I love Asian food. Actually, I love any food. With the exception of offal and brussels sprouts. Consequently, I jumped at the chance to learn more at a Chillout Bali cooking class held at a nearby villa complex. Three of us attended while our fellow travellers did their own thing. Michael enjoyed (or should I say endured?) a massage. If you’ve ever had a Balinese massage, you will know what I mean. The outdoor kitchen was well equipped, with plenty of working space
and the table was set in readiness for us to savour our concoctions.
Chef Putu had prepared our workstations,
the fresh produce was beautifully presented.
Trying to ignore the heat, we set about creating a feast.
Our competitive streak came to the fore with the art of folding and securing our pepes.
After a morning in the kitchen, we reaped our reward, starting with lumpia semarang, delicious spring rolls.
Next came soto ayam Madura, a chicken soup from the Indonesian island of Madura. It is more of a complete meal with broth, chicken and vegetables.
The main event was a work of art. Rendang sapi is one of my favourite Asian dishes, beef braised in spices, herbs and coconut cream. Our offering didn’t disappoint. The banana leaf package had been filled with a shrimp and mushroom mixture, folded and secured with toothpicks, then steamed to perfection. We couldn’t decide who had created the best pepes udang jamur. Accompanied by a tasty helping of sayur urab, rice and some vegetable art, we were most impressed.
Fortunately, the finale wasn’t too heavy. The lovely shade of green is from the aromatic pandanus leaves, used widely for desserts, cakes and drinks. Dadar gulung is filled with coconut and palm sugar, a perfectly sweet way to finish a fabulous meal.