An essential part of all Bali holidays is not only experiencing the local culture but also immersing yourself in Balinese cuisine. Although much of the Bali accommodation on offer features onsite restaurants, they’re barely a scratch on the amazing sights, smells and tastes of Bali’s authentic food.
Whether you’re brave enough to try the street food or prefer to play it a little safer by checking out the many open air eateries, cafes and restaurants that line the streets, there’s a whole range of traditional Bali fare to tempt your tastebuds and challenge even the boldest chilli lovers. The choices may be abundant when you plan your travel online, but it helps to have an initial guide as to which ones are worth visiting.
Daily Food V Festival Food
Although the idea of traditional Balinese cuisine may conjure images of exotic ingredients and dishes, the meals eaten by the locals on a daily basis are far less exciting than the celebration food eaten during important festivals yet is still just as tasty. If you’re lucky, you should be able to try both types of cuisine while visiting Bali.
The Balinese staple diet is comprised of vegetables and rice with small portions of fish or meat cooked in a number of sauces and eaten swiftly with little fuss. However when festival time comes around, food is transformed into elaborately decorated and prepared feasts that are enjoyed together with much fanfare.
Popular Dishes & Ingredients
Much of Bali’s cuisine has obvious Indonesian, Chinese and even slight Indian influences and some of the most commonly eaten dishes include fried rice, nasi goreng, fried noodles and mie goreng as well as spicy peanut satays, gadogado salads, cap-cay and even sweet and sour stir fry’s.
Other popular dishes include a fried vegetable and meat filled roti bread and chicken cooked in coconut milk. Seafood is also a large part of the Balinese diet and is extremely fresh with much of it caught and kept in live tanks until it’s ready to be killed and cooked.
The Balinese aren’t renowned for their sweets however there are a couple of dishes that they do enjoy occasionally including sweet pancakes known as martabakmanis and a black rice pudding known asbubuhinjin, both of which are topped with condiments such as condensed milk, chocolate, peanuts, coconut milk and sweet palm sugar sauce.
Another way to get your sugar fix in Bali is by tracking down snacks such as fried bananas, sugar coated peanuts, ice cream and a coloured confectionary made from coconut known as jaja. Fruit is another way to treat your tastebuds with mangoes, jackfruit, pineapple, rambutan, papaya, melon, custard-apple and coconut all readily available.
If you want to eat your heart out on your next Bali holidays, just be sure you’re also equipped with the necessary health precautions as some tourist tummies can’t handle such rich and exotic food. It’s also a good idea to try and space out your more extravagant meals between slightly more ‘western-friendly’ fare offered at your Bali accommodation. For more tips on travelling in Bali, visit TravelOnline.com.