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Authored by Suzette Barnett

A town located in central Bali, Ubud is popularly known as ‘The Center of Art of Culture’. It was described to me as a town made up of small villages, each of which specializes in a different creative art: silver and jewelry, basket weaving, oil painting, batik and textiles, and some seriously amazing wood carving.

I am so glad I didn’t hesitate when deciding where to spend most of my time in Bali; in fact, I extended my stay in Ubud and look forward to going back!

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Ubud, Bali.

Some of my most unforgettable experiences abroad involve taking classes which really involve you in some part of their culture, so I signed up for a cooking class in Ubud. I chose Cafe Wayan, a popular restaurant where I had been enjoying lunch almost daily.

For this class, they drove myself and eight other students through the gorgeous countryside and rice fields to the location of their cooking class; we would spend the afternoon in an open-air (covered) kitchen surrounded by beautiful gardens and rice fields.

Traditionally, Balinese cuisine is very spicy and the food prepared in this class did not hold back. Ingredients they use often include turmeric, red chillies, lemon grass, grated coconut and lime juice.  Yummm!

We prepared five beautiful traditional dishes:

Balinese Chicken Salad:

 

bali_cooking_class_meat_prep bali_cooking_class_spice_mix_for_meat

Chicken Satay Bali Style:

 

bali_cooking_class_prep_chicken_skewers_spicemix bali_cooking_class_chicken_satay_on_lemongrass_sticks

Vegetables with Coconut and Spices:

 

bali_cooking_class_veggies_peppers bali_cooking_class_shaved_coconut bali_cooking_class_spicy_veggie_mix

Steamed Fish and Shrimp in Banana Leaf:

 

bali_cooking_class_fresh_tuna_shrimp_lime_juice bali_cooking_class_spicy_shrimp_tuna bali_cooking_class_seafood_ready_to_steam bali_cooking_class_balinese_steamers

Fried Banana with Coconut:

 

bali_cooking_class_frying_bananas bali_cooking_class_coconut_banana_dessert

Everyone was able to contribute and of course enjoy the huge meal we had created. We were also treated to personal copies of the recipe book and a lovely gift of a handmade table setting for each person.

I would definitely recommend anyone visiting Ubud to take a cooking class, or any kind of cultural class for that matter!

California native, nature and wildlife lover, Suzette continues to travel the world supported by her career as a freelance Visual Effects artist and Travel Blogger at TrySomethingFun.com.

She seeks out the best deals to make her travel budget stretch as far as possible and loves wandering off the beaten path to find hidden gems of a town, island or city, always with camera in hand. Vibrant cultures are kind of her thing.

Featured Photo CC by mat’s eye

    35 Comments

  1. Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing Meg! The post looks great and I hope it encourages travelers to try experiences like this so they can learn more about the cultures they love 🙂

    • Thanks for the great guest post!

    • Definitely hit up a cooking class if you manage to get to Bali then! Or if you head on over to Suzette’s site I’m sure she can give you pointers as to the recipes!

  2. Balinese food is a-m-a-z-i-n-g! I would have loved to take a cooking class when I was in Ubud, but I definitely will the next time. I like the fact that they take you to the market and traditional villages to learn about the ingredients. They did the same when I took a class in Thailand.

    • I do hope you manage to get back to Ubud for a cooking class then! And agree, I love that the experience is an authentic one!

  3. Adding that to my list right now! I’ve never been to Bali but I’ve heard awesome things about Ubud, it sounds like a relaxing paradise! The food looks fantastic too!

    • With great scenery and phenomenal food you can’t really ever go wrong!!

  4. I love Indonesian food. Somehow it seems to easy to make but when home, I never get the flavour right. If I ever got back to Asia I’ll definitely sign up for a cooking class, to get into the vibe again 🙂

    • I’m with you – I can never replicate amazing local cuisine when I’m at home by myself! Can’t wait to take a cooking class after hearing about Suzette’s amazing experiences either!

  5. awesome! Great job !

    • Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  6. Hi Suzette,

    I am writing these words from just north of Ubud, in Klebang Moding. About a 15 minute motorbike ride north of town, or 10 minutes if I’m going faster than 30 KPH. We’ve seen Kecak dancing and even attended a Balinese wedding dressed in traditional garb – which is super rare, and what a treat it was – but hadn’t done the cooking class yet.

    I enjoyed a few Balinese treats from the warung out front a few hours ago, so I can see why it’d be so fun to join such a class. We’re in a local neighborhood. Heck, we’re actually in a Balinese compound surrounded by a farm and rice fields so this is as authentic as it gets.

    This morning a woman brought me nasi and coconut, such a sweet dish. We often get treats from our neighbors. Absolutely neat experience that we’ll never forget, and your pictures have given me more than a few ideas of what to order next at the local warungs.

    I see the chicken on a stick bit so much, especially from the guys who sell treats from their motorbikes, for the rice field workers. So much culture here; sorry we’re leaving in about 16 days but I’m happy to be heading home for December, then the holidays. Awesome pictures..

    • It sounds like you’re having such a brilliant experience in Bali Ryan – so glad to hear sampling the local cuisine is part of that! Sounds truly authentic too!

      Definitely if you get bored over the next 16 days consider taking a cooking class – sounds like it could just be a great way to top off your experience!

    • Great to hear from you Ryan. Glad you enjoyed the photos and were inspired by them! The Kecak dancing and wedding are some of the best ways to see the Balinese culture; sounds like you’re taking the time to really get immersed in it. When you mentioned the nasi and coconut breakfast, I could taste it! I loved breakfasts there! I hope you have a fantastic rest of your trip in Bali and I’ll be following your posts.

    • My mouth waters a little everytime I see the photos!

  7. Fun! I’ve always wanted to take a cooking class–it seems like such a great way to dig into a new culture and learn a skill to take home with you! Looks like a great time 🙂

    • Definitely consider booking one in the next destination you visit – they truly are a great way to spend some time while on vacation, and it’s always fun bringing the recipes home with you after!

  8. Hi Megan, Great post. I’m a big fan of cooking courses as a way to enrich your travel experience. I’ve only just started to experience that in South East Asia and reading your blog made me think how similar the food is around the region. Although there are variations the concepts and cooking styles are very similar. And I love lemongrass, lime leaves and ginger which all feature prominently. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Victoria – so glad you enjoyed it! So having experienced a fair bit of South East Asia you’d be a pro in one of these classes!

      Happy travels – so glad to hear you’re having a great time around Asia 🙂

  9. I loved the article, the food looks fantastic. What a great idea – immurse yourself in the local flavors and bring back more than just memories.

    • Recipes are definitely continued memories! And the best part is they don’t take up any space or luggage room to bring back with you!

    • Yay! Thanks for the feedback, so glad you enjoyed! I can’t wait to travel somewhere exotic with you.

  10. Looks like I should avoid Bali if I do not want to gain extra 5kg in 3 days! Ha ha ha Looks delicious and spicy!

    • Lol probably true :D! That was true for me when I visited Italy. My god I put on weight from the pizza, pasta and gelato binges!!

  11. I love taking cooking classes!! Try to take one in every country I visit!!
    great pictures btw!!

    • So glad to hear! They’re truly a great way to fully immerse yourself into a new culture/scene. Glad you enjoyed the post and pictures 🙂 Thanks Jacomijn!

  12. wow, that is a traditional dish. seemed very pleasant. I want to know, how the flavors of the cuisine? whether it is suitable for you who from a foreign country? it’s like making a Pecel. hahahaha you what i mind. thanks for the post. nice jobs.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Gabrielle 🙂 From Suzette’s account it sounds like the flavors are fairly spicy! I’m sure it’s suitable as long as you’re used to that kind of spice, otherwise may require a lot of water at the ready 🙂

  13. I love salty and spicy food. I’ll try to make this tommorrow.

    • Have fun! I love reproducing food I’ve found overseas once I get back home! Brings some of your trip back to life even though you may not be there 🙂

      Enjoy!

  14. Thanks for article! I loved the article, the food looks fantastic.

    • Glad you enjoyed it Tony! Hope you’ve been inspired to pursue a cooking class or two the next time you take a trip abroad 🙂

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