Eating like the Balinese

January 17, 2013

It is not hard to eat well in Bali, but finding traditional Balinese food might be harder than you think.  Going out to dinner is not part of Balinese culture, so every day food, which consists mostly of rice, vegetables, a small amount of fish or meat, and condiments, is almost always cooked at home. The fancy fare, like suckling pig, is saved for festivals, but if you want to give it a try, it is available at Ibu Oka restaurant.

One way to experience true Balinese cuisine is to cook it yourself in the well-designed and well-stocked kitchen of your Bali luxury villa. This may be especially appealing to those who prefer a raw food or vegan diet, since most traditional Indonesian dishes such as nasi goreng, mie goring, and satay almost always involves some animal products. The kitchen at Villa di Abing is especially well-suited to raw food preparation.

You’ll need to learn how to cook it first, and that’s the fun part. There are several cooking schools in Ubud that specialize in traditional Balinese food – one of our favorites is Casa Luna. Janet de Neefe of Casa Luna has been teaching Balinese cooking since 1987, and in her hands-on classes you will learn how to prepare both every day and ceremonial dishes.

In the cooking classes at Paon Bali, your class experience takes place in the community kitchen of a small Balinese village. You start out by shopping the markets in Ubud for authentic Balinese ingredients, and then learn traditional methods of preparing them. Of course, if you’d rather not cook, the cook staff at your Bali luxury villa is available to prepare a traditional Balinese meal for you.

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