Tuna in Banana Leaf

A popular dish from the island of Bali is PEPESAN BE PASIH or PEPES IKA, in other words STEAMED FISH IN BANANA LEAVES. This is a great recipe for grilling during a backyard party or a cookout. It is healthy and caters to the palates of non meat eaters. Fresh banana leaves are available at farmers markets and Asian grocery stores. Enjoy it this Labor day or throughout the year! Continue reading “Tuna in Banana Leaf”

Indonesian Chicken Satay

The Indonesia style of Chicken Satay is slightly different than the Thai ones, that most are familiar with. Only minced chicken is used for the recipe and the seasoned mix is draped over bamboo sticks. The meat barely covers the bamboo, making it look almost like a lollipop chicken. Sate Lilit Ayam or Chicken Satay is a popular street food found all over Indonesia. You can find vendors squatting on the road, grilling the satay over tiny charcoal grills. It is not served with peanut sauce as you may have found in restaurants. Continue reading “Indonesian Chicken Satay”

Indonesian Base Sauce

Base Gede Bumbu Kuning also known as Basic Yellow Sauce is a key ingredient in many Indonesian recipes. It is really easy to make! Simply blend in all the ingredients in a commercial or Balinese blender (as shown below) till ground into a paste. You then want to sauté the spices to release aromas. This basic yellow sauce lasts for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator and can be used for curries, satay and more. Continue reading “Indonesian Base Sauce”

Growing Rice in Bali

Continued from Farm to Table in Bali

Next stop on the Paon Bali Cooking Class tour are the rice paddies where Wayan tell the students about agriculture in Bali. He stops at a site where Julia Roberts was filmed biking in the movie, Eat Pray Love. With a backdrop of mountains (many of which are volcanoes), palm and coconut trees, surrounded by endless fields of rice, the views are breathtaking! Continue reading “Growing Rice in Bali”

Arriving on Kuningan in Bali

I arrived in Bali during an auspictious time. The streets were decorated with bamboo poles and prayer offerings were everywhere. I saw processions of women carrying towers of food and flowers; groups of kids of all ages playing the gamelan; and processions  taking Barong (mystical beast) through the streets. In fact, every home and business had its “penjor” (similar to a Christmas tree), but outdoors and decorated with fruit, coconut leaves and flowers. Continue reading “Arriving on Kuningan in Bali”

Vegetables in Peanut Sauce

One of the most commonly found dishes in Bali is Gado Gado. Also known as Kacang Me Santok, the dish is a healthy sauté of assorted vegetables with peanut sauce. Aunty Puspa who runs Paon Bali Cooking Classes on the island of Bali, showed us step-by-step how to cook this authentic recipe. She even made her own coconut oil and ground the nuts for the sauce using only a mortar and pestle.

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Little Balinese Dancers

Go Eat Give volunteers in Bali were invited to a family temple in Sukawati village for a ceremony and festivities. This temple celebrates its anniversary every six months, when all the village residents get together to pray and the little ones put up a performance of music and dance. Only the family members that are related through generations attend the ceremonies at the festival.

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Observing religious rituals as tourists

I encourage you to travel, to learn about different cultures, their real customs and traditions. But I also want you to be polite, sensitive and respectful. While doing my research for an upcoming visit to Indonesia, I came across the Frommer’s “Favorite Experience in Indonesia” below. Continue reading “Observing religious rituals as tourists”

Renew with Bali Spirits

Bali is revered for its lush tropical magnificence, its harmony-inspired customs, culture and arts and its breathtaking natural scenery. The book and movie, Eat Pray Love hasn’t done any harm to the island’s status as a romantic tourist attraction, but not all individuals want to write a book in isolation and wait for someone or something to find them as a way to find themselves. Continue reading “Renew with Bali Spirits”