We are going to try to give you a basic understanding of food in Bali with Our Top 20 Balinese Dishes to Try. We will give you the names, and a brief description of what to expect when you go out to eat.
Known for its use of a variety of spices with meat and fresh vegetables, the Balinese cuisine represents a perfect blend of religion, culture, and tradition. The food of Bali is influenced by the indigenous people of Bali, India, and China. Hence, the Balinese cuisine has no match when it comes to cultural diversity.
The staple food of Bali is rice. Rice is grown everywhere in Bali and has many variations. Because, Balinese are mostly Hindu, the meat they consume doesn’t include beef as cows are revered by Hindus. Pork, duck, and chicken are widely used. The following are theTop 20 Balinese Dishes you should never miss when you are in Bali.
Top 20 Balinese Dishes
Nasi goreng literally means fried rice. The Balinese eat this dish for their breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hence, it is a local favorite. The main difference between a typical fried rice and Nasi Goreng is the introduction of local spices such as Basa Gede (a spice paste with nuts, ginger, turmeric, and chilies), shrimps, and innovation of every Balinese chef. It tastes different at different restaurants, but surprisingly it tastes incredible no matter where or when you try it. So, this is a must when you are in Bali.
Similar to Nasi Goreng, Mei Goreng means fried noodles, so, similar ingredients go in it. If you are a noodles person, then there is not a better fried noodles dish.
3. Babi Guling (My favorite of the Top 20 Balinese Dishes):
Babi Guling or the suckling pig is a famed dish all over Bali. It is a local favorite as well as a tourist attraction. Since most of the Indonesian archipelago is Muslim, most of the restaurants refrain from using pork. However, the Balinese, who are mostly Hindus, eat pork. The pork-loving tourists definitely visit Bali to at least try the famous Babi Guling. It is made by roasting a marinated suckling pig. This can be tucked into a burger, a taco, pita bread, sandwich or whatever you like. In Bali, it is served as sliced meat.
Lawar, often used as an accompaniment to Babi Guling, is a crunchy yet tender mix of grated vegetables and coconut with meat, fresh blood and lots of Herby goodness. In some places, it is also served as an individual dish.
5. Sate Lembat:
Sate Lembat is a Bali-styled barbecue dish. The minced meat (mostly chicken) is seasoned with spices and herbs and is shaped around a bamboo stick and is barbecued over coal. Often accompanied with Matah, the Sate Lembat is a true delicacy.
6. Ikan Bakar:
Ikan Bakar or grilled fish, particularly the Jimbaran style which is an authentic Bali dish. It is made with a variety of fish found on the island of Bali. It may be a grilled mackerel or a red snapper.
7. Be Siap Sambal Matah:
This chicken dish will leave you spell bound with its unique texture and spicy sambal sauce. Most warangs in Bali offer it with rice and vegetables.
8. Bebek Betutu (Even a Deity has a favorite in the Top 20 Balinese Dishes):
We have covered pork, fish. and chicken but Lord Brahma (a Hindu deity, revered by many Balinese) won’t eat until he is served the Bebek Betutu. This slow cooked duck dish will probably be the most tender meat you have ever eaten. Because it is cooked for a whole day, you will need to order in advance to eat this dish.
9. Nasi Campur:
Nasi Campur, meaning “mixed rice”, is yet another local favorite. It is steamed rice mixed with different combinations of vegetables, meat, and spices. Most warangs serve different dishes like be Siap, Ikan Bakar with Nasi Campur.
10. Mini Rijsttafel:
This dish contains many delicacies in one plate like an “Indian Thali”. Dishes like Bebek Betutu, Be Siap Sambal Matah, Ikan Bakar, Nasi Campur are all served on a big plate. This is also called ‘rice table’.
This salad is a mix of different steamed vegetables like potato, corn, long beans, spinach, cucumber, bean sprouts with tempura, tofu, egg all coated with a peanut sauce. This mixed salad is served mostly in restaurants before your main course.
12. Ayam Goreng:
Ayam Goreng literally meaning ‘fried chicken’, is essentially from Malaysia. But with a Balinese twist, the Ayam Goreng becomes an authentic Balinese dish. And an inseparable part of Balinese cuisine.
13. Tuna Sambal Matah:
Similar to be Siap Sambal Matah, this dish uses tuna instead of chicken.
14. Sayur Urab:
Another mixed boiled vegetable dish, it is a sambal of vegetables like shallots, corn, and green peppers.
15. Tempe Manis:
This sweet and hot dish of boiled soybeans which are deep fried until crisp, and then tossed with different vegetables is another magnificent dish with a unique texture.
Influenced by Chinese cuisine, Bakso is a spicy meatball soup.
Top 20 Balinese Dishes Also Include Desserts
17. Plsang Goreng:
Dessert time!! Ever wondered what a fried banana tastes like? Well, it tastes incredible. This is yet another fried dish from Bali, and it will mesmerize you. Since Bali is home to a variety of bananas, Plsang Goreng has different sizes and shapes. It is usually served with honey and coconut flakes, but then again innovation never ceases. Plsang Goreng is usually served at local stalls called warung in Bali but is also found at many restaurants.
18. Es Campur:
A true dessert with chocolate sauce poured on fruits, shaved ice and gelatin. This is a tourist hit at every restaurant.
Available in two different textures. The Sweet Martabak or the Martabak Manis is a pancake filled with chocolate or banana. The Savory Martabak or the Martabak Telur is a pastry with meat and seasonings.
20. Bubur Sumsum:
Bubur Sumsum or the black rice pudding is a Balinese delicacy. It is classified as a sweet dessert in most of the restaurants. It can also be ordered as an individual dish. It is a blend of black and white sticky rice with coconut milk and sugar syrup.
Maybe, now you will be a little more eager to order a dish you at least know the name of and what is in it. Head out and try them all. Make your own list of Top 20 Balinese Dishes. The Balinese cuisine, unique in its nature, has numerous variation. The nasi goreng never tastes the same at different warangs, the Martabak Manis and the Martabak Telur represent the sweet and savory culture of Bali. From all types of different meats to different vegetables and their crazy yet impressive combinations, the Balinese cuisine is no less than a blend of different colors on a massive canvas.
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