One of the things Amanda and I did in Bali was sign up for a Balinese cooking class. There are several restaurants in Ubud that offer cooking courses but most of them book up early, so if you have a particular one in mind that you want to do, sign up ahead of time. We went with a place called Bumi Bali, mostly because it looked the best out of the two or three that still had open space.
The class was about four or five hours long and involved going to the market first thing in the morning. That part definitely felt a little set up since they clearly had arrangements with certain stalls in the hopes that we would buy something from them. Even so, it was interesting to see the chaos of the market. Once we got back to the restaurant, the cooking instruction (and lots of eating) began.
The first thing we made was called Basa Gede, which is a basic spice paste. The ingredient list was pretty long but involved garlic, onions, and chilis so it definitely had a kick to it. We used it in all the other dishes.
The next dish we made was called Sayur Urab, which was chilis, garlic, coconut, and some other vegetables.
This was used on top of tuna, along with the Basa Gede, to make a dish called Tuna Sambal Matah. I’m not a big fan of fish but this was pretty tasty.
Next we made Tempe Manis, which is similar to tofu. It had peanuts, chilis, and some other spices, and I was surprised I actually liked it a lot.
We made a chicken dish called Opor Ayam, which was chicken in a spicy broth. The recipe lists quite a lot of spices and vegetables.
The weirdest one, for me, was called Bali Sate Lilit. It was pork (the recipe says you can also use chicken or duck) and some spices wrapped around a stick or a lemongrass stalk. The reason it was weird for me is because I don’t like touching raw meat but I had to in the class. I was totally grossed out but I did it. Trying to get over some of my weird hang-ups through travel I suppose.
Amanda and I enjoyed the class, though it might have been a little long. Even eating small portions of everything, we felt completely full by the end because of how many things we ate over the course of about four hours. I really like garlic, onions and spicy food, so I liked most of what we ate. Although there are probably better cooking courses in Bali, I’m glad we took this one to get a different view of the culture.
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