What meat do Balinese eat? Do They Eat Pork or Beef?

Want to know about what meat do Balinese eat? Get ready for some delicious food that will leave you wanting more. The Balinese cuisine offers a wide variety of tasty choices.

Do Balinese people eat meat?

Yes! Balinese people love to eat meat. They have many tasty dishes made from meat like roasted pork, chicken, and duck. They use special spices and fresh ingredients to make the meat really delicious. When you eat Balinese meat, you will feel like you are in food heaven. Get ready for a tasty journey into the world of Balinese meat dishes.

Balinese Cuisine: A Fusion of Flavors

Balinese cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors that reflects the rich cultural heritage of the island of Bali.

What meat do Balinese eat
Nasi Kuning one of Indonesian Iconic Cuisine

Influenced by Indian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern culinary traditions, Balinese dishes showcase a harmonious blend of aromatic spices, fresh ingredients, and locally sourced meats. Every dish is a tasty adventure for everyone, with lots of different flavors to enjoy.

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History of Balinese Cuisine

Balinese cuisine has a long history influenced by different cultures and trade routes. Over time, Balinese chefs learned to mix traditional cooking with foreign influences, creating their own special food.

The use of aromatic spices like turmeric, different types of gingers, aromatic seeds, and lemongrass adds depth to the dishes, while fresh fish, seafood, pork, and poultry remain essential components of the Balinese diet.

More details about Balinese cuisine from Wikipedia

Ingredients in Balinese Cuisine

At the heart of Balinese cuisine lies the essential meats that play a significant role in many dishes.

What meat do Balinese eat
Bali’s Most Famous Babi Guling (Roasted Pig)

Do Balinese eat pork?

Yes! Pork is important in Balinese food culture and is used in famous dishes like Babi Guling and various satays. In addition to pork, the Balinese people typically consume fish, chicken, or duck. These meats are skillfully combined with aromatic spices to create flavor profiles that are both bold and complex.

Traditions, Serving, and Outlets

Preparing and serving Balinese cuisine is a special tradition for the Balinese people.

What meat do Balinese eat
“mebat” is cooperation and working together to prepare food

They think that how the food is made and shown can affect the spirits and gods of the island. You can find Balinese dishes in different kinds of places like traditional restaurants, family-owned warungs, or food stalls. Each place gives you a special experience and shows the island’s culture.

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Meat Staples in Balinese Cuisine

Balinese cuisine revolves around a few staple meats, each contributing to a wide array of mouthwatering dishes. Pork, being a favorite among Balinese people, takes center stage in festive dishes like Babi Guling. Chicken and duck are also popular choices, featured in dishes like Bebek Betutu and Ayam Betutu.

Balinese people like to eat seafood and fish. They use them in traditional dishes like satay or pepes. They also use lots of spices and fresh vegetables to make the food taste and feel good.

What about beef? Do Balinese eat beef?

Yes, beef is not as popular in Bali as other meats, but it is still used in dishes like beef satay (called sate sapi) and beef soup (called rawon sapi).

In Bali, priests and holy men typically refrain from eating beef or any other type of red meat. Bali is a popular tourist spot with lots of food options from different places. Some dishes, like Rendang, have beef in them. Although beef is not usually in traditional Balinese food, you can still find it in some places.

Traditional Balinese Meat Dishes

Babi Guling

What meat do Balinese eat
babi guling genteng jumbo

Babi Guling, also known as Balinese whole roasted pig, is an iconic dish that holds significant cultural and spiritual value in Bali. This succulent dish takes center stage during ceremonies and celebrations, symbolizing prosperity and togetherness.

The whole pig and its insides are seasoned with a spice paste made from a blend of aromatic spices called Bumbu Bali. The pig is then slowly roasted over an open fire, resulting in tender meat with a crispy skin that delights the taste buds.

Bebek Betutu

What meat do Balinese eat
slowly cooked chicken betutu dish

Bebek Betutu, another treasured Balinese dish, features roasted Balinese duck marinated in a flavorful spice paste made from a harmonious blend of spices. The marinated duck is then wrapped in banana leaves, infusing it with a rich aroma, and slowly cooked until it reaches a succulent texture that leaves diners craving more.

The bold flavors of the spice paste complement the tender meat to create a symphony of flavors that captures the essence of Balinese cuisine.

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Sate Lilit

Two must-try satay options when visiting Bali
                                                             Two must-try satay options when visiting Bali

Sate Lilit is a unique Balinese satay that showcases the ingenuity of Balinese culinary creativity. Instead of skewering the meat, minced fish, chicken, or pork is blended with grated coconut, coconut milk, lime leaves, and a symphony of spices. The mixture is then wrapped around bamboo sticks or lemongrass sticks, creating a delightful spiral shape.

Grilled over hot coals, Sate Lilit is served with a delectable sambal sauce, offering a tantalizing combination of flavors and textures that captivate the palate.


What meat do Balinese eat
Lawar kacang is the long green beans vegetables mix with chicken

Lawar is a traditional Balinese dish that holds both cultural and spiritual significance. It is an essential part of religious rituals and offerings.

