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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 5 Balinese Dishes to Try - Let's Satiate those Cravings!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Balinese Dishes to Try - Let's Satiate those Cravings!

Bali is home to many wonderful things, which brings in a whole lot of tourists every year. One of those is its exquisite cultural food; let's look at some of the best dishes to try.


Bebek betutu

Bebek Betutu, which is slow-cooked duck, is a famous dish as well as a ceremonial delicacy in Bali. The dish requires to be cooked for a long period of time and thus needs to be ordered at least a day in advance at most locations. Chef Penny Williams notes that in preparation, the duck is initially rubbed with a tamarind puree along with salt that negates any raw aromas from the meat. This process also tenderizes the meat. The marinade is then washed off the bird before stuffing it with eggs, cassava leaves and bumbu rajeng which is a mix of spices created specifically for this delicacy. The bird is then wrapped in upeh or betel nut husks before being slow cooked. A very popular dish amongst tourists and locals, it is an absolute must try when visiting Bali.



Lawar is a dish that once explained might sound a little exotic, but upon sampling, this is a divine delicacy. Lawar is generally described as a crunchy and tender mix of grated coconut meat, minced meat, vegetables, herb, spices and finally fresh blood. Lawar is often served alongside dishes like babi guling but it stands out as a dish on its own as well. Many locals advice not to be put off by the inclusion of blood as it works amazingly in adding a completely different level of deliciousness to the dish. It is considered a favourite amongst the locals and the many tourists who do try it out.


Sate lembat

Sate lembat is quite the popular food, it can be found at any busy market within Bali as it is considered a type of street food. It is described as Bali's version of satay, the classic delicacy of meat served on a stick which is popular the world over. A higher-end version of Sate lembat can be also found, this is served on deliciously aromatic lemongrass skewers. While it is a version of a world famous dish, the Balinese version differs in the ingredients used in its recipe. Sate lembat is made by pounding minced meat in a mortar and pestle along with grated coconut and a spice mixture called bumbu. This paste includes cinnamon, tamarind, nutmeg, cardamom and cumin seeds. The seasoned meat is barbecued over hot coals attached to split bamboo skewers. You can relax in comfort while you try the many dishes on this list by staying at a boutique hotel. Bali has many places to check into if you're on the lookout, Alila Manggis is one such option.


Be siap sambal matah

This is a very promising dish that is raved on about by many tourists who visit Bali. Be siap sambal matah which is essentially chicken in a 'raw' sambal is made by adding shredded chicken in a raw sambal of lemongrass, ginger, shallots, coconut oil, chilli, shrimp paste, lime leaves and salt. Chef Eelke Plasmeijer states that this dish is amongst his favourites of all time.


Babi guling

Babi guling, which is a suckling pig could be the highlight of this list. While pork dishes are somewhat hard to find across Indonesia, Bali offers a home to it that any tourist or local can easily find. When preparing this dish, the pig is rubbed with turmeric and stuffed with a spice paste known as 'base gede'. This spice paste consists of lemongrass, Asian lime leaves, chilli, coriander seeds, pepper, red shallots, garlic, ginger and kencur. The marinated pig is then roasted over wood to achieve its perfect tenderness.