This Balinese cookery experience was quite fun, held within a lovely open air courtyard, the unobstructed views of tropical forest made a lovely backdrop. The entertainment value of the whole experience was quite high due to the hosts character filled performance, one of my favourite things was the hosts’ use of the word “honey” she used it as a collective and individual greeting, at times in quite a humorous way, she was quite the pro.
The cooking lesson itself was more hands on than some cooking classes I’ve done and I found the class to be really well run with a smart menu selection and work flow. The lesson demonstrated the flexibility and range of a two
Balinese foundation sauces, providing a simple and practical working knowledge of these sauces to all participants who could pay close enough attention.
There was plenty going on for most of the time, as our host and her well trained team led the 20 or so participants through the class. They had us working together slicing vegetables, grinding pastes, stirring and cooking collectively to quite quickly produce the meal. I thought this culinary experience to be really great value food based entertainment.
All students were given copies of the recipes we were about to make before
we set about preparing all the dishes at the same time, collectively working our way through all the chopping, grinding, stirring and cooking, keeping components for the same dishes together.
The downside of this professional approach is that we never produced a completed dish from start to finish ourselves. It was fine for me, I could follow what was going on everywhere in the room without much problem and understood what was happening behind the scenes, where the staff handled the trickier tasks. My partner often asked for me to explain what dish the component we were preparing was for.
Collectively we made quite a few dishes, starting with,
Sup Jamur – Clear mushroom and vegetable soup.
Flavoured with lime, lemongrass and chilli, a little like hot and sour (tom yum) soup from Thailand.
We then moved on to creating,
Bumbu kuning – Basic yellow sauce.
This is one of the foundation sauces of Balinese cookery and was then used to make.
Kare Ayam – Chicken and coconut curry.
Punchy and rich with a thin sauce.
Pepes ikan – Tuna steamed in banana leaf.
We wrapped this ourselves with the staff prepping the fish, the sauce absorbing into and complimenting the fish well.
Sate lilit ayam – Minced chicken grilled on bamboo sticks served with peanut sauce.
The curry sauce used to flavour the minced chicken, we then formed the mince onto sticks before they were fired over coals by the staff. I had hoped for more smoky flavour but enjoyed the satay with the rich peanut sauce.
The peanut sauce served with the satay was the other foundation sauce we were taught, it was also used to make,
Gado Gado – vegetables in peanut sauce. Unlike a restaurant version we tossed the vegetable together to make an incredibly tasty salad.
In case the above wasn’t enough food the lesson also included,
Jakut urab – coconut and snake bean salad.
A simple dish that was neither interesting or offensive, I assume it was added to increase the number of dishes offered in the class.
Tempe kering – Tempe fried in sweet soy sauce.
This was the first time I had ever eaten tempe and I thoroughly enjoyed it, the nutty taste really developed well when fried in oil before it was tossed in Kecap manis, Indonesian dark sweet soy sauce.
I’m sorry to say that I don’t have great images of the meal as it was served communally and I was not quick enough to capture clear images in the failing evening light.