Simplified Guide: 14 Must-Try Balinese Dishes for Your 2023 Trip

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Nasi Ayam, Fried Rice, Gado-Gado, Turtle Soup, and Rice Porridge – Have no idea what we’re talking about? Well, this time we’re discussing food. The delectable Balinese cuisine that offers an astonishing variety of indulgences. Bali, an island with diverse cultures, can offer tourists equally diverse cuisines. If you have a Bali trip planned, make sure to try the incredible dishes on our list below. They include the finest vegetarian and non-vegetarian culinary delights of Bali.

A myriad of traditional Balinese food that must be tried

14 Finest Balinese Cuisines

Balinese cuisine offers numerous options. It’s difficult to choose the best food in Bali. However, there are three dishes that every non-vegetarian tourist in Bali has unanimously praised. Vegetarians, don’t be disheartened, the vegetarian Balinese cuisine is just as delicious as the non-vegetarian dishes.

Check out the ones listed below!

  • Skewered Minced Meat
  • Nasi Ayam And Mixed Rice
  • Fried Rice
  • Gado-Gado
  • Mixed Vegetable Salad
  • Tofu And Tempeh
  • Tuna With Spicy Matah Sauce
  • Spicy Shrimp
  • Turtle Soup
  • Roast Duck And Chicken
  • Rice Porridge
  • Sweet Tempeh
  • Luwak Coffee
  • Daluman

1. Skewered Minced Meat

Marinated, skewered, and grilled meats. It is served with spicy sauce, vegetables, and coconut milk.

Shots of Sate Lilit being cooked and served

Ingredients: Ground meat (beef/ chicken/ fish/ pork/ turtle), coconut, coconut milk, vegetables, and spices.Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: The meat is wrapped around bamboo or lemongrass sticks and grilled. Sauces are usually served on the side.

2. Nasi Ayam And Mixed Rice

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A taste of exotic and spicy flavor in this Bali cuisine- Nasi Ayam and Nasi Campur

Chicken rice with vegetables and spicy sauce.

Ingredients: White rice, traditional Balinese seasonings, choice of meat (duck, pork, or chicken), assorted vegetables, spicy sambal matahPreparation and Dressing/Toppings: The dish consists of a generous portion of meat served with a variety of vegetables and meat preparations.

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3. Nasi Goreng

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Nasi Goreng - a delicacy from Balinese cuisine - served with fried egg

This is the Indonesian version of fried rice.

Ingredients: Steamed rice, scrambled eggs, mixed meat (beef, chicken, shrimp, anchovies, lamb, crab), green peas, onions, sweet soy sauce, hot chili saucePreparation and Dressing/Toppings: All the ingredients are stir-fried and then combined with steamed rice along with the sauces. Sliced tomatoes and/or cucumber, fried shallots, fish crackers, and mixed pickle are popular toppings for Nasi Goreng.

4. Gado-Gado:

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Gado-Gado serves as an exquisite potpourri of steamed veggies

Gado Gado, a traditional Balinese dish, is similar to a salad. It is enjoyed lukewarm or cold, served with rice, and is a must-try vegetarian dish in Bali for Indian travelers. It combines steamed mixed vegetables with a peanut sauce.

Ingredients: Fresh vegetables such as potatoes, beans, bell peppers, and tomatoesPreparation and Dressing/Toppings: A mix of lightly steamed fresh vegetables, Gado Gado is garnished with fried shallots and sliced tomatoes, and served with fragrant peanut sauce.

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5. Sayur Urab

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Sayur Urab serves as a perfect vegetarian food in Bal

Urab is the ultimate, most iconic, traditional vegetable masterpiece in Bali.

Ingredients: Vegetables like lengthy green beans and Chinese bean sprouts grated coconut bay leavesPreparation and Dressing/Toppings: A traditional mixture of finely chopped/shredded veggies, it is created by simmering coconut and spices, adding them to partially cooked veggies and thoroughly blending it. Add some spice with sambal made of crispy golden-fried shallots, galangal, chili peppers, and garlic.

6. Tahu And Tempe

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A popular food in Bali - Tahu and Tempe - served with sauce

Another vegetarian dish in Bali, Tahu (tofu) and Tempe (fermented soy cake), comes in various preparations, some as savory snacks, and some as accompaniments and even main course dishes.

Ingredients: Tofu fermented soy cake coconut water salt and spices coriander garlicPreparation and Dressing/Toppings: Sliced tofu, along with fermented soy cake is cooked in a pot with coconut water and spices. Alternatively, it can be fried, with or without stuffing. Enjoy with your choice of sauce.

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7. Tuna Sambal Matah

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New tuna is coated with basa gede (Bumbu Bali) and seared in a hot skillet.

Components: Tuna lemon juice steamed white rice sambal matah

Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: The tuna fillets are sprinkled with lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper and grilled to desired doneness. It is then served hot with steamed white rice, and sambal matah on the side.


8. Sambal Udang

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The tuna sambal matah is a popular Balinese cuisine amongst those who love seafood

The most outstanding dish in Bali seafood is a plate of prawns in spicy sambal sauce.

Components: Large prawns spicy sambal (made of sautéed onions, green pepper, and red chili peppers) tamarind pastePreparation and Dressing/Toppings: Large prawns are cooked in spicy sambal and tamarind paste. It is garnished with cilantro leaves and coconut milk is employed as a topping.