This mix features minced meat (usually pork or chicken) combined with grated coconut, fried shallots, fried garlic, fried chili, fried shrimp paste, and a medley of aromatic spices.

The combination is then mixed with blanched vegetables, which can be young papaya, young jackfruit, fern tips, long beans, green beans, or bitter melon.

The dish is seasoned and finished with kaffir lime juice or finely sliced kaffir lime leaves.

The result is a harmonious blend of flavors in a fresh salad, representing the essence of Balinese cuisine and culture.

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Pepes and Tum

pepes wrapped in banana leaves
pepes wrapped in banana leaves

Pepes and Tum are delightful Balinese dishes that showcase the art of cooking meat in banana leaves.

The cooking process involves wrapping seasoned meat (fish, chicken, or pork) in banana leaves and grilling or steaming it to perfection.

The banana leaves infuse the meat with a rich aroma, while the slow-cooking process keeps the meat succulent and tender.

This unique cooking method is a testament to the creativity and skill of Balinese chefs, offering a symphony of flavors that celebrate the island’s culinary heritage.

Meat on the Streets: Street Food in Bali

Street Food Culture in Bali

Bali’s vibrant street food scene is a food lover’s paradise, offering an array of delectable meat-based delicacies.

taman sari market in Bali
taman sari market in Bali

The bustling streets are lined with food carts and warungs, each offering their unique take on Balinese and Indonesian flavors.

From traditional satay varieties like Sate and Bakso (meat ball soup) to the savory Nasi Campur Bali, street food in Bali presents an opportunity to indulge in a diverse range of culinary delights.

Sate Varieties

What meat do Balinese eat
Sate (Satay)

Sate also known as satay, is a popular street food staple in Bali. It comes in various mouthwatering varieties, each showcasing a different combination of meats, spices, and sambal.

Sate Ayam, for example, is a chicken sate variety that features a tender chicken with creamy peanut sauce.

Sate Babi, on the other hand, features long skewers of grilled pork meat marinated in a flavorful spice blend.

Each sate variety is served with a side of sambal for an extra kick of spice.

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Nasi Ayam and Nasi Campur

What meat do Balinese eat
Nasi Campur, also known as Mixed Rice

For those seeking a hearty and satisfying meal on the streets of Bali, Nasi Ayam (chicken rice) and Nasi Campur (mixed rice) are excellent choices.

Nasi Ayam features succulent slices of chicken served with fragrant rice, while Nasi Campur presents an assortment of flavorful side dishes like grilled meats, vegetables, and sambal.

These dishes capture the essence of Balinese flavors and are a delightful way to experience the island’s street food culture.

Cultural Considerations

Why Do Some Balinese Do Not Eat Beef?

In Bali, people don’t eat much beef because of their religious beliefs. Cows are considered sacred in their Hindu society, so they prefer to eat other meats instead.

The Significance of Pork in Balinese

Culture Pork holds a central place in Balinese culture, symbolizing prosperity, abundance, and unity.

It is an essential component of traditional ceremonies and offerings, reflecting the island’s unique blend of Hindu and local beliefs.

Local Favorites: Must-Try Balinese Meat Dishes (and Where to Try)

Top 10 Balinese Food to Try Exploring the top ten must-try Balinese meat dishes promises a culinary adventure filled with tantalizing flavors and unforgettable experiences.

From the iconic Babi Guling to the delectable Sate, these dishes offer a delightful glimpse into the heart of Balinese cuisine.

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1. Nasi Campur Bali

Nasi Campur Bali is a yummy dish from Bali, Indonesia. It’s rice with lots of tasty side dishes.

What meat do Balinese eat
Nasi Campur | Photo Credit Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku

The side dishes can be different, but some common ones are grilled chicken or pork, spicy shredded chicken, crispy fried tempeh, lawar, sambal matah, and urap.

You can mix and match the side dishes to make your own delicious combo.

It looks good too, with lots of bright colors. It’s a tasty and pretty meal.

Where To Try Nasi Campur?

2. Babi Guling

Babi Guling is a delicious Indonesian dish with roasted pig. The meat is tender and flavorful with a crispy skin. The stuffing inside the pig adds richness and complexity.

What meat do Balinese eat
Bali’s Most Famous Babi Guling (Roasted Pig)

Babi Guling is served with rice, spicy sauce, crispy pork crackling, and a side salad.

It’s important in Balinese culture and often served during special events and religious ceremonies.

Where To Try Babi Guling?

3. Ayam Betutu

Ayam Betutu is a delicious Balinese dish made with a whole chicken and lots of spices. The chicken is stuffed with bumbu bali to make it tasty.

                                                                                  Ayam Betutu
                                                                                  Ayam Betutu

It’s wrapped in banana leaves and cooked slowly for a long time, making it tender and yummy.

Ayam Betutu is special because of the mix of spices used, like lemongrass, galangal, and chili peppers. It has a good balance of heat and freshness.

When you eat Ayam Betutu, it’s served with rice and spicy chili sauce or sambal matah.

The chicken is tender, the rice smells great, and the sauce adds some heat.

Where To Try Ayam Betutu?

