Balinese Vs. Indonesian Food: What Sets Balinese Food Apart From Indonesian Cuisine?

Indonesia is a huge country with over 17 thousand islands and each one has its own culture, language, and cuisine.

Bali is one of the most famous islands in Indonesia and Balinese cuisine is also worth an investigation.

So what exactly sets Balinese cuisine apart from Indonesian cuisine? We will take a look at some of the most typical differences in this article.

Let’s check it out!

What is special about Balinese food?

Bali is an island paradise with warm weather and beaches galore.

There is so much more to Bali than just its picturesque setting that you can see on the Internet.

Its cuisine is rich and unique too.

Balinese cuisine has been not only developed by the indigenous people but also influenced by other Indonesian regional cuisines, as well as Chinese and Indian.

The result is a unique variety of culinary wonders with recipes that use ingredients like curry powder, soy sauce, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

Balinese people are very creative when it comes to their cooking methods.

They typically cook outdoors over an open fire using coconut oil or palm oil for frying (due to its high smoking point).

This method gives Balinese dishes a smoky flavor while still keeping them moist on the inside because they’re not cooked all the way through.

It’s a tricky approach that takes some time to master but is ultimately worth the effort and gives Balinese food an alluring taste you won’t find anywhere else outside this island.

There are also many festivals and celebrations in Bali, therefore, their food is very festive and flavorful.

This is also a popular tourist destination, so Balinese cuisine is spread through courses in cooking schools to plenty of tourists.

What is special about Indonesian food?

Indonesian food is a melting pot of cultures and flavors.

It has spread over centuries and grown to be one of the most diverse cuisines not only in Asia but also in the world.

The country’s culinary traditions are varied as each region offers something different, from spicy curries to iced desserts.

There are many flavors and cooking methods here.

Some examples are rendang, sate ayam (chicken satay), nasi goreng (fried rice), and bakso (meatball soup).

Indonesians use a lot of spices, such as cumin, coriander seed, turmeric root, and galangal root.

Since this island country has a tropical climate, its popular spices and ingredients are coconut products, nutmegs, lemongrass, and seafood.

What are the differences between Balinese food and Indonesian food?

Although Bali is an island of Indonesia, its cuisine has some different things from the national cuisine.

Here are some typical differences between Balinese food and Indonesian food:

Balinese food is usually spicier than Indonesian food

Balinese cooking uses more heating agents like chili peppers, lemongrass, or curry powder in their recipes.

Therefore, their dishes are usually spicier than Indonesian food, which is milder.

Coconut milk is typically used in Balinese cuisine, while other Indonesian regional cuisines prefer a sour taste from vinegar

Indonesians, especially Balinese people, have great access to tropical fruits, including coconuts.

Balinese cuisine uses a lot of coconut milk or coconut shells to cook their food.

On the other hand, not all Indonesian regional cuisines use this tropical ingredient, but they mainly use vinegar in their cooking to add a sour taste.

Beef is forbidden in Balinese cuisine whereas it is a staple ingredient in Indonesian cuisine

The majority of inhabitants in Bali island are Hindus.

As we all know that Hindus consider the cow a sacred animal, therefore, eating beef is forbidden.

So instead, they mainly consume pork, chicken, vegetables, and seafood.

Meanwhile, beef is an important food in Indonesian cuisine although their beef consumption is still much lower than other kinds of protein like chicken or fish.

What are the similarities between Balinese food and Indonesian food?

There are definitely many similarities between Balinese food and Indonesian food because Bali is a part of Indonesia’s territory.

Rice is a staple in Balinese cuisine and Indonesian cuisine

Rice is the main grain throughout Indonesia.

It is served in every meal of Indonesian families in general and among Balinese people in particular.

Rice can be steamed or stir-fried with other ingredients like vegetables, meat, and seafood.

Both cuisines feature food from different groups

Indonesia is a country with favorable natural conditions, therefore, they have access to different kinds of food.

So no matter what Indonesian island you are on, chances are you can have grains, meat, vegetables, seafood, and fruits in every meal.

Bali food and Indonesian food are usually healthy and nutritious

In general, Bali food or Indonesian food is healthy because they make use of fresh ingredients that can be found in their islands.

Moreover, these ingredients come from all food groups to make sure that their meals will be packed with various essential nutrients.

Which one is better?

In conclusion, Balinese cuisine and Indonesian cuisine are relatively similar, but they also have some unique features that set them apart.

If you are in the area, take some time for a culinary adventure and enjoy both of these cuisines.

Otherwise, just look for some authentic recipes on the Internet if you are in the mood for Asian-inspired dishes.

Let us know which kind of food between Balinese and Indonesian food you prefer after trying both!