One thing which unites just about everyone who visits a different country is the desire to try the local cuisine. That desire is likely to be even higher when the destination is Bali, given that it has a wonderful array of tantalising dishes of all kinds. Some of you might prefer to simply turn up and eat whatever the restaurant you are in recommends, but for others who like to plan ahead, here are some traditional dishes you can expect to find in Bali, which we urge you to try.
#1 Jimbaran Seafood
Right away we are cheating somewhat as Jimbaran seafood is not actually a specific Bali dish, but it represents some of the most sought after foods anywhere on the island. By visiting the village of Jimbaran you will discover an array of restaurants that stretch along the beachfront. Just as diverse is the choice of seafood available with the more popular including calamari, crabs, clams, shrimp, and lobster. although there are many more you can choose from.
You can either choose from a set dish from the menu or simply select the weight of the various seafood types you wish to have cooked for you. Everything is cooked fresh, and as if that was not enough, the prices are remarkably low.
#2 Nasi Goreng & Mie Goreng
Whenever you are in a new place, the saying ‘Do what the locals do’ often gets quoted, and in this case, if you want to eat food which is the staple of the local community then should ask for either nasi goreng or mie goreng when you sit down at your restaurant table.
Nasi goreng is the most popular dish of Indonesians including those who live in Bali and it consists of fried rice mixed with any combination of pork, chicken, beef, shrimp, and vegetables. It is topped with a fried egg, and when served it is usually accompanied by pickled vegetables and/or pickles, peanut sauce, and a side of prawn crackers. Mie goreng has all the same meats, vegetables, and accompaniments as nasi goreng, but instead of fried rice, fried noodles are used.
#3 Babi Guling
Anyone wishing to truly immerse themselves in the traditional cuisine of Indonesia when they are visiting Bali needs to try babi guling. It is made from the pork from a whole pig, and it should be noted that pork is a meat that Balinese people simply love, and even more so when it is flavoured with an array of spices that seem almost endless.
First, the pig is rubbed with turmeric and then a spice paste which consists of lemongrass, coriander seeds, lime leaves, chillies, garlic, black pepper, red shallots, and ginger. Normally cooked on a spit over a fire, it is served only when the chef is satisfied that the pork has reached the perfect level of tenderness. When served it can be accompanied by with stewed vegetables, rice, or vegetable salad.
#4 Gado Gado
For the vegetarians amongst you who fear we have forgotten them, worry not because here is a Balian dish you will love. Admittedly, it does normally contain eggs, so you may have to request that they are omitted if you do not include eggs in your vegetarian diet. Other ingredients usually consist of steamed, blanched, or boiled vegetables, boiled potato, fried tofu and lontong which is rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves.
Accompanying gado gado you will usually have peanut sauce which adds lots of flavour to the dish. This sauce will invariably be made from crushed peanuts, garlic, chillies, palm sugar, tamarind, and a drop of lime juice. Note that gado gado is usually served cold, but there are some who prefer it warm and if that includes yourself then ask for this when ordering.