4. Lawar

What meat do Balinese eat
lawar kuwir – one of the traditional dishes in Bali

Lawar is a yummy Balinese dish made with chopped veggies, grated coconut, and minced meat like pork or chicken.

It has a special blend of spices that give it a unique and delicious taste.

Lawar is interesting because it uses fresh animal blood to make it taste better. If you don’t want blood in your lawar, ask for the white version.

It can be served as a side dish or with rice and other Balinese foods. It has a mix of textures and flavors that make it enjoyable to eat.

There are different versions of Lawar in Bali, so you can try different variations across the island.

Where To Try Lawar?

It’s normally served with Nasi Campur or Babi Guling. Please check out our recommendations above.

6. Bali Sate Lilit

What meat do Balinese eat
Satay Lilit Bali  | Photo Credit sewaktu.com

Bali Sate Lilit is a tasty dish that you should try when you visit Bali. It’s made from minced meat mixed with coconut, spices, and herbs that wrap around the top part of the satay stick.

The mixture is grilled on a stick, and it tastes really good.

What makes it special is that the meat is seasoned with spices instead of a sauce.

The coconut makes it a little sweet and creamy. It looks pretty too, with the meat wrapped around the stick.

You can eat it as an appetizer or a main course. It’s usually served with rice, spicy sauce, and veggies in nasi campur.

Where To Try Bali Sate Lilit?

It’s normally served with Nasi Campur or Babi Guling. Please check out our recommendations above.

7. Bebek Goreng

What meat do Balinese eat
Bebek Megoreng (Crispy Duck)

Bebek Goreng, or fried duck, is a tasty Indonesian dish. It has tender duck that’s marinated in spices and deep-fried.

The outside is crispy and golden, while the inside is juicy and flavorful.

Bebek Goreng is usually served with rice, sambal sauce, and veggies.

The combination of crispy duck and spices makes it a delicious and unforgettable dish.

Whether you like duck or want to try something new, Bebek Goreng is a must-try.

Where To Try Bebek Goreng:

8. Sate Babi

What meat do Balinese eat
Sate babi Bali Bawah pohon  | Photo Credit kintamani.id

Sate Babi is a tasty Indonesian dish that food lovers enjoy. It’s made by grilling marinated pork on skewers.

People usually dip it in peanut sauce or other types of sambal. The pork is tender and flavorful because of the spices used in the marinade.

The skewers give the meat a smoky taste. The peanut sauce adds a creamy and nutty flavor.

Sate Babi is often served with rice or rice cake (ketupat or lontong) and a salad.

Where To Try Sate Babi:

9. Sop Kepala Ikan

Soup Kepala Ikan Mak Beng
                              Soup Kepala Ikan Mak Beng | Photo Credit Antonio Lalu

Fish Head Soup, also known as Sop Kepala Ikan, is a popular dish in Indonesia.

It’s made by simmering fish heads with spices and herbs to create a flavorful soup.

The heads are cleaned and cooked in a broth made with ingredients like lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallots, and turmeric. Tomatoes, mushrooms, and vegetables are often added for extra taste.

The soup is served with rice or noodles. It’s a delicious and comforting dish that you should try if you love seafood or want to try something new.

Where To Try Sop Kepala Ikan:

10. Seafood Jimbaran

Udang Bakar Jimbaran
Udang Bakar Jimbaran

Seafood Jimbaran in Bali is a great place for seafood lovers. It’s located in a beautiful coastal town and offers fresh and delicious seafood dishes.

The restaurant is right by the beach, so you can enjoy your meal with the sound of the waves and the sea breeze.

They have a variety of seafood options like grilled fish, prawns, lobsters, and squids.

The food is simple but flavorful, and the seafood is always fresh.

Some must-try dishes include the grilled fish, prawns, lobsters, and squid.

Where To Try Sop Kepala Ikan:


How much is a meal in Bali?

The price of a meal in Bali depends on where you go and what you order.

Local warungs and food stalls have cheap options for a few dollars (from $2 to $4 for a dish). Fancy restaurants and resorts have more expensive but diverse food choices (from $7 to $12 for a dish).

What are the typical Balinese desserts?

Balinese desserts are sweet treats that end a meal. They have tropical fruits, coconut, and palm sugar. Some favorites are Klepon, sweet rice cakes with palm sugar, and Bubur Injin, a tasty black rice pudding. These desserts show off Balinese cuisine’s yummy flavors and creativity.

What do they drink in Bali?

Bali has yummy drinks to go with its tasty food. People like hot tea and colorful shaved ice dessert called Es Campur. If you want to try Bali’s nightlife, you can have Bintang beer or tropical cocktails.

What kind of food do they eat in Bali?

Balinese food has lots of different dishes with fresh ingredients, tasty spices, and local meat. They have yummy roasted pigs called Babi Guling and special fish satay called Sate Lilit. Balinese cuisine is a mix of flavors that show off their cooking traditions.

What is traditional Balinese food made of?

Balinese food is a mix of tasty spices, veggies, fruits, and meats like pork and poultry. They use ingredients like turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, and coconut milk to make the food flavorful. Balinese cuisine is creative and delicious, and it’s loved by people who try it.

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