So many islands and so many cultures form the melting pot that is Indonesia. Bali, one of the most famous of destinations in Indonesia too has a cuisine that is as varied as its culture. The best part of visiting any new place has definitely got to be about trying out the various kinds of foods that they have to offer. But of course, you wouldn’t want to miss out on any Balinese delicacy just because you didn’t know about it. That is why we have for you a list of the top Balinese foods that deserve to be tried at least once.
So Many Satays
Satays, also known as sate, are one of the more famous delicacies of Indonesia. Marinated, skewered, and grilled, these meats are served with spicy sauce. Minced blends, eggs, tofu, fish, pork, beef, mutton, goat, and chicken can all be used in making a Satay, but the Balinese variation of this dish is sate lilit. This is made with minced beef, fish, chicken, pork, or sometimes with turtle meat. The mince is mixed with a rich blend of vegies and spices, and coconut and coconut milk. Instead of skewering, the sate is wrapped lemongrass sticks, bamboos, or sugarcanes and then grilled.
Nasi Ayam and Nasi Campur
If you want to talk about it in the simplest of terms, nasi ayam and nasi campur is Bali’s take on chicken rice. White rice served with a number of Balinese delicacies like babi guling, with mixed vegetables and some spicy hot sambal matah, the nasi ayam and nasi campur can be easily found in a number of warungs (small eateries) and restaurants all over the island.
Babi guling is one of the favourites of Balinese food. The dish consists of a spit-roast pig that has been stuffed with rich spices and vegetable mixes. The pig is slowly rolled over a coal fire. The crisp brown skins of the pig are a prized part of the dish and the meat is a very tender and juicy treat. Earlier, this dish used to be a special, saved for ceremonies and festivities, but these days, babi guling can be found served in a number of warungs and restaurants.
Bebek and Ayam Betutu
The Betutu is an iconic Balinese dish. It actually consists of a whole chicken or duck that is stuffed with some traditional spices then wrapped in banana leaves. After the leaves, the bird is then enveloped in a banana trunk bark. Finally it is either baked or else buried in a coal fire for 6 to 7 hours. In the end, you get a rich and juicy, succulent feast with meat that is easily separated from bones.
Betutu is the Balinese equivalent of babi guling for all the non-pork eaters.
Tahu and Tempe
Tahu is just another name for tofu. Tahu and Tempe is one of the more versatile dishes of Bali and can be made in a number of preparation methods. Sometimes tahu and tempe is enjoyed as a snack, sometimes as accompaniments and sometimes as main course dishes. Tofu is of course a soy bean curd, and it can be fried, or stuffed, or even battered. Balinese dishes that have main portions of rice can also include tempe crackers. The most popular tahu snack in Bali has got to be the stuffed and fried form of the dish, which has a stuffing not unlike the one used in spring rolls.
If these dishes have you ready to eat and watering at the mouth to try them out, you should know that this is just the first part of exploring the culinary adventure that is Bali.