On our last trip to Bali, we attended a Balinese cooking class. Umm.. More like I dragged Hulk to join me in a cooking class. Usually I am not one to ask for a company. I am perfectly comfortable with going places or doing things alone by myself but cooking, it’s different. I didn’t want to look like the stupidest one in the class for not knowing the cooking terms instructed by the teacher/the chef/the teacher chef(?). For instance what is to simmer a fish? The only simmer I know is shimmer which is an eye shadow type. I obviously needed a cheat sheet so I brought my BF.
If you wonder why take a cooking class if I know nothing about cooking, well I try to step outside of my comfort zone. However small the step is. Also, it was a weekly wish I failed to do before. I thought it would be a good thing for my soul and tummy. Decision made. Booking done. We went to the class.
It took place in Ubud, the green part of Bali, an hour ride from where we stayed in Seminyak. I was thrilled. Hulk was grumpy because he had to skip his breakfast. Once we reached we were offered homemade sweet potato fritters as breakfast. Thank God. He’s finally smiling again. And it was really really nice. I wouldn’t mind having it every now and then with my morning tea. In fact, I don’t mind having it now.
The class was conducted in a traditional Balinese house, well outside it, on the rice field. It was a beautiful morning to enjoy the nature.
At 10 AM we started the class. First we made yellow rice. Yellow rice is usually made and eaten during special events. The rice looks like a pile of gold, it is often served at parties and opening ceremonies as a symbol of good fortune and a part of the celebration. My mom doesn’t know how to cook it, and we only had once before at home, on my graduation day. Apparently it was fairly easy to cook. We just need to add turmeric and pandan leaves soaked in coconut milk to the half cooked rice then steamed it a little more to make it yellowish. It smelt nicer and enhanced the taste. I must share the recipe with her.
We then make chicken skewers. Indonesia is famous for its skewers, called Satay, mostly sold on the street. They would barbecue the skewers on the spot and served it with various sauces, peanut sauce being the most common one. I love Satay. Especially the lamb skewers. YUMMM !! Satay is a must try when you visit Bali or any other part of Indonesia.
Okay, back to the class. The chicken skewers were easy to make as well. I chopped the meat into cubes and mixed it with a bunch of chopped and grind ingredients like tamarind, garlic clovers, shallots, coriander seed, cumin seed and salt, also a bit of oil and water. It was my task to grind, and grind I did. I made extra effort because people were looking I might have shed a pound from all the grinding. What can I say, I like getting a gold star in the class.
We then let it marinate for 10 minutes before sticking it into the bamboo rod. It’s ready to be barbecued. Hulk got a part of barbecuing the skewers. Good. I prefer to stay away from all the smoke. While he was busy barbecuing, I made the sauce. This time it was my favorite Satay sauce, the spicy soya. I chopped chilis, shallots, and a little bit of tomato, mix it together with sweet soya sauce and voila it’s done.
The second dish was my favorite (have I said my favorite too many times?) It’s a roasted tuna wrapped in banana leaf. It’s called Tom here and Pepes in other parts of Indonesia. I needed to mix the shredded tuna with the ingredients, put a small portion of it on a banana leaf and wrapped it. Ingredients: ginger, garlic, chilies, lemon grass, salt, onion and other things which i forgot.
I prepared few of those before steaming it on a traditional stove. I couldn’t wait to eat this one. It smelt mouth watering-ly good.
Lastly was water spinach. A staple in Indonesian household meal. We cleaned the spinach. Stirred fried onion, shallots, shrimp paste, salt, extra chopped chilis and lastly the water spinach. Viola it’s done.
We sat in a traditional setting to enjoy the meal. I felt like I had more trouble bending and eating than cooking the dishes. Wow.. Maybe this means I have a talent in cooking! .. Or maybe not. Hulk didn’t compliment our cooking but at least he ate it.
Overall I had a good time. Learning, cooking and eating. I would definitely do it again. Maybe save up and try another cooking class? We finished up our lunch and head back to Seminyak for coffee. Home cooked lunch and good coffee. I am liking my holiday.
It’s a Thursday so go head and Treat Yo Self!