Since this trip to Bali was celebrate Mr Ana’s birthday, we decided to attend a cooking class in the morning. Both Mr Ana and I love to cook (and to eat!), and enjoy learning new dishes and flavours to add to our repertoire. Admittedly Mr Ana far surpasses me with skill and natural ability, but I like to pretend to know what I’m doing!!
There are plenty of cooking classes to choose from so it was difficult to know which one to go for, however we really wanted a hands on cooking class. We decided to go with the cooking class offered through KaJaNe Mua, which was a bit of a gamble, as there were no reviews to inform us about it. The reason why we chose this one was because it was a private class offering typical Balinese dishes.
The day started at 7:30am, with us taking a quick trip to the Ubud morning market. You can read a little about that here.
After the market, we drove to KaJaNe Yangloni and we got dressed in our aprons and got cracking on the cooking! In an outdoor kitchen set in the garden of Yangloni, we started by preparing the ingredients for Base Genep and Sambal Goreng, two essential Balinese spice pastes that is often used in various dishes.
We chopped heaps of spices such as shallot onions, garlic, chilli, ginger, and turmeric. My weak little wrist got tired quickly and I kept asking the chef if I had chopped my bits and pieces fine enough, and he kept saying no! But we finally got there (thanks to Mr Ana’s super chopping skills). A food processor would have come in handy. But that’s all part of a hands on cooking class right?
With the spice pastes in hand, we prepared chicken sate sticks (Sate Lilit) on lemongrass skewers, tuna fish cakes (Bergedel Ikan), a chicken soup (Soto Najar), and snake beans (Buah Kacang Kalasan). Mr Ana and I did most of the preparation, however the chef prepared the soup for us (thanks Chef Gede!). We enjoyed every part of it and while the spice paste was time consuming to prepare, the rest of the dishes were quite easy to make.
Once the savoury dishes were prepared, we sat down to a huge lunch and scoffed down most of what we made. I swear I had to be rolled out of there, but it was worth it. The fresh flavours of all the spices (but it wasn’t too hot with chilli) was delicious, and it was honestly better than some of the local restaurants we had been to.
After lunch we prepared dessert – crepes stuffed with coconut and sticky rice (Dadar Gulung). I’ve never made crepes before, but I got the hang of it after the first try – I flipped with finesse (ok, not really, but I’m happy I could flip the little crepe over without setting fire to myself or the crepe. Or the kitchen). The pancakes were damn nice, and I ate TWO of them. What a piggie.
We both really enjoyed the cooking class and finished up with a fresh glass of iced banana, lime and honey juice. We also received the recipes bound in a timber book to keep. While there are popular cooking classes on offer in Ubud, don’t write off the classes offered through various hotels. They are often more personalised and they can tailor to suit you. Which is good, because we finished up the cooking class about 1.5 hours ahead of schedule. Due to our efficient chopping skills apparently!