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Sambal Udang is a spicy dish of prawns

9. Serapah Penyu

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Turtles are solely obtained and consumed for significant ritual occasions such as Galungan, Kuningan, wedding ceremonies, a cremation or a tooth filing ceremony.

Components: Turtle meat (without the shell) herbs of choice chiliPreparation and Dressing/Toppings: The turtle is euthanized with a knife, the meat is extracted while the turtle is still alive. The meat is boiled in a large pot with herbs and spices, and then grilled, sliced and served.

Serapah penyu

10. Bebek And Ayam Betutu

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Betutu is a well-known Balinese favorite, comprising of a duck filled with traditional spices. It is a flavorful and tender delight with all meat easily detachable from the bones.

Ingredients: Duck, cassava leaves, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, banana leavesPreparation and Dressing/Toppings: The duck is steamed for 1-2 hours and then grilled. The carved duck is then served with steamed white rice and sambal sauces.

11. Bubur Sumsum

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Bebek and Ayam Betutu is a traditional food in bali made of duck meat

Its sweetness implies that it is frequently consumed as a dessert, but also serves as a breakfast or snack option too. The general unavailability of many of the ingredients involved, especially the black rice, in Western food stores, implies that this dish truly embodies the authentic Bali cuisine.

Ingredients: White and black sticky rice, coconut milk or cream, palm sugar, and pandan leaves.Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: A mixture of rice flour is cooked in boiling coconut milk with pandan leaves, until it becomes thick. It is usually served hot with more coconut cream and banana slices.

The black rice pudding is a sweet Bali cuisine

Suggested Read: Know All About Bali – Frequently Asked Questions From Travelers

12. Tempe Manis

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Tempeh in a sweet and spicy sauce.

Ingredients: Tempeh, sweet palm sugar saucePreparation and Dressing/Toppings: Small pieces of Tempeh are fried until crispy, then they are tossed in a sweet palm sugar sauce and mixed with fried garlic and chili peppers.

13. Kopi Luwak

Tempeh manis is a popular sweet dish in Bali

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Also known as civet coffee or dung coffee. Why-

Weasel-like creatures called civets are released into coffee plantations at night to satisfy their preference for consuming only high-quality coffee berries. The civets consume the coffee berry, but they only defecate the coffee beans. Their feces filled with coffee beans are gathered and washed. The harvested coffee beans are then roasted over a fire.

Kopi Lawak is the most expensive coffee

The outcome-

The most costly coffee in the world. A cup of luwak coffee in London supposedly costs about 40 pounds ($65). On Bali, you can enjoy a cup at a luwak plantation for about $4.


A smooth cup of coffee with surprisingly low acidity. Also, it may help prevent asthma, Parkinson’s disease, colon cancer, and diabetes.

Ingredients: Coffee beans excreted from a stable of civet “cats”Preparation and Dressing/Toppings: The harvested coffee beans from the feces of the civets are roasted over fire and served hot with milk.

14. Daluman

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A truly sweet trio, the traditional drink essentially has 3 layers: dark green gelatinous layer from the leaf, a second caramel honey-colored layer from the coconut milk, and a golden brown sediment from the brown sugar.

Ingredients: Daluman leaves coconut milk brown palm syrup caramel cold waterPreparation and Dressing/Toppings: The ingredients are boiled and then cooled before blending them together with cold water. It is then served with additional mint leaves used for garnishing.

Iced Daluman serves as a quintessential representative of the traditional drinks of Bali

Further Read: 25 Countries With 25 Of The World’s Yummiest Breakfast

Overall, there is much to enjoy in Balinese cuisine, whether you prefer sweet or savory, meat or vegetarian, fine dining or quick takeaways. Let us know your favorite from the list! And if you want to experience these delicacies in real life, then plan a trip to Bali with TravelTriangle and go for it!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Balinese Cuisine

What do Balinese people eat in Bali?

Bali food is influenced by Indian, Portugues, and Chinese flavors. People in Bali consume both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Beef is renowned on the island. You will find it in soups and other preparations. The seafood is incredible and so fresh. You should give it a try. Meat is often served with a variety of vegetables. Pork, shrimp, and beef are enjoyed a lot. Balinese people also enjoy fried noodles.

What food should you avoid in Bali?

If you are not accustomed to eating pork or beef, it is best you refrain from trying dishes with them. Also, avoid consuming food from street vendors. It could be unhygienic. Rare and undercooked meat should be avoided at all costs since it could cause stomach infections.

How much does a meal cost in Bali?

In an inexpensive restaurant, the cost of a meal can be as low as INR 100 per person. A meal at McDonald’s in Bali costs 250 bucks. In a mid-range restaurant, the bill for two people will amount to around INR 800-1000. Beer costs around INR 150 bucks.

Can you drink tap water in Bali?

No, it is better to avoid tap water in Bali to avoid a serious case of Bali belly. Bali is not one of those places where you will find filtered water coming through taps in hotels and houses like in developed nations. You should always opt for filtered bottled water or carry a filter water bottle if you are an environmentalist and dislike buying plastic bottles. It will also come in handy during sightseeing in Bali.

What is the traditional Balinese food?

Lawar, Bebek Betutu are some of the traditional foods in Bali.

What do they eat for breakfast in Bali?

Nasi Goreng, which is a version of fried rice, is eaten as breakfast in Bali.

Is vegetarian food available in Bali?

Yes, vegetarian food is available in Bali.

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