The food and Bali cooking class in Kuta was one of the highlights of our Bali trip. Food and recipes, and how locals cook can give you a deeper understanding of one’s authentic culture and influences.
While we were in Kuta, we joined one of it’s highly reviewed cooking classes in the area – Anika Guesthouse’s Balinese Cooking Class.
So what exactly happens in a Bali Cooking class?
First, the meeting point. We were staying in Sun Island Bali, about 15 minutes walk to Kuta beach and the surrounding local and foreign stores. Luckily the hotel is walking distance from our meeting point. There, we were joined with a few more people, 2 Dutch and 2 Kiwis.
Together with our local guide, Putra, we visited the local market first to get introduced to some of the local spices and ingredients of the dishes we would be cooking later that day.
This part was not only fun, but also very essential to a Bali cooking class. In just the first few minutes of the market visit, we immediately felt that the people we will be cooking with are very much into cooking and are highly interested to learn to cook Balinese food.
The guide was very helpful. He did not only introduce the different ingredients and spices that we’ll be using later that day for cooking. He also made sure that we all understand how we can get those same ingredients in our own countries. If something is unique to Bali cooking, he also gave suggestions on alternatives.
For the Bali cooking class, we didn’t have to buy own own ingredients. Ingredients and all the cooking ware that you will use for the class are provided for. They assured us in Anika that they were buying fresh ingredients from their own supplier, so that what we’ll be using is good, and of high quality.
Excited to get cooking yet? Ha!
First off, we were introduced to a veteran cook who showed the ins and outs of Balinese cooking. It was sort of an upgrade from the initial market tour we had. He knew exactly what he was talking about and explains everything swift, and just how we needed to receive the information. He also gave a quick review of the ingredients that we will use, so you’ll easily remember them, having been explained two times.
We then started cutting the ingredients for our Bali cooking class, as to how they were needed to be cut. For the Sambal (Balinese Sambal), they have to be crushed carefully and completely using the traditional Balinese mortar and pestle. This is made especially for Sambal making.
If you haven’t heard of Sambal before, it is the spicy dip that is very unique to Indonesia. Most of their main street food, and basic local dishes can be eaten with Sambal. The peanut sauce is also one of the most popular and basic dips for Indonesian food.
Once all ingredients were cut and smashed properly, we all took turns to cook the dishes prepared for the day.
And yes, whatever we cooked for the day, we will ear for lunch.
For this Bali cooking class, we had:
1. Sate Lembat Ayam, chicken sate with grated coconut.
2. Beef in Balinese Sauce
3. Grilled Fish
4. Mie Goreng or Fried Noodles
5. Nasi Goreng
6. Sambal Tuwung
7. Bregedel Tahu
8. Urab Buncis, Bean and coconut salad
9. Samal Goreng for the main sauce and dip
And for dessert, we had creamy rice porridge with palm sugar (bubur sum-sum),and Pisang Rai or boiled bananas.
It was a really good experience to get to eat all the food you cooked earlier that day! Makes it more special, and you appreciate the food more. And since there were a mixed of nationalities in the class, and that our group was very small, we were able to get to know each other more , and talked even more about culture differences across the world. Not a bad way to have our first cooking class experience.
We can definitely say that when in Bali, a Bali cooking class should be a part of your itinerary!
Too bad we finally didn’t get everyone’s contacts, that always makes me feel bad when you meet new people traveling.
Food that weren’t finished from the table was donated to some of the locals outside of the guest house, which is pretty amazing. I bet if you request to take away some of the food, you should go for it! The food was extremely delicious.
What were our favorite dishes during the Bali cooking class?
I’m gonna go with my Asian gut here (pun intended haha!) and say that the friend rice was my favorite. We Asians love rice, and as much as I loved while steamed rice we commonly eat in the Philippines, there’s just no beating well cooked fried rice! Will definitely replicate this when we go back. Now that’s another addition to our favorite Thai fried rice!
Ruben loves a whole variety of good food and vegetables, and he loved Mie Goreng and the authenic Balinese Sambal.
At the end of the day, you get a certificate, plus a cook book of all the food cooked during the day. Quite handy and super helpful!
Hope you liked this experience and get inspired to do it yourself as well.
And if you want to visit another place in Bali, read our experience in Canggu.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Indonesia, check out our Top 8 To-do list when visiting Bintan
Comment below about your favorite Asian food experience? We’d love to hear more about them too!