Babi Guling, or pig roasted on a spit is a favourite and you will often find roadside restaurants that specialize in this dish, particularly on the road to Gianyar. The roasted meat is usually served with rice and boiled jackfruit and the locals will also enjoy cooked pig blood and sausage made from pig intestines.
Spices are essential to the Balinese cooking and eating experience and there is a standard spice paste used in many dishes known as 'Basa Genep'. It commonly includes chili, garlic, small red onions, ginger, lime, turmeric, coriander, lesser galangal, laos, tamarind, candlenuts, coarse sea salt, pepper and sugar. On the sweet side, dessert snacks such as brightly colored sticky rice cakes, coconut milk mixes and pancakes all have more than their fair share of sugar thrown in.
Babi Guling recipe
- 1 suckling pig, weighing about 6-8kg
- 1½ tbsp salt
- 200 shallots, peeled and sliced
- 100 gr cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 50 gr ginger, peeled & chopped
- 300 gr candlenuts, chopped
- 350 gr fresh turmeric, peeled &chopped
- 3 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
- 80 gr laos, finely chopped
- 120 gr bird's-eye chilies, sliced
- 10 stalks lemon grass, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 tsp dried shrimp paste, roasted
- 5 fragrant lime leaves, finely shredded
- 2 salam leaves
- 2½ tbsp oil
- 4 tbsp turmeric water
Ensure inside of suckling pig is completely cleaned out. Season inside and outside with salt. Combine all other ingredients, except turmeric water, and mix thoroughly. Fill inside of suckling with mixture, close belly with string or thin satay skewer. Rub the outside of the pig with turmeric water until the skin is shiny yellow.
Place suckling pig on roasting rack and roast in hot oven (220°C / 425°F) for approximately 1 hour. Rest for 10 minutes in warm place before serving. When serving, first remove the crisp skin with a strong carving knife, then loosen meat from the bones and cut into even dice or slices. Place a heaped tablespoon of stuffing on each serving plate, and then top with meat and skin. Traditionally this dish is eaten with Jukut Nangka Mekuah and steamed rice.
Helpful hint: If you have a large barbeque with rotisserie or constantly turning spit, you can cook the pig over charcoal for an authentic Balinese flavor.