Monthly Archives: September 2013

Bali food adventures – Part 1


I recently went on holiday to Bali with my husband and two friends. I had never really tried Indonesian or Balinese food and I guess I didn’t have much of an opinion about it. I was blown away but the flavours and freshness of the local cuisine. There was so much flavour without too much spice (Unless you were like the men I was travelling with and added spicy sambal to EVERYTHING)
I have some photos and two recipes to share, in part 2 I will try to recreate some of the dishes at home and will share those as well.

I started nearly every morning with fresh coconut as part of my breakfast

They are such a great way to stay hydrated when you are skeptical of the water

This was the first Balinese meal I had, slow cooked pork curry with rice and the best bean salad. I will have a recipe for this simple salad in Part 2

Benn and I took a cooking class at Bali Niksoma Hotel. This was our welcome drink

We learn to cook two dishes, the first was Sate Tusuk (Char-Satay). These were skewers of beef, chicken and pork cooked in Balinese spices and a peanut sauce.

The lesson was outside on the grass, everything was spread out so beautifully


These were the ingredients for the peanut sauce

We diced the meat and loaded up the skewers

They were then cooked over a BBQ which was fueled by coconut husks



Another shot of all the fresh ingredients

We were taught how to make a garnish with the tomatoes and cucumber, I quickly learnt that my knife skills and attention to detail needed some work.

After the satay is cooked, we plated up and enjoyed our first dish




400 gms of meat (chicken, pork, lamb or beef) cubed
20 bamboo skewers
For the seasoning
100ml of sweet soy sauce (Kecap Manis)
2 chopped shallots
2 sliced Kafir lime leaves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 stalk of lemon grass chopped
For the satay sauce
200 gms fried peanuts
25 gms fried shallots
25 gms fried garlic
3 fried, diced red chillies
25 gms palm sugar
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
50 ml water
1 sliced Kafir lime leaf

Add 3 pieces of cubed meat to each skewer. Blend all the seasoning ingredients into a fine paste. Coat the skewers in the seasoning and also season with salt and pepper. Cook the skewers over the BBQ or grill until cooked through.
To make the Satay Sauce, Grind the peanuts, shallot, garlic and chilli into a paste. Add the palm sugar, then water, sweet soya, and lime leaf, cook over a medium heat until bubbling.

The second dish we made was Ikan Bakar Bumbu Bali (Grilled fish in Balinese Spices) We used snapper for this fish, but any firm white fish would be lovely. You could also use chicken or lamb.
There were 2 parts to this dish, the marinade of Balinese spices, and the Tomato dip (Sambal) that accompanies the finished dish.

The ingredients for the Bumbu Bali

The ingredients for the sambal

The ingredients in a form now which was blended to make a paste

The fish being cooked on the BBQ after being coated in the blended Balinese spice mix

More knife skills for the garnish

Our finished dishes


Ikan Bakar Bumbu Bali

400 gms of snapper
100ml oil
3 Kafir lime leaves sliced
salt and pepper
For the Balinese Spices
20 gm galangal
25 gm garlic
25 gm onion
20 gm ginger
2 tsp turmeric
4 stalks of lemongrass
5 hot chillies
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp coriander seed
For the Sambal
2oo gms tomatoes
100 gms chillies
50 gm garlic
50 gms onion
40 gms palm sugar
2 Kafir lime leaves sliced
100 ml oil

To make the spice mix, cut all ingredients into small pieces and blend in a food processor until smooth. Then mix with the oil, lime leaves and salt and pepper. Marinate the snapper fillet in the spices then grill the fish on a BBQ or hot plate until cook.
To make the Sambal, dice the tomato, chilli, onion and garlic and add to a pan with the oil. Fry until half cooked. Blend together and add back to a pan with the remaining ingredients. Simmer until flavour has developed.

During our holiday we also went to a wonderful restaurant called Bali Asli
It is run by an Australian girl but specialising in Traditional Balinese Cuisine. The menu changes daily depending on what is available at the market

Spiced water

A starter of different fish and vegetable puffed chips with 3 different dips

The restaurant

The view!

When we ordered we could choose 4 dishes. I had young coconut cooked in banana leaves, a chicken salad, a bean salad and a pork broth. It was absolutely stunning, and I can’t stop thinking about the beautiful flavour combinations.
Nasi Campur
Chicken salad
Pork Broth