Nasi Ayam, Nasi Goreng, Gado-Gado, Serapah Penyu, and Bubur Sumsum – No clue what are we talking about? Well, this time we are talking food. The delightful Balinese cuisine that offers a mind blowing assortment of indulgences. Bali, an island with diverse cultures, could provide the tourists with no lesser diverse cuisines. If you have a Bali trip on cards, don’t miss out on the amazing dishes on our list below. They include the best vegetarian and non-vegetarian culinary delights of Bali.
14 Best Balinese Cuisines
The Bali cuisine offers a myriad of options. It is hard to single out the best food in Bali. But there are three dishes that every non-vegetarian Bali tourist has praised without fail. Vegetarians! Don’t be disheartened, the vegetarian Balinese cuisine is as scrumptious as the non-vegetarian dishes.
Check out the ones listed below!
- Sate Lilit
- Nasi Ayam And Nasi Campur
- Nasi Goreng
- Sayur Urab
- Tahu And Tempe
- Tuna Sambal Matah
- Sambal Udang
- Serapah Penyu
- Bebek And Ayam Betutu
- Bubur Sumsum
- Tempe Manis
- Kopi Luwak
1. Sate Lilit
Marinated, skewered and grilled meats. It is served with spicy sauce, veggies, and coconut milk.
Ingredients: Minced meat (beef/ chicken/ fish/ pork/ turtle) coconut coconut milk vegetables and spices
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: Meat is wrapped around bamboo or lemongrass sticks and grilled. Sauces usually come as sides.
2. Nasi Ayam And Nasi Campur
Chicken rice with veggies and sambal.
Ingredients: White rice Balinese spices meat (duck/pork/chicken) mixed vegetables spicy sambal matah
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: Mostly a mound of meat rice is served with a variety of vegetables and meat preparations.
3. Nasi Goreng
This is the Indonesian fried rice.
Ingredients: Steamed rice scrambled eggs mixed meat (beef, chicken, shrimp, anchovies, lamb, crab) green peas onions sweet soy sauce hot chili sauce
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: All ingredients are fried and then steamed rice is added to them, along with the sauces. Sliced tomatoes and/or cucumber, fried shallots, fish crackers and mixed pickle are common toppings that go with Nasi Goreng.
Gado Gado, a traditional Balinese dish, is pretty much like salad. It is eaten lukewarm or cold, accompanied with rice, and is a must have vegetarian food in Bali for Indians. It is mixed steamed vegetables with peanut sauce.
Ingredients: Fresh vegetables such as potatoes, beans, capsicum and tomatoes
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: An assorted potpourri of lightly steamed fresh vegetables, Gado Gado is garnished with fried shallots and sliced tomatoes, and served with fragrant peanut sauce.
5. Sayur Urab
Urab is the premier, most legendary, classic vegetable masterpiece in Bali.
Ingredients: Vegetables like long green beans and Chinese bean sprouts grated coconut bay leaves
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: A classic potpourri of finely chopped/shredded veggies, it is made by cooking coconut and spices on simmer, adding them to partly cooked veggies and mixing it well. Spice up with sambal of crispy golden-fried shallots, galangal, chili peppers and garlic.
6. Tahu And Tempe
Another vegetarian food in Bali, Tahu (tofu) and Tempe (fermented soy cake), comes in various preparations some as savory snacks, and some as accompaniments and even main course dishes.
Ingredients: Tofu fermented soy cake coconut water salt and spices coriander garlic
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: Sliced tofu, along with fermented soy cake is cooked in a pot with coconut water and spices. Alternatively it can be fried, with or without stuffing. Relish with choice of sauce.
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7. Tuna Sambal Matah
Fresh tuna is covered with basa gede (Bumbu Bali) and seared in a hot pan.
Ingredients: Tuna lime juice steamed white rice sambal matah
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: The tuna steaks are sprinkled with lime juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper and grilled to taste. It is then served hot with steamed white rice, and sambal matah on the side.
8. Sambal Udang
The crown jewel dish in Bali seafoods is a dish of prawns in spicy sambal sauce.
Ingredients: Large prawns spicy sambal (made of saut-ed onions, green pepper, and red chili peppers) tamarind paste
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: Large prawns are cooked in spicy sambal and tamarind paste. It is garnished with coriander leaves and coconut milk is used as a topping.
9. Serapah Penyu
Turtles are only procured and eaten for important ritual occasions such as Galungan, Kuningan, wedding ceremonies, a cremation or a tooth filing ceremony.
