Cooking chores are shared between men and women in the Balinese culture in a very simple way:
Women oversee daily offering to Gods and everyday cooking, which is usually one daily meal which eaten throughout the day for breakfast, lunch and dinner while men oversee cooking for religious gatherings and festivals.
Make sure to ask 'tidak pedas' (not spicy) when you order your food if you are sensitive to spices!
Nasi Goreng/Mie Goreng
Nasi in Indonesian means ‘rice’ while mie means ‘noodles’. Remembering those terms will tremendously help you choose your food in Bali.
The nasi goreng is so popular that it has been named ‘national dish’ of Indonesia; nasi goreng literally means “fried rice” (and mie goreng “fried noodles”).
The main ingredients used for this dish are garlic, onions, chilli, cabbage, eggs, herbs, soy sauce, fish sauce and fried shallots. It is usually accompanied with chicken (Nasi Goreng Ayam) or seafood (mostly shrimps).
Do you want to add an extra touch? Ask for a ‘nasi goreng special’, a nasi goreng topped up with a sunny side up egg!
Satay (or sate) are meat or fish lemongrass (or bamboo) skewers marinated in a sauce and grilled. Satay are usually accompanied by peanut sauce to dip your skewers in.
Bali has its own satay called ‘lilit’ and made of minced beef, chicken, fish or pork which are mixed with grated coconut, coconut milk, vegetable blend and spices.
Bebek or Ayam Betutu
Betutu is a Balinese dish of steamed or roasted bebek (duck) or ayam (chicken) in rich spice sauce called bumbu betutu.
The bumbu (literally meaning “sauce”) is usually made of garlic, shallot, ginger, wild ginger (also called asarum), turmeric, galangal, chillies, shrimp paste and crushed peanuts.
This spice paste is sautéed in coconut oil and rubbed onto the chicken or duck. The meat is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed or roasted. Just delicious!
One of the simplest and most delicious dish you can have in Bali; gado-gado is a mixed salad with cabbage, green beans, carrots, soybeans, cucumber, lettuce and more accompanied with a peanut sauce.
Top up this salad with tofu and/or tempeh for a protein-rich dish!
Are you a pork fan? If so, this dish is for you!
Babi guling literally means rolled pork in Indonesian. The pork is stuffed in mixed spices and slowly rolled for about 6 hours in a coal fire until crispy.
Babi guling is usually accompanied with steamed rice and/or vegetables.
Campur means 'mixed' in Indonesian. So yes, you might have guessed it by now, nasi campur is actually rice with mixed condiments! You can either choose vegetarian or non-veg options and let yourself be surprised by the condiments available on the day.
The Elementum Nasi Campur is definitely a must-try if you want to discover Indonesian food!