First Day In Bali, Part 1: Cooking Class

Day 1: Traditional Balinese Cooking Class

What I wore:

1. MATTER – Side Swept Dhoti in Chili 2. MUJI – Non wired Bra 3. MUJI – Linen button down 4. TOPSHOP – ‘Happy’ Two Part Slides 5. NINE WEST – Sunglasses (TJX) 6. MUJI – pants 7. LANZOM – Hat (amazon) 8. THE CLASSIC BRAND – Crop top (amazon)

After breakfast at the Villa Moon Compound, Rebecca and I headed to the gates to meet our driver. Pick up for the Traditional Balinese Cooking Class was included when staying within Ubud. We had one stop for 3 other German guests before going straight to the local food markets.

Vibrantly colored chilis in palm leaf baskets at market in Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Baskets of Chilis for sale in market

Upon arriving at the local outdoor food market, we were greeted with a strong scent of durian and laklak, tinted green from pandan leaf. Rebecca had planned out a list of ‘Must Try’ tropical fruits we were on the hunt for.

Everything was colourful and vibrant and we had our local guide from  the cooking class to guide us and negotiate prices on a few fruits we purchased.

When we arrived at the compound, we were greeted with fresh fruit drinks and some

Served fresh juice and Laklak with our market coconut

more laklak. I loved the little hospitality touches everywhere we went. I would have preferred no straw, as I bring my own anyway, but it was too late to say ‘no straw’.

Our host gave us a lovely and personal introduction to Balinese traditional Hindu family structure and hierarchy as well as the layout of the compound. Her husband is a chef, however she does most of the families cooking (unless she is ill of course).

Some of the ingredients we experimented with I knew I could find at the markets in and around Boston, such as lemongrass, long stringbean, galangal and chayote…some would be harder to source such as lesser galangal or Salam or kaffir lime leaves.

The recipes accommodated my travel mate’s myriad of allergies and that she was vegetarian (who occasionally eats fish). She also had a gluten intolerance, tree nut allergy and an allergy to dairy. Her epipen was not needed that day, all allergies and health concerns were accommodated with minimal effort.

Rebecca squeezes fresh kaffir lime on tuna, tomatoes and herbs

Example of some of the menu items:

  • Basic Genep (yellow sauce we used in everything)
  • Gado Gado
  • Tahu Tempe Goreng Basa Manis (a tempeh and tofu dish)
  • Sate Ayam Lilit

Mid-class we sat down for some soup before continuing our lessons.

Post meal we were given the opportunity to linger at the compound and relax. Rebecca and I stayed for a short while, chatting with the other people from Germany (there seemed to be a lot of people from the German/Dutch speaking world in Bali that time of year).

We decided to be dropped off in the center of Ubud near the palace and market rather than go straight back to the compound room. There was a bit of rain threatening, but we took the risk.

Our lovely host picking bilimbi for us
Our host picks Bilimbi for us, a type of sour starfruit relative. She says it is best served with salt over fish.







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