Monday, November 23, 2015

Cooking the Balinese Way

Our first task of the day was to go to the market at 6:00 am and select food for our cooking class. If you know me, you know that there is not much that can get me up at that hour of the day, including going to the market at 6:00 am! So, after sleeping in until 7:30, and having a leisurely breakfast, Ross and I met the rest of the group at 9:00 for our cooking class. (We weren't the only ones, there were a few others in the group who value sleep more than shopping.)

I would likely classify today's lesson as a cooking demonstration; we did get to mix and stir a few things but most of the prep had been done ahead of time.  Our teacher, Heinz, a Swiss who has studied Balinese food extensively, taught us that most of what we know was wrong. You don't just boil the chicken bones for stock, you must boil it first, throw away the result, then boil it again. MSG occurs naturally in many foods and is not necessarily bad for you. The food we have come to know as Balinese is in fact Chinese, Japanese or Indonesian. You don't roast chicken at a specific temperature, you roast it based on how much time you have.

Our first task was to eat - a Balinese breakfast, mostly fruits (again, a few I've never seen before), Balinese cakes, rice flour dumplings in palm sugar sauce, coconut cream.

Then we donned our aprons and began first to prepare the spice pastes for seafood, meats, beef, chicken and vegetables. The ingredients include fresh turmeric, galangal, kencur, candlenuts, lemongrass, salam leaves - I'm pretty sure I won't be picking these up at Butcher Boys!

Everyone got into the act threading the sate meat onto skewers.

Many hours later we were presented with our feast - including roast chicken in banana leaf, pork in sweet soy sauce, yellow rice, peanut sauce (which the Balinese never eat with their sate according to Heinz), vegetable salad, rice cake in banana leaf, black rice pudding, sweet corn and coconut, fried bananas, nasi goreng (fried rice) and many others. 

Now that I know how to cook all this Balinese food, next time I want some I'll know where to get it. In Bali!

1 comment:

dorothy said...

an here I thought you were going to invite us all for a Balinese dinner!

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