Chicken / Duck Betutu
A part from exotic sights and sounds, Bali offers the pleasure of taste with a medley of food that is simply astonishing in variety.
The influence of different cultures has resulted in different cooking techniques, ingredients and spices.
Characterized by strong flavor, the cuisine is usually very spicy, quite salty and/or sweet with creative preparations and multifarious cooking style.
The staple food in Bali is white, polished rice, which provides the perfect base for many Balinese dishes. Large pots of rice are cooked first thing in the morning and gradually consumed by all members of the extended family for each of the three meals throughout the day.
Meats used in Balinese cooking are pork, chicken, duck and fish. Babi Guling, or pig roasted on a spit is a favourite and you will often find roadside resturants which specialize in the dish.
Chicken is commonly fried or served with a spicy sauce, but duck is more of a Balinese specialty. “Betutu bebek” is particularly popular, a dish made from stuffed duck cooked in hot ashes or steamed in banana leaves. Fish is also often wrapped in banana leaves with spice mix and char grilled over smoky coconut husks a la Jimbaran beach cafe style.
Spice are integral to the Balinese cooking and eating experience, and there is a standard spice used in many dishes known as “Basa Genep”. It commonly includes chillis, garlic, small red onions, ginger, lime, turmeric, coriander, lesser galangal, laos, tamarind, candlenuts, coarse sea salt, pepper and sugar. On the sweet side, desert snacks, such as brightly colored sticky rice cakes, coconut milk mixes, and pancakes all have more than their fair share of sugar thrown in.
Here’s Chicken / Duck Betutu Recipe:
- 5 tablespoons Oil
- 100 g Young cassava leaves, boiled until tender, cut into serving pieces
- 1.5 kg Chicken / Duck
- Banana leaves or aluminum foil for wrapping Spices (ground)
- 7 Red chilies
- 5 Bird’s eye chilies
- 5 Candlenuts, roasted
- 10 Shallots
- 1 teaspoon Dried shrimp paste
- 5 cloves Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Coriander, roasted
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Sliced lemon grass
- 2 teaspoons Peppercorns
- tablespoon Chopped galangal
- 1/2 teaspoon Powdered nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons Chopped turmeric
- 4 Kaffir lime leaves
- 2 teaspoons Chopped ginger
- 2 teaspoons Chopped lesser galangal
- Salt and sugar
Heat oil and sauté the ground spices until fragrant and dry.Set aside and allow to cool.
Divide into 2 parts.Combine 1 part with cassava leaves.Stuff the mixture into the chicken and secure with toothpicks.
Rub the chicken with the remaining ground spices.Wrap the chicken with banana leaves and tie with a string.
Grill in the oven at medium heat (180oC) for 2-3 hours or until cooked.Remove from heat and cut before serving.
Note : Another way to cook the chicken is to steam it for about 45 minutes before grilling in the oven for 1 hour.
Betutu is a special dish from Bali. Usually the Balinese use duck wrapped in banana leaves, and wrapped again with stalks of palm leaves.
The duck is then buried in the ground and covered with hot charcoal for 6-7 hours until cooked.