Eat like a Local in Bali
Bali offers a hundred things to do to cross off your bucket list. Especially the explorers and adventurers among you will not fall short.
Whether you are the relaxed kind of person who enjoys a walk through a green rice field or whether you are an adrenaline junky who is constantly looking for the perfect wave to ride or highest cliff to jump off. But the biggest adventure is yet to come: Indonesian Street Food. Wanna eat like a local? Here are some tips to get around and survive.
Search for the "five legs"
Search for what? Yes you read it right, we also cannot make any sense out of this description but the traditional street food sellers in Indo are called ‘kaki lima’ or ‘five legs’ and are vendors that sell their food from some genius construction on the back of their motorbike, a tent or push cart that mostly turn up once the sun settles in the evening. Artistic transport in Bali: What is that?
Highlights of Indonesian Street Food
Starting from less than a dollar!
What’s inside these small banana leaf boxes?
Our all time favourite for the little hunger in between: Nasi Jinggo, a small rice snack which you can find displayed on the sidewalk by street sellers. Wrapped with banana leaf or brown paper it contains a small portion of rice, shredded fish or chicken, fried noodle, boiled egg and sambal (spicy chilly sauce).
You can get it for as little as Rp 5000.
What the heck is ‘Lalapan’?
Lalapan it written everywhere! What does it mean? It is the word for fresh vegetables that are usually served with duck (‘bebek’), chicken (‘ayam’), catfish (‘Lele’) and not to forget rice and chilly sauce on the side! However, don’t expect a huge amount of veggies on your plate. Although the name is lalapan the servings of vegetables are rather small.
Prices range start from Rp 15.000.
I saw something on the street that looks like a thick pancake, should I risk it and try?
Hell yeah! “OMG, why did I never try this before!” will be probably your words when you are eating your first ‘Terang Bulan’ which is an Indonesian thick pancake with various kinds of toppings. Translated it means “Moon Light”, because of its round shape. This delicious piece of heaven is mostly available in the evening. Besides the pancake you can also find ‘Martabak’ at the seller, which is a crunchy pan fried pie, filled with egg and other ingredients of your choice.
Price range starts from Rp 8.000.
Satay – Just follow your nose!
Bali is famous for its pork dishes. So it comes only naturally that Satay is one of the most popular street foods. Try the one at Glora Trisakti night market in Seminyak (How to bargain?). you can also find ‘soto ayam’ (chicken soup), ‘bakso’ (meatballs) and mixed iced fruit ice dessert. If you don’t like pork, chicken or fish are great alternatives. Just follow your nose. The smokey smell will make you hungry instantly.
Price range from Rp 15.000.
… you didn’t cry over a sambal overdose! ‘Sambal’ – spicy chilli sauce – is served with almost every dish. Indonesian people just love to eat ‘pedas’ (spicy). Not into spicy food? Simply order: “Tidak pedas” (not
Tips & Tricks
Bungkus: Take Away
You don’t feel like eating your meal at the local market, but rather in you nice and comforting Homestay? Ask for ‘Bungkus’ (wrapped in banana leaves) to get your meal packed for take away!
Beware: Getting ‘bungkus’ in a different context is also an expression for getting laid. Use it carefully!
Eating With Fingers
–fun fun fun! Different countries – different eating habits. Chinese prefer chopsticks, western countries use a knife and a fork and Indonesians use the right hand. It isn’t dirty, it is super easy and fun: Try it! How to do it? By pinch all your five fingers together, and use it like a clam for the food, bring them close to your mouth and, ta-da you eat like local now. You think it’s weird? Clichés about Indonesia: We are all full of shit!
Indonesian food will always find its way to you. Too lazy to go out from your Homestay or move your behind from your towel on the beach? Don’t worry, Indonesian food will always come to you! Be it at the beach with all the flying vendors who sell ‘lumpia’ (spring rolls), fresh fruit or even ‘mie goreng’ (friend noodles) or directly at your Homestay if it is situated more locally: Keep your ears open for sounds that indicate a certain type of dish, for example ‘jagung’ (sweet corn), burgers and so many more!
Will I get Bali Belly?
Bali belly is indeed not pleasant to have. There is a possibility that you might get from local street food, drinks or spicy food. But just bear in mind that is not only about the food hygiene but also about what your body and digestive system is used to. Maybe the spices used in Indonesia are simply too much for you to handle, which is why we suggest to try the food in little steps and to use your common sense to evaluate the hygiene of a street food seller. Yet don’t be too afraid. Traveling is all about exploring new things such as experiencing new tastes. Learn more about health concerns in Indonesia.
What are you waiting for?
Keep your eyes open when exploring the area of your Homestay. Follow your nose and be prepared for a sensation of flavours with Indonesian Street Food.
Life is too short for ordinary holidays. Meet the locals and find your private low budget bungalow out of over 1.000 Homestays all over the place. Find places from Amed to the East Coast, Medewi and West Bali, Lovina and North Bali, and not forget to mention the Central Mountains and beautiful rice fields of Ubud! Support the local culture in and turn your stay into an unforgettable memory. Simply book your bungalow online and feel like home with HSH Stay. Check it out!