Bali is a foodie’s paradise, with a rich culinary history and a variety of delicious dishes to try. From the famed Ayam Betutu to the lesser-known Lawar, there’s no shortage of amazing Balinese dishes to feast on. The choices for Balinese dish from traditional recipes that have been passed down through generations to modern takes on classic dishes, the options are nearly endless. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 local Balinese dishes you must try on your next trip to the paradise island. Get ready to experience the flavours of Bali and indulge in some of the region’s tastiest dishes. Bon appétit!

Betutu: The Famous Balinese Roasted Chicken or Duck

According to legend, betutu was a favorite dish of royalty. It’s not hard to understand why, as the preparation of the dish is quite sophisticated. Whole chickens or ducks are typically used as the main ingredient and are stuffed with a complex blend of spices such as shallots, garlic, ginger, chili, peanuts, and more. The meal requires at least eight hours of preparation. However, the rich flavour in every bite makes it well worth the wait. You can find Ayam Betutu at most restaurants in Bali.


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Sate Lilit: The Delicious Minced Seafood Satay

Sate Lilit is a unique version of the popular South-East Asian dish, satay or sate. Traditional satay features skewered chunks of meat. Sate lilit, on the other hand, is made by wrapping minced meat around a bamboo or lemongrass stick. Tuna is typically used to make this Balinese dish, but some restaurants also offer chicken as an option. Unlike other types of sate, sate lilit has its flavour mixed into the meat during the mincing process. This Balinese dish is not typically served with a sauce, as the flavour is already infused into the meat.


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Lawar: A Traditional Balinese Meat Dish

Lawar is a Balinese dish that consists of chopped meat mixed with a variety of green vegetables and grated coconut. The meat options include beef, chicken, duck, pork, turtle, or a combination of these. In Bali, there are two types of lawar: red and white. The red lawar gets its colour from adding animal blood, which imparts a distinct savoury flavour. White lawar, in contrast, does not contain blood and frequently substitutes meat with jackfruit. Lawar is often served at celebrations and special occasions, as it’s a dish that’s reserved for special guests.


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Babi Guling: The Famous Balinese Suckling Pig

Babi Guling is one of Bali’s most famous dishes and a must-try for any tourist. It’s a roasted Balinese suckling pig that’s marinated in a variety of Balinese spices. This Balinese dish is typically served with rice, pork sausage, and urab. Aside from that, it is also served with large pieces of meat. The meat is spice-rubbed and has crispy, crunchy, and flavorful skin which has been cooked to perfection through hours of slow-roasting.

Be Pasih: Balinese Fish Curry

Be Pasih is a delicious and uniquely Balinese fish curry that’s a must-try for any Balinese foodie. This dish is made with a variety of Balinese spices, like coriander and turmeric. It is often served with rice or Indonesian rice. You can find Be Pasih at most restaurants in Bali, although it’s best to try it at a local place to really get the authentic taste.


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Urab: The Delicious Balinese Salad

Urab (also known as Urap) is a traditional vegetable salad with a coconut-based dressing that is commonly found in Balinese cuisine. The salad is made by mixing various steamed or raw vegetables, such as green beans, cabbage, bean sprouts, spinach, and cassava leaves. The salad is then mixed with a dressing made from freshly grated coconut, which is mixed with a blend of spices and herbs to create a rich and flavorful taste.

The dressing is typically made from a blend of chilli, shallot, garlic, ginger, and lime juice, which gives it a tangy and slightly spicy flavour. You can enjoy the salad as a standalone dish or as a side dish. It is both flavorful and nutritious, providing a good source of vitamins and minerals. Urab is usually served with rice dishes or grilled meats, such as chicken or fish.

Pepes Ikan: An All-Time Favorite Balinese Fish Dish

Pepes Ikan is an all-time favourite Balinese fish dish that’s often served with steamed rice and a Balinese Sambal. This dish is made using a variety of Balinese spices, like coriander and turmeric, and is served with fried chilli peppers on the side. You can find Pepes Ikan at most restaurants in Bali.

You can find this Balinese dish at most restaurants in Bali. However, for the most authentic experience, it’s best to try it at a local warung (small restaurant). These places often use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and traditional cooking methods to create a truly authentic taste of Balinese dish. Some warungs also offer a variety of fish options like snapper, grouper, and mackerel to make the dish. Pepes Ikan is a delicious and satisfying dish that is perfect for fish lovers.

Bubur Mangguh: Balinese Porridge with Urab

Bubur mangguh is a traditional Balinese rice porridge dish hailing from Tedjakula village. It is made with rice porridge, peanuts, chilli peppers, shredded chicken, and urab, giving it a unique flavour. The porridge is cooked with coconut oil, salt, and bay leaves. can be enjoyed on its own, but additional spices like shallot, garlic, candlenut, chilli pepper, burnt turmeric, pepper, and salt are often added to enhance the taste. Typically served as a breakfast dish, it can be found at street vendors early in the morning and at some restaurants throughout the day.


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Nasi Jinggo: The Traditional Balinese Rice Dish

Despite its small serving size, this Balinese dish plays a significant role in the daily diet of locals. Nasi Jinggo comprises rice, vegetables, a side dish, and condiments. What makes it unique is all wrapped together in a banana leaf. The meal is typically affordable at only Rp 5.000, and the side dish options can include shredded chicken, egg, or noodles. Nasi jinggo is commonly sold by vendors on motorcycles parked on the side of main streets. You can find Nasi Jinggo everywhere in Bali and the vendors are usually open at night.

Nasi Campur Ayam

Balinese Nasi Campur, which literally translates to “mixed rice,” is a popular Balinese dish among locals and visitors alike. It is commonly consumed for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. The dish is similar to a pick-and-mix selection, featuring an assortment of Indonesia’s best bites. Authentically good Nasi Campur typically includes Ayam Panggang (grilled chicken) or Ayam Betutu, White Lawar, Sate Lilit, and a variety of hot sambals. To experience the best Nasi Campur, look for buffet-style warungs that allow customers to select from dishes displayed in glass cabinets.

Balinese Dish: The Unique Flavour of Bali

Although there are many Balinese dishes to try, these are among the most popular and well-known. You can find most of these at restaurants and street-side vendors. although certain ingredients and cooking methods differ from place to place.

Now you know which local Balinese dishes you must try on your next trip to Bali. Whatever you decide to eat, you won’t be disappointed by the unique and tasty flavours that Bali has to offer. So, get ready to indulge in some amazing Balinese dishes and experience the rich and unique flavours that Bali has to offer.

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