Balinese feast

Balinese food in Spain! How unlikely!

We were fortunate to have Gani from Bali staying with us for a few days of working holiday via the Workaway site. Like all our Workaway experiences, it was a fascinating exchange of culture and ideas. Gani  began his working life at a very young age gathering seashells on the beaches of Bali for his mother’s shop. After a few lucky breaks and a great deal of personality and grit, he is now a waiter on a cruise ship. One can only wonder what comes next in his life!

As an experienced waiter on cruise ships for some years, he was able to teach me many different ways to fold napkins and, most important, a few simple Balinese dishes which I have his permission to share with you. Gani explained that these were simple basic dishes but they were nevertheless clean-tasting and delicious in their simplicity. This is a plate he prepared with a little of the five dishes he prepared.

Gani cut chicken breast into bite-sized pieces, marinated them in soy sauce, and then cooked them quickly on a griddle. Tender and delicious!

He had an unfamiliar (to me!) way to cook the rice. He soaked it in cold water for an hour. He steamed it for ten minutes in my vegetable steamer (I couldn’t understand how he hadn’t lost it all through the holes of the steamer but, as he pointed out, the grains had swollen in the soaking process). He poured the water from the bottom part of the steamer over the rice. Left it to sit for 15 minutes and steamed it again for 15 minutes. It was perfect!

He sauteed garlic, onion, cabbage, and bean sprouts and added the rice along with some purchased Nasi Goreng spices to make the fried rice.

He steamed chopped aubergine, courgettes and broccoli under still crunchy. Tossed them with a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt. So easy, so good!

Gani had found in an Asian food store on the Costa del Sol something that he called watercress although it bore little resemblance to either British or Spanish watercress. To cook it, he sauteed crushed garlic, sliced onion, sliced red pepper and then tossed the greens until just wilted.

The sate sauce that accompanied these dishes was out of a jar as he couldn’t get all the ingredients here. But to make it fresher tasting, he added some garlic and onion.

Some sliced tomatoes and cucumber completed the delicious feast with which I am going to experiment at the first opportunity.  I hope you will try it too!

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