Five Reasons To Try a Cooking Class in Bali

two ladies joining Balinese cooking class in ubud

The volcanic island of Bali is well known for its vibrant and mouth-watering cuisine, drawing travellers and foodies from all corners of the world to sample its famous spicy yet sweet delights. Incorporating bold flavours from Chinese and Indian cultures, Balinese dishes often contain a unique mix of fragrant spices known as ‘Base Genep’ or ‘Base Gede’, and the flavours are truly tantalising. 

Aside from filling up on these exquisite dishes at one of the many authentic eateries on the island, the best way to experience the food for yourself is to try a cooking class. In keeping with the friendly, sharing attitude of the islanders, cooking is considered to be a group event in Bali. Therefore, cooking classes in Bali are a popular activity for travellers keen to learn the art of Balinese cuisine. 

Here are five top reasons to try a cooking class in Bali.

traditional way to make peanut sauce

Learn new skills

Learning how to use new spices, herbs and ingredients to create the depth of flavours associated with Balinese cuisine is a wonderful opportunity. Learning new cooking skills on the island means that you’ll be able to take a little bit of Bali home with you and recreate the memories of your visit for years to come.  Plus, once back home you’ll be able to delight your friends and family with your new talents.

Make new friends

If you’re a solo traveller, the island of Bali is a wonderful place to meet like minded people and make new friends. By joining a cookery class, you’ll team up with others who also enjoy learning new skills and opening their minds to new cultures. Maybe you’ll find a new group to relax on the islands’ idyllic beaches with, or someone to hike into the depths of the Monkey Forest of Ubud with.

Discover vegan cooking

Bali is one of the best places in Southeast Asia for vegan travellers, as it’s where tempeh originates from. Tempeh is made from fermented soy-beans, and is full of nutritional and probiotic qualities. Many Balinese dishes are created with tempeh or tofu, and are already vegan by design. 

Be sure to try the simple, yet delicious, dish famously known as gado-gado, where blanched vegetables and tempeh are served with a fresh peanut sauce. Or try your hand at creating mie goreng (fried noodles), with endless flavour possibilities depending on the ingredients you choose to throw into the pan.

Step back in time

Rice is considered a gift from the Goddess Dewi Sri in Bali, and the beautiful terraces growing white, red and black rice are an amazing place to absorb the soul of this island. Sustainability and organic produce production are very important to the farmers of Bali, and they still use ancient methods of irrigation known as ‘subak’. Some cooking classes come with a mesmerising tour of these age-old rice farms, where you can see first hand how this staple food is curated. 

Experience authentic island life

Many cooking classes run not just as a stand alone lesson, but as a day-long experience. Beginning with a trip to a local market, you can experience the rich sensation of picking fresh vegetables and selecting fresh spices and seafood for your dish. You’ll be spoilt for choice amidst the vast array of stalls bursting with fruits and vegetables of every colour, including exotic delicacies from the local islands. 

Manytimes, it’s the farms themselves that offer group cooking classes, so you’ll get to feel an authentic sense of what living on the island is like. The menu is usually diverse, including soups, rice dishes, kebabs, sweet treats and salads – so you’re sure to find something to whet your appetite. 

What are you waiting for?

If a trip to Bali is on your horizons, it’s well worth booking yourself in for a cooking class during your stay. If you can peel yourself away from the sandy coves, blissful forests and hidden waterfalls, a day spent cooking is a relaxing and therapeutic way to enjoy the island. With new friends to be found, new skills to be learnt, and lifelong memories to be made – cooking on this stunning island is an experience not to be missed.

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