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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 16, 2024
Headline for Vegan Bali Food Guide – Local Balinese Dishes You Can't Miss
Joanna James Joanna James
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Vegan Bali Food Guide – Local Balinese Dishes You Can't Miss

Are you ready to dive into the mouth-watering world of Balinese cuisine? This article guides you through 10 vegan Balinese dishes that you absolutely must try on your holiday. So read on!



This traditional Indonesian salad will leave you craving more. Imagine a mix of boiled long beans, spinach, corn, bean sprouts, and cubes of tofu and tempeh, all tossed in a thick, creamy, and slightly spicy peanut sauce. Topped off with crunchy fried shallots and a handful of melinjo crackers, Gado-Gado is a medley of tastes and textures that you absolutely cannot miss!


Vegan Nasi Goreng

The vegan version of the famous Indonesian fried rice, Nasi Goreng, is a vibrant, flavorful dish loaded with fresh vegetables and tofu. You can find this in places like Nirjhara and also in some of the best Bali restaurants. This is a hot, steaming plate of rice stir-fried with crisp veggies like carrots, bell peppers, and spring onions. Often, it’s topped with a sprinkle of fried shallots and a side of spicy sambal.


Mie Goreng

Take a break from rice and dive into Mie Goreng, a delightful noodle-based dish. Yellow wheat noodles are stir-fried with an array of fresh veggies like bok choy, carrots, and cabbage, along with tofu or tempeh. All this goodness is enveloped in a flavorful sauce featuring sweet soy sauce, tamarind, garlic, and shallots. Topped with a sprinkle of fried shallots and a squeeze of fresh lime, it's a plateful of goodness that'll have you coming back for more.


Vegan Nasi Campur

Next up, there’s Vegan Nasi Campur – a mixed rice dish. It's a buffet on a plate, with a mound of white rice surrounded by small portions of various plant-based sides. You might find spicy tempeh, savoury jackfruit curry, crispy tofu, fresh cucumber slices, steamed greens, and a dollop of fiery sambal. Each spoonful gives you a different combination of flavours.


Tempeh Goreng

If you are a fan of tempeh, Tempeh Goreng is a dish you shouldn’t miss. Thin slices of tempeh are marinated in a mixture of garlic, coriander, tamarind, palm sugar, and salt before being deep-fried to golden-brown perfection. It's a simple dish but one that lets the nutty flavour of tempeh come through, especially when paired with a side of steamed rice and sambal.


Vegan Bakso

Vegan Bakso brings the comfort of a warm soup without any meat. Plant-based meatballs, usually made from tofu or seitan, float in a clear, savoury broth filled with glass noodles, bok choy, and bean sprouts.


Vegan Sambal

Sambal is the life of any Balinese meal. This fiery sauce is usually made from a blend of chilli peppers, shallots, garlic, and a squeeze of lime, which provides a much-needed kick to any dish. You should ensure it's vegan as some versions include shrimp paste.


Sayur Asem

This is a vegetable-packed tamarind soup. Sayur Asem is a sour-sweet soup made with an array of fresh veggies like corn, long beans, chayote, and sometimes peanuts. The tangy tamarind broth is a palate cleanser, and it balances out the heat of other dishes. You can enjoy this with a bowl of steamed rice for a light meal.


Bubur Sumsum

A creamy, pudding-like dessert, Bubur Sumsum is made from rice flour and coconut milk. Once cooked, it's drizzled with sweet palm sugar syrup and sprinkled with freshly grated coconut. The mild flavour of the porridge pairs well with the rich, caramel-like taste of the palm sugar syrup, which balances out the sweetness of the dessert.


Es Teler

Finally, wash down all these savoury dishes with a bowl of Es Teler. This Indonesian fruit cocktail is a cooling dessert filled with chunks of avocado, jackfruit, and coconut, all swimming in a broth of coconut milk and sweet syrup. This flavourful dessert is the best way to end any meal.