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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 16, 2024
Headline for The Best Balinese Food to Try Out - Delicious Asian Cuisine
Joanna James Joanna James
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The Best Balinese Food to Try Out - Delicious Asian Cuisine

Indonesia is a country that contains multitudes - different cultures, all springing forth from different islands and locales, each with its own cultures, foods, and customs. So too does this apply for Bali, and there's no better way to complement your Balinese vacation than with some Balinese cuisine. Explore the deepest parts of the culture by delving into the richest and most exotic foods on this side of the Asian continent - whether it's hearty meals or casual snacks.


Sate/Satay and its varieties

The Satay is a grilled meat, served on skewers and garnished with a spicy sauce. This meat can be anything of your choice - be it chicken, beef, pork, mutton, or even unorthodox options such as fish, tofu, eggs, or minced blends of it all. For the Balinese variant, the sate lilit, the meat grind is usually mixed with coconut, coconut milk, and a blend of herbs/spices. The satay is then wrapped around bamboo or sugarcane before a solid charcoal grilling. The dipping sauce is optional and is served at many of the best Bali restaurants.


Nasi Ayam and Nasi Campur

As the world enjoys chicken rice, so too does Bali enjoy Nasi Ayam and Nasi Campur, the local variant of the world-famous dish. Served throughout many restaurants and warungs across the region, the dish consists of a plate of white rice, mixed vegetables, and the restaurant's choice of chicken, roasted pork, or duck - and finally, a dab of spicy Balinese sauce, although for those with less tolerance for heat can simply request it without the sauce. The dish itself is also sometimes served with a side of soup to prevent drying of the palate.


Bebek and Ayam Betutu

Considered an equivalent to the Javanese Babi Guling (roast suckling pig), the Betutu and Bebek dishes are suitable for those who don't partake of pork, considering that they are mostly made using chicken or duck. It's a slow-cooked dish that involves stuffing the bird with traditional Bali spices, and wrapped in banana leaves before baking it in a coal fire for seven hours - ensuring a rich, juicy, and succulent meat that easily comes off the bone and is extremely soft to the taste.


Babi Guling

As mentioned before, the Babi Guling is a roast suckling pig - a staple and favourite amongst the Indonesian people. Prepared in the same manner as Ayam betutu, the pig is stuffed with traditional spices and herb mixes before being rolled over slowly, and constantly, over a coal fire. The skin is crisped to perfection in this manner and is often fought over the table, while the meat itself is tender as can be. It was originally a dish for special occasions but has since gained popularity at warungs and restaurants.


Tahu and Tempeh

Deviating from the standard meat dishes that we've touched upon so far, the Tahu and Tempeh dishes are tofu preparations, served with variety as snacks, accompaniments to dishes, or as main dishes themselves. The soybean curds are versatile enough to be stuffed, fried, or battered - and many Indonesian dishes, notably rice dishes, are accompanied by some form of tempeh cracker. They're also included as part of restaurant fare - or as part of hotel menus, such as the Nirjhara.