Saturday, April 11, 2015

Ubud Cooking

We partook in a Balinese cooking class which was a fun experience for all of us as the kids got to do all the same stuff as the adults. Both got their own cooking stations and were given the same duties as everyone else from learning about the different ingredients to cutting, pounding, grinding and eventually combining and cooking. The assistants were very helpful but let them do the tasks themselves. Ada in particular wanted to do as much as possible by herself as she is kind of into cooking - likes to help out at home when I get around to cooking.

The cooking class started out at the market, as many do, which I thoroughly enjoy as you get into parts of it that you did not know existed and get an insiders view and perspective on the various items up for sale. One of my favorite things is seeing the unprocessed version of things we typically get in the supermarket in the processed form. Ada not quite as willing a poser as Emmerson. I wanted to show the size of the unprocessed cinnamon bark sticks. 

The wet market opens early in the a.m. and then transfers over to a dry market around 10 a.m. I have only been here later in the day so never got to see the inner workings of the wet market. The primary area was below the street level market which is where most visitors go in the afternoon to by Indo type things. So venturing down into this market was quite neat. This photo is descending the stairs into the open part of the wet market. Beyond this open area was a maze of walkways and stalls selling all sorts of spices, produce and such. 

Offerings are ubiquitous in Bali as evidenced here by their proliferation in this part of the wet market. 

The cooking school was in a Balinese family compound which I learned all about on the bike trip - so if at all interested in that, check that post - or just Google "Balinese compound" and I am sure you will get a more detailed account. 

Here is the cooking part of the compound, which I believe has been expanded (for the cooking school) or is only typical of wealthier families. The chef is the smiling fellow on the left and a few of his assistance sharing in the photo. The raw ingredients are center stage. Black and white is a common theme seen in various guises in Bali, including cooking aprons, actually, can only make that statement based on this experience as I have never seen a Balinese chef working in a kitchen. But the black and white theme statement is valid. These raw ingredients would be worked into a sambal, marinade, and peanut sauce. 

Raws for the peanut sauce. 

Chopping away. I annoyed Ada because I kept stepping in to keep her from cutting her finger off. Actually Ada is pretty good, Emmerson needs a bit more hands on instruction.

Stopping for a pose.

Ada pounding away in the giant mortar and pestle. Lots of garlic, three kinds of ginger, some chilis, candlenut, and some other stuff. Fortunately, they provided recipes for all the dishes at the end of the day.

Emmerson assisting at the cooking station. Here the ladies are frying part of the ingredients that will be ground into the sambal (Indo word for sauce).

Emmerson grinding dry fried peanuts which will be mixed with other ingredients for the peanut sauce.

Cooking the chicken and coconut and other items for the snake bean salad - my favorite dish.

Concentrating ... and I guess I didn't take any photos of any of the finished products. We had rice, chicken satay with peanut sauce, chicken soup, snake bean and chicken salad, chicken in bumbum Bali sauce, tuna steamed in banana leaves and then grilled, and for desert - sweet potato boiled sweet coconut concoction.  All quite nice and we made them all form scratch!

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