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. You’ve already seen the first part of this delicious destination, now prepare your tastebuds for part 2.
Pepes and Tum Sou
Pepes refers to a Sudanese Indonesian cooking method that uses banana leaves as food wrappings. Such wrappings are known to add a special aromatic factor to the food that is cooked with this method. Commonly used to prepare vegetables, tofu, chicken, meat, or ‘pepes ikan’ (fish), the stuffing is wrapped in banana leaves, forming small packages. These packages are then sewed with thin bamboo sticks at both sides. This package is then grilled, boiled or steamed, depending on the dish. If the wrapping is folded completely and then stitched at the top end only, the tum takes a different for. This one is usually steam cooked.
The lawar is a traditional dish of Bali that is a mix of some finely chopped meat or vegetables with spices and grated coconut. In some areas, you can find lawar that is made using fresh blood. The blood is mixed into the meat and spices and helps in strengthening the flavor. The lawar preparation cannot be kept for long and has to be served immediately. That is why it is made right when it is ordered. The two main types of lawars are the red and the white types. The white version does not usually contain blood or meats.
The first thing to know now is that when we say Jimbaran Seafood, we are not talking about a dish per se. In fact, here, we refer to an entire area in Bali that is the Muaya beach in Jimbaran Bay. There are a number of cafés that spread all over the area. This line up of beach side cafés is famous for the grilled fresh caught seafood that it serves. From a rather wide assortment of fish, lobsters, calamari, crabs, clams, and fish, the cafés are famous for the special flavor that their seafood seems to offer. The secret behind this special taste lies in the café owner’s own recipe of barbecue sauce and the condiments used, which generally varies with each café. The condiment that is most commonly used is usually in the form of homemade sambal, leading to it being known famously as “sambal seafood – Jimbaran style”.
Nasi Goreng is one of the most famous of Indonesian dishes. Basically, the dish is a fried rice dish. For making the nasi goreng, rice is pre-steamed and then stir fried with a combination of vegetables and meats. This could include shallots, onions, green peas, crab, lamb, anchovies, shrimp, chicken strips, diced beef, and scrambled eggs with a blend of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and hot chili sauce.
Topped with sliced fish or shrimp crackers, tomatoes, fried shallots, cucumbers, and mixed pickles, the nasi goreng is served all over Bali.
If these aren’t enough to get your taste buds tingling, we don’t know what will be. A gastronomic adventure, Bali is not just about the beaches and the temples. Don’t forget to try out all the dishes on your next trip to Bali.