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Paon Bali Cooking Class: A Culinary Journey through Bali’s Traditional Dishes


Tina, Ibu Puspa, Izzy

I had always been fascinated by Balinese cuisine, with its rich blend of flavors, spices, and aromas. So, when I stumbled upon Paon Bali Cooking Class during my recent trip to Ubud, I

knew I had to sign up for it. And what a culinary journey it turned out to be!


Our cooking class was held in a traditional Balinese kitchen, nestled amidst lush green paddy fields. The friendly staff welcomed us with refreshing lemongrass tea, as we settled down in the open-air dining area, overlooking the picturesque surroundings.


Our instructor, Ibu Puspa, was a warm and knowledgeable Balinese woman, who spoke fluent English and had a great sense of humor. She began by introducing us to the ingredients and spices that are commonly used in Balinese cooking, such as turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, and coconut milk.


Making Chilli Paste

We then rolled up our sleeves and got down to business, preparing a range of Balinese dishes under Ibu Puspa’s guidance. Here are some of the highlights of the cooking class:


Base Gede Bumbu Kuning (Basic Yellow Sauce)

The Base Gede Bumbu Kuning is the foundation of many Balinese dishes, including curries, stews, and soups. It is a spice paste made of various herbs and spices, such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, and coriander, that are ground together with a mortar and pestle. We all took turns pounding the spices, which was surprisingly therapeutic.


Be Siap Mesanten, Kare Ayam (Chicken in Coconut curry)

This fragrant and creamy curry was a crowd favorite. It consisted of tender chicken pieces cooked in a coconut milk and spice paste, flavored with kaffir lime leaves and galangal. It was served with steamed rice and crispy shallots.


Pepesan Be Pasih , Pepes Ikan (Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves)

This dish was a feast for the senses. Fresh snapper fillets were marinated in a spice paste made of shallots, garlic, ginger, and turmeric, then wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over charcoal. The result was a smoky, tender, and flavorful fish that we all savored with delight.


Jukut Urab (Coconut and snake bean salad)

This refreshing salad consisted of blanched snake beans, grated coconut, and diced tomatoes, dressed in a tangy and spicy dressing made of chili, shallots, and shrimp paste. It was a perfect accompaniment to the heavier dishes.


Sate Siap Sate Lilit Ayam (Minced chicken grilled on Bamboo Sticks)

These skewers were a fun and interactive dish to make. Minced chicken was mixed with a spice paste made of lemongrass, galangal, and turmeric, then molded around bamboo sticks and grilled over charcoal. It was a delicious and aromatic snack that we enjoyed with a cold beer.


Tempe Me Goreng (Fried Tempe)

Tempe is a staple ingredient in Indonesian cuisine, and this dish showcased its versatility. Tempe was sliced thinly and deep-fried until crispy, then tossed in a sweet and spicy soy sauce, flavored with garlic and chili. It was a crunchy and flavorful snack that we all enjoyed.


Tempe Kering (Deep Fried Tempe in Sweet Soy Sauce)

This dish was similar to Tempe Me Goreng, but with a sweeter and stickier sauce. The tempe was deep-fried until crispy, then coated in a caramelized sweet soy sauce, flavored with garlic and shallots. It was a perfect accompaniment to steamed rice.



Kolak Pisang

Gado Gado (Vegetables in Peanut Sauce)

Gado Gado is a classic Indonesian salad that consists of blanched vegetables, such as cabbage, beansprouts, and carrots, served with a peanut sauce dressing. It was a hearty and flavorful dish that we all loved, and it was a great way to end our meal.


Kolak Biu Kolak Pisang (Boiled banana in palm sugar syrup)

This was a simple yet delicious dessert that consisted of boiled banana and sweet potato, served in a palm sugar syrup infused with pandan leaves and coconut milk. It was a perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess, and we all went back for seconds.


Nasi Campur

The Paon Bali Cooking Class was an unforgettable experience. We not only learned about the flavors and techniques of Balinese cuisine but also got to immerse ourselves in the local culture and hospitality. We left the class with full bellies, new culinary skills, and a newfound appreciation for the art of Balinese cooking.

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