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Balinese food and products


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I don't want to clutter up the other thread (Foods of Bali) which is more of a discussion of restaurants....

I want to know what foods I should not leave Bali without trying.

Also I plan to buy many (packaged) products to take back to Japan, any recommendations of brands? products? etc?

What is in your bag when you leave?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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To eat (some dishes may be hard to track down):

-sate kambing (lamb sate)

-sate of chopped pork, chilies, lime juice, and grated coconut (forget the name); it's molded around a skewer of lemon grass

-anything with banana stem in it (soups, usually)

-roasted suckling pig

-dadar (dessert of rice flour "pancakes" rolled around coconut-palm sugar filling -- try to get some warm and just made)

-timbungan ayam -- chicken soup with young leaves of the starfruit tree

-lawar (duck or pork meat chopped, mixed with young jackfruit, coconut, spices ... and blood, but only if you're attending a temple feast!)

-jackfruit curry -- yum, yum, and double yum!

To take home:

-vanilla beans

-Balinese red rice (may be difficult to find as it's usu grown for family consumption)

-palm sugar!! the very best quality will be in half-globe shapes (cooled in half coconut shells), wrapped in dried banana leaves, and it will sound a little hollow when you tap it -- this indicates it's been aged a bit, which adds depth and complexity to the flavor

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wow! thanks this is exactly the kind of information I was looking for.

I am also interested in buying a mortar and pestle, any ideas where I should look to find a good price?

I also would like to stock up on various condiments/sauces, any recommended brands?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Head to the Denapasar morning market for your kitchen utensil needs (including lava stone mortar and pestle -- won't be more than $10, and that's high "foreigner" price ... you will have to season it after you get it home). This market should not be missed,whether you plan to purchase anything or not. Go early!

Forgot to mention -- keep an eye out for white mangoes, they may be in season. You'd find them at the market if they are. Delicious but strangely vegetal flavor.

And daun salam, dried Indonesian "bay" leaves (as they are usually called in cookbooks, but in reality they are nothing like western bay leaves) which are integral to Balinese (and Indonesian in general) cuisine.

Condiments -- not much used in Balinese cooking, other than the usual (soy, kecap manis, etc). Most things are made with a "master paste" ground together in the pestle and mortar. Can you get fresh turmeric in Japan? If not, consider taking a pile home and freezing it. It's a key flavor.

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-sate of chopped pork, chilies, lime juice, and grated coconut (forget the name); it's molded around a skewer of lemon grass

I think what you are referring to is sate lilit, but as far as I know the standard version is made with a mixed mince of fish and prawns, wrapped around a lemongrass skewer and then barbecued on a coconut husk fire. Is there also a pork mince version?

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SwatiC, Balinese away from the coast don't eat a lot of fish. So, pork (or duck or chicken) shows up in this sate more often in those areas.

Ecr, thanks for the info. Are the minced meat sate unique to Bali, or are they fairly common on other islands as well? Also is it true that the cubed meat sate are considered more typical of the cuisines of Java and Sumatra, rather than Balinese cuisine?

Swati (minus the C is fine :) )

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Swati, dunno! We ate a lot of sate kambing (lamb) in Bali, and that's cubed, but I understand that's introduced from Java. The indication was that the chopped meat+coconut sate is Balinese, and kind of a special occasion food. Asking a question like yours of a few Balinese is likely to produce a few different answers ... esp if they are from different parts of the island!

*Must* go back and do some serious research! :biggrin:

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A couple of other packaged things I suggest to bring home from Bali:

Terasi Udang - shrimp paste. I like the Bonang brand.

Whole spices - Whole nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon and star anise. Even in 'expensive' supermarkets a small bag of each costs less than US$1, and the quality is excellent.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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I have a little notebook filled with all of the information I have received in this thread. :biggrin:

My next question is about es campur, I have been reading about this and it sounds really good! Are there any places you would recommend I go to get a really good one. Anyone have a favorite version?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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