Bali is home to many food delicacies, which are inspired from a combination of Chinese, Indonesian and Indian cuisine. Most dishes are served with a pyramid of rice, unless the dish already contains plenty of it. Other common ingredients include vegetables like spinach and beans, eggs, coconut, tempeh, peanut sauce and different meats such as chicken, fish and duck. Beef is avoided since the Hindu population consider the cow to be the holiest of animals.

Plenty of palm sugar is often added to dishes to satisfy the Balinese’ sweet tooth. √During a cooking workshop that I attended in Bali, the two most memorable Balinese dishes were the coconut and snake bean salad and the deep fried tempeh in sweet sauce. Tempeh is an ingredient made of boiled soy beans, pressed and fermented, with a nutty texture a taste similar to that of peanuts. Both dishes are suitable for vegetarians and can be served as main dishes or as part of a shared meal with chicken satays, vegetables and steamed rice.

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 10.58.20Tempeh Kering (Deep Fried Tempeh in Sweet Soy Sauce)

1. Slice the tempeh into thin strips. Boil the coconut oil, add the tempeh and deep fry until golden brown, then remove and set aside.

2. Slice the red chillies and remove their seeds. Dice the garlic, shallots, spring onion and red chillies.

3. Heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in another pan and sautè until they are light brown.

4. Add the deep fried tempeh to the pan of garlic, shallots, spring onions and chilli and mix.

5. Add the Kecap Manis and broken kaffir lime leaves to the mixture.

6. Stir well to coat tempeh in the sauce.

7. Serve hot as a main course.


Jukat Urab RecipeJukat Urab (Coconut and Snake Salad)

1. Boil the snake beans for 2 minutes so they are still firm then slice them into half-centimeter sized pieces.

2. Boil the broccoli for 4 to 5 minutes until crisptender.

3. Grate the coconut. If you use frozen grated coconut, add 1 tablespoon of coconut cream to moisten the coconut.

4. Mix the chopped snake beans, broccoli, grated coconut, base gede, palm sugar, fried shallots, salt and squeeze the lime over the mixture.

5. Work your fingers through the salad.

6. Serve in a large dish.


© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Philippa Zammit