Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kelly's kitchen on the road: Bali

Let me start my first post with a little introduction. My husband Steve and I live in Chicago after spending some years living out west in Salt Lake City. While our life used to revolve around ski season and camping, now we live for running the lakefront path in summer and food. You know, we are pretty adaptable.

One of the things we love about Chicago is the ease in leaving this town via O'Hare (if you don't mind delays) and Midway (love it! love it!). Steve scored us some awesome tickets to Bali for October. The only down side: we had to stop in Houston, Moscow, and Singapore....but that's another story.

I can't say enough about what an awesome travel destination Bali is a fantastic place for travelers interested in a culinary and cultural experiences. We took advice from our friends and skipped our chance to drink with Aussies at the tourist party scene on the coast and headed directly for Ubud, the cultural center of the island.

Balinese food is absolutely delicious- flavors similar to Thailand, with a little of India mixed in, lots of vegetables, beautiful exotic fruits, seafood, chicken, and tofu. Hot sauce, called sambal, comes in many varieties and is served on the side.

All over the island, restaurants and private cooks offer Balinese cooking classes. Some start with market tours, some have more or less hands on cooking. We took a cooking class with Laka Leke Restaurant, which offers 6 different half day cooking courses for $35 per person. While this didn't include a market tour, it did have a fantastic teacher and tons of hands on experience.

The first person who signs up gets to pick the lesson of the day. Our teacher was I Wayan Sukariana ( who also helps arrange other tourist services.

Here was our menu:
Ayam Panggang Sambal Matah (Balinese Chicken Salad)
Nasi Gorang (Fried Rice)
Kare Ayam (Chicken Curry)
Balinese Prawns
Burbur Ketan Hitam (Black Rice Pudding)

One of the dishes we've adapated as our own is the Nasi Goreng. The key to this dish is the sweet soy- which brings an addictive quality of sweet, salty, and umami that delights everyone that we make this for.

The recipe is a little sketchy, but that's the point. This is a total leftovers dish- whatever vegatables or proteins you want to put in, just do it. I usually make it vegetarian and add lots of bok choy.

- 1 large bowl of cooled steamed rice
-1 thinly sliced chicken breast
- 1/2 carrot julienned
- 1 red chili (hot), seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 white onion, finely chopped
-1 egg
-1 Tbs sweet soy sauce
- 1/2 Tbs mushroom sauce
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 2 Tbs ketchup for coloring
- Thinly sliced nappa cabbage
- Bok Choy
- 1 to 2 green onions
-Sliced celery
- Fried shallots (optional, we have these but always forget them!)
- salt and pepper to taste

Heat a small amount of oil in a large saute pan or wok. Saute the garlic and onion until the onion is soft. Then add the chicken and scramble the egg. Add carrot, chili, green onion, celery, and cabbage and saute for a minute or so. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the rice and the sauce. Last, stir in the bok choy and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with fried shallots. Enjoy with some hot sauce (like sirarcha) on the side.


  1. What a delightful receipe. It has something good for everyone. The trip to Bali sounds delightful as well. We look foreward to trying to make this dish.

  2. This looks amazing Kelly. I am going to have to try making this dish. And the trip to Bali sounds incredible


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