If you follow my blog, then you know that I like to take a cooking class in every country I visit. Truth is, I’m a terrible cook. The great thing about cooking exotic food for friends back home is that they have no idea if you’ve messed up. This has given me a little more confidence in the kitchen. I decided to take a Balinese Cooking Class in Ubud with my mom. I can honestly say most of our friends and family don’t know what Balinese food is. In fact, I’m not sure I even know.
From what I can gather so far, some of the staples include curry, satay, fried rice, tofu/tempe, and seafood. The base ingredients are lemon grass, pepper, shallot, chili, garlic, ginger, ginger, and more ginger. Oh, and did I mention ginger? It’s similar to a lot of other Asian cuisines, however it feels a little lighter. It’s still spicy, but not as hearty as other places I’ve been.
My mom and I decided to take a class with Canting Bali since it was the class our homestay recommended. The price included transportation, a tour of the local market, an eight-course meal, and a print out of all the recipes to take with us. We started off at the morning market where we got a run down of all the local fruits, vegetables, and spices. We even got a little insight into Hinduism and how to make an offering. Once we arrived at the cooking school, we got to make an offering of our own which was really cool.
This class was a little different from previous classes as we all prepped the food together and took turns cooking. In the end, all of our ingredients were combined to make one buffet meal. Although we didn’t each get to make every step of the food, I felt I was able to participate a lot more than I had originally anticipated.
We started by chopping up all of the ingredients for prep work. After that, we moved on to making the sauces we would use in each of the meals. Finally, we began to cook. Mom and I took turns at one burner. We fried tempe, stirred curry, mixed soup, and flipped crepes. The crepe flipping was my favorite. I was sure mine would end up somewhere in the rice paddies, but it actually came out ok.
The whole process was so organized, and I was really impressed with the company. Did I mention that we were cooking outside while admiring rice paddies? It was so beautiful and serene. We even got a quick lesson on how rice is actually cultivated.
After all the work was done, we got to eat our ginormous feast! My favorite dishes were the tuna satay with peanut sauce, the fried tempe in a sweet soy sauce, and crepes filled with palm sugar. I bought some palm sugar at the market to take home, so I can’t wait to make those again. Overall, this was one of the best cooking classes I’ve done, but taking a cooking class is just one of many things to enjoy in Bali.
Thinking about taking a cooking class in Ubud? Ask me any questions you have in the comments.
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Michelle Della Giovanna
Writer at Full Time Explorer
I’m just your average New Yorker who quit her job in the fashion industry to explore the world. Come find out what it’s like to trade in five-inch heels for squat toilets.