In general, there are tons of good food to enjoy in Bali. Whether you prefer sweet or savoury, meat, fish or vegetarian, high dining, street food or quick takeaways, this island offers all treats for every tummy. The dishes below are a small but representative selection of some of the unique delicacies presenting Balinese cuisine. These dishes are iconic for Bali and you should definitely taste them when you visit the island.
Nasi Tepeng is a typical dish from Gianyar Regency. This dish is often eaten when locals withdraw at home during Nyepi Day (see Nyepi article). Nasi Tepeng is a spicy dish consisting of rice merged with various herbs. There are different preparation methods, but at least cayenne pepper, red chilli, garlic, onion pepper, salt, and sugar are ground and mixed with cooked rice with a mushy texture. It is a breakfast dish served with banana leaves and many different vegetables.
Nasi / Mie Goreng
Nasi goreng or Mie Goreng originally consists of baked leftovers from the evening meal the night before. Noodles, rice, meat, seafood and/or vegetables are baked and seasoned with sweet, savoury and slightly spicy herbs. The good time to eat this dish differs. It can be eaten for breakfast but also as a quick meal. There are different types of toppings such as satay or fish, but Nasi goreng or Mie Goreng is usually served with cucumber, prawn crackers and egg. This dish can be found in almost every place: expensive hotels or western restaurants, as well as street stalls and warungs.
This roasted suckling pig is one of the most famous Balinese dishes. The meat is stuffed and seasoned with a spice mixture consisting of turmeric, coriander seeds, lemongrass, black pepper, and garlic. After this, it is traditionally roasted on a spit. This results in juicy meat with crispy skin. Babi Guling is served during lunch or dinner with rice and vegetables
Tum and Pepes
Tum and Pepes are traditional cooking methods with banana leaf as food packaging. During these cooking methods fish or chicken and sometimes rice, spicy flavours, and coconut milk are wrapped up in a banana leaf and steamed until cooked. The banana leaf enriches its content with its special aroma, resulting in a wonderfully tasty and aromatic dish.
Urap is a vegetable dish with steamed vegetables. This dish is characterised by the fact that the vegetables are mixed with grated and roasted coconut. Often some red pepper is used to give the dish a little more spice. Usually, this dish is served with white rice, but it will often be part of a rice table.
Sate Lilit is a variant of Sate from the Balinese kitchen. It is made from ground pork, fish, chicken, beef or even turtle meat mixed with grated coconut, thick coconut milk, lime juice, shallots, and pepper. The spiced and finely ground meat is wrapped around bamboo, sugar cane or lemongrass and then grilled on charcoal. The term “lilit” means “wrapped” which refers to the way of wrapping rather than the Indonesian traditional stringing the sate.
This is an iconic Balinese dish with steamed or roasted chicken or duck enriched with a Betutu spice mix. This very marinated and spiced dish is really popular in Bali and Lombok. Betutu’s traditional spice mixture consists of shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger, wild ginger, galangal, kemiri nut, chilli pepper, shrimp paste, and peanut, all of which are crushed with a mortar. This mixture is then fried and applied to the chicken or duck. The meat is baked for a long time, resulting in a juicy substance where all the meat easily falls off the bone.
This is raw sambal with Sereh. This raw sambal is a Balinese favourite. What is characteristic of this sambal is its spiciness and freshness at the same time. Lime leaf, lime juice, and lemongrass give the recipe this unique fresh taste. These ingredients are kneaded together with red peppers, garlic, shallots, hot oil, salt, sugar and a dash of shrimp paste. This sambal is best with seafood, chicken, and duck. But overall this fresh spiciness does well with many Indonesian dishes.
This sweet dish is eaten in Bali as a snack or breakfast. For those with a sweet tooth, this is the ultimate Balinese delicacy. This black rice pudding is a mixture of white and black sticky rice that is flavoured with coconut milk and/or cream, palm sugar, and pandan leaf. The dish is syrupy and sweet and is usually served with coconut cream and banana slices. This sweet treat can be served cold but is usually served warm (which is also the best option!).
One of the famous snacks from Balinese cuisine is the Pisang Goreng or the deep-fried banana. It is a traditional snack that you come across in all shapes and sizes and is mainly eaten on the street. A banana in a layer of dough straight from the frying pan. You can eat this snack at any time of the day: for breakfast, snack or dessert. There is no bad timing for a Pisang Goreng. Well, hereby we as Bali News take back the statement that fruit should be healthy, it can also be very tasty and comforting.