Ingredients: Turtle meat (without the shell) herbs of choice chili
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: The turtle is killed with knife the meat is extracted while the turtle is still alive. The meat is boiled in a large pot with herbs and spices, and then grilled, sliced and served.
10. Bebek And Ayam Betutu
Betutu is an iconic Balinese favorite, consisting of a duck stuffed with traditional spices. It is a rich and juicy, succulent feast with all meat easily separated from bones.
Ingredients: Duck cassava leaves lemongrass kaffir lime leaves banana leaves
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: The duck is steamed for 1-2 hours and then grilled. The carved duck is then served with steamed white rice and sambal sauces.
11. Bubur Sumsum
Its sweetness means that it is often eaten as a dessert, but also serves as a breakfast or snack option too. The general unavailability of many of the ingredients involved, especially the black rice, in Western food stores, means that this dish really encapsulates the true Bali cuisine.
Ingredients: White and black glutinous rice coconut milk or cream palm sugar and pandan leaves.
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: Batter of rice flour is cooked in boiling coconut milk with pandan leaves, until thick. It is usually served hot with more coconut cream and banana slices.
12. Tempe Manis
Tempeh in sweet and spicy sauce.
Ingredients: Tempeh sweet palm sugar sauce
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: Small pieces of Tempeh are fried until crispy are tossed in sweet palm sugar sauce and turned with fried garlic and chili peppers.
13. Kopi Luwak
Also called civet coffee or poop coffee. Why-
Weasel-like animals called civets are let loose into coffee plantations at night to satisfy their predilection towards eating only high-quality coffee berries. The civets eat the coffee berry, but they only poop out the coffee beans. Their coffee-bean filled turds are collected and washed. The harvested coffee beans are then roasted over a fire.
The most expensive coffee in the world. A cup of luwak coffee in London supposedly runs about 40 pounds ($65). On Bali, you can quaff a cup at a luwak plantation for about $4.
A smooth cup of brew with surprisingly low acidity. Also, it can prevent asthma, Parkinson’s, colon cancer and diabetes
Ingredients: Coffee beans excreted from a stable of civet “cats”
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: The harvested coffee beans from the poop of the civets are roasted over fire and served hot with milk.
A veritable tripod of sweetness, the traditional drink has essentially 3 layers: dark green jelly-like layer from the leaf, a second caramel honey-hued layer from the coconut milk, and a golden brown sediment from the brown sugar.
Ingredients: Daluman leaves coconut milk brown palm syrup caramel cold water
Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: The ingredients are boiled and then cooled before mixing them together with cold water. It is then served with additional mint leaves used for garnishing.
Further Read: 25 Countries With 25 Of The World’s Yummiest Breakfast
Overall, there is much to enjoy in Balinese cuisine, whether you favor sweet or savory, meat or vegetarian, high dining or quick takeaways. Let us know your favorite from the list! And if you want to get the experience of having these delicacies in real, then plan a trip to Bali with TravelTriangle and go for it!
Frequently Asked questions About Balinese Cuisine
A. Bali food is influenced by Indian, Portuguses, and Chinese flavors. People in Bali eat both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Beef is famous on the island. You will find it in soups and other preparations. The seafood is amazing and so fresh. You should try it too. Meat is often served with a variety of vegetables. Prok, shrimp, and beef are savored a lot. Balinese people also like fried noodles.
A. If you are not habitual of eating pork or beef, it is best you do not try dishes with them. Also, avoid having food from street vendors. It could be unhygienic. Rare and undercooked meat should be avoided at all cost since it could cause stomach infections.
A. In an inexpensive restaurant, the cost of meal is as low as INR 100 per person. A meal at McDonalds in bali is 250 bucks In a mid-range restaurant the bill for two people will come around INR 800-1000. Beer costs around INR 150 bucks.
A. No, it is better if you avoid tap water in Bali otherwise you will have a serious case of Bali belly. Bali is not one of those places where you will find filtered water coming through taps in hotels and houses unlike developed nations. You should always go for filtered bottled water or always carry a filter water bottle if you are an environmentalist and hate buying plastic bottles. It will also come in handy during sightseeing in Bali.
A. Lawar, Bebek Betutu are some of the traditional foods in Bali.
A. Nasi Goreng which is a version of fried rice is eaten as breakfast in Bali.
A. Yes, vegetarian food is available in Bali.