooking with coir that makes the texture soft and the seasonings soaked because it takes longer to cook.
To make it, it really takes time, because when cooking it, you need to turn the fish several times while rubbing the spices on the fish. Especially during the process of turning the fish, it takes 5 to 8 minutes and each reversal must also replace the coconut husk. To spice up the fish, you need ground spices from chilies, turmeric, garlic, and shallots.
Once cooked, the smoked fish will be served with rice and accompanied by a spicy chili sauce. The making of chili sauce that makes it really spicy is made with chopped chilies, onions, and lemongrass mixed with petis and salt.
Bulung Kuah Pindang
As an area with a wide sea area, making Bali a producer of seaweed with very abundant yields, so that there is a typical Balinese food called bulung Kuah pindang.
The manufacture requires seaweed with the type of Kappaphycus alvarezii which is characterized by a green color but a bit dark and slightly reddish.
Uniquely, bulung kuah pindang has two colors after cooking, namely green which is obtained from soaking in lime water and will be white when the seaweed passes through the drying process.
The seaweed will later be boiled and given pindang sauce and given a sprinkling of special spices that make it taste spicy and savory.
To enjoy it, it is enough to eat it with rice that is still warm or can be eaten with rujak Buleleng. To make the broth, what is needed is fresh fish such as tuna or tuna which is boiled with bay leaves, salt, and lemongrass.
This broth will later be poured with boiled seaweed and in the end, salt, lime juice, and grated coconut are also added.
there are additional ingredients in the form of ground spices from ginger, grilled shrimp paste, cayenne pepper, and salt in the container containing the bulung pindang sauce.
There is also a sprinkling of tolo beans, soybeans, and dry-fried peanuts. Getting it is very easy because in Denpasar there are many stalls and restaurants that provide this one typical Balinese food.
Chiken “Ayam” Betutu
The next Balinese food is chicken betutu. Betutu chicken is well known to the public, but in Bali, it is different because it is made with a spice called base genep.
Base genep is a Balinese spice containing red and white onions, chilies, candlenuts, shrimp paste, lemongrass, bay leaves, lime leaves, galangal, ginger, turmeric, and kencur which are mashed and then stir-fried.
In addition, Balinese Betutu Chicken has another uniqueness, because it will give cassava leaves into the stomach of the chicken after being coated with the genep spices above.
Balinese chicken betutu
However, before it is processed, the chicken will be tied and then boiled for a few hours until the spices are absorbed. Even after boiling it, the Balinese chicken betutu food is still not ready to be served,
because it has to be burned first to make it taste even more delicious.
To enjoy this authentic Balinese Betutu chicken, just try visiting Pak Man’s Betutu Chicken Restaurant which is located on Jalan Kubu Anyar Tuban, Badung.
One chicken betutu is priced at IDR 65,000, so it can be enjoyed by a family.
But if it’s only one or two, just order a quarter or half of a tail to save money and save money. This traditional Balinese food is indeed the most favorite.
With a delicious taste because of the genep spices that are full of spices, making it a prima donna which is very suitable to be enjoyed with rice.
But whatever you do, make sure you tick all of them. I really like that most of the ingredients in this dish are sourced locally so it’s as fresh as possible. The spice mixture is made by hand. There is less dependence on processed ingredients.
You may have just discovered a new favorite taste sensation or realized that it is not your cup of tea. That’s the beauty of being adventurous with it