Cooking classes in Ubud: discover the authentic flavors of Bali

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Are you looking for a unique activity in Bali? So, joining a Balinese cooking class in Ubud might be an excellent option for you since the complete experience is also about getting to know the ingredients used in the local cuisine, visiting an authentic Balinese village, and learning about the rice terraces.

With this experience, you will spend a few hours immersing yourself in the Balinese culture and taste the island’s typical dishes.

In this article, you will find a review of my experience in a Balinese cooking class in Ubud, Bali.

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Balinese Cooking Class in Ubud, Bali

Balinese cuisine has an abundance of ingredients and is rich in spices. As in all of Indonesia, rice is an item consumed several times a day and present in various dishes of the country.

There are several places offering cooking classes in Bali, including hotels, but we chose Paon Bali, which follows international standards, praising hygiene and moderate use of spices in case anyone in the group has any allergies or intolerance.

Everything in the class – before, during and after – exceeded our expectations.

Book here your Balinese Cooking Class.

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The complete experience begins with the driver of Paon picking you up at your hotel (only hotels located in Ubud) and taking you to the Ubud Market to get to know the ingredients that will be used later on.

At the market, the driver will take you to the stands selling Balinese knives, which will be used throughout the lesson, and explain each ingredient and spice used to prepare the dishes, allowing you to buy and take some back home.

We discovered ingredients we were not familiar with in the market – like the 4 different types of ginger. We also saw the famous Balinese offerings being prepared using native flowers and banana leaves.

Note: seeing how the food is displayed and handled in the market can be a surprise, but know that Paon does not buy them here for the class/tourists. Instead, they buy organic and quality ingredients from another local supplier.

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Offerings at Ubud Market, Bali. Balinese Cooking Class

Then the driver will stop by a rice field to answer questions about the planting and harvesting. If you are interested, you can receive a real lesson in Balinese agriculture, with rich explanations about planting, irrigation systems, and rice harvesting.

After all this learning, it’s time to finally go to the “school” where the class will be held.

On arrival, you will see a traditional compound of a Balinese family composed of several houses, pavilions, and, of course, a temple.

While we waited for the class to begin, we received tea and coffee while looking at the rich details of Balinese architecture within the compound.

Rice terraces in Ubud, Bali

Finally, the smiling and captivating Puspa arrived, the Master Chef of Bali. She showed and explained to us all the ingredients we would use and summarized what we were going to do.

In this Balinese cooking class, all dishes are prepared individually (using traditional techniques). Our group – composed of 4 people – took turns cutting, chopping, slicing, and macerating, constantly changing places with each other for everyone to learn/do everything.

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Book here your Balinese Cooking Class.

We ended up making 9 recipes, including a dessert, and all the dishes were fairly typical, with ingredients such as chicken, mushrooms, tofu, tempeh, pepper and coconut milk. The presentation of the freshly cooked delicacies in green ceramic dishes gave an even more charming touch to the food and, at the end, we sat down to savor all the dishes that came from our hard work.

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Useful information about the cooking class in Ubud, Bali

The cooking class is in the Ubud area and is in English. The entire program lasts about 5 hours and must be booked in advance here.

The classes cost 350,000 IDR (˜ US$ 30) per person and can be in the morning or afternoon (in the afternoon, there is no visit to the market).

In the end, all attendees receive a booklet with the recipes of the dishes prepared to give a try at home.

spices in Bali, Indonesia
ginger

Ps: it is not necessary to have any cooking experience to participate in the class, and there is also the option to prepare vegetarian dishes.

Book here your Balinese Cooking Class.

Tips for your Balinese cooking class in Ubud and your visit to Bali:

  • The best time to visit Bali is from April to October.
  • Always carry some cash with you, as some places do not accept credit cards.
  • In Canggu, you can get Grab and Go-Jek (apps that work like Uber). In Ubud and Uluwatu, the apps don’t work (because of local disputes), so you’ll have two options: rent a motorcycle, or negotiate with taxi drivers to take you to the places you want to go. There is also the option of booking a car with a driver at the hotel, but it can end up being the most expensive option if you don’t plan to travel a lot.
  • Travel Insurance: I recommend purchasing travel insurance for every international trip, and the same applies to Bali. My recommended and used travel insurance resource is SquareMouth, a platform for searching for the best option amongst travel insurance companies. It allows travelers to instantly purchase a travel insurance policy from every major provider in the US and it also makes clear each policy’s COVID-related coverage.

Best tours in Bali

Where to stay in Ubud, Bali

  • Bisma Eight: a boutique hotel very close to the heart of Ubud and within walking distance to some of the main places to see in the area – Ubud Market and Saraswati Temple. The 38 rooms are very well designed and the infinity pool offers impressive views of the forest.
  • Calma Ubud: this is one of the best hotels in Ubud. The infinity pool overlooks the rice terraces and it’s also within walking distance to the center of Ubud.
  • The Udaya Resorts and Spa: set among the lush greenery forest of Ubud, one of the highlights of this hotel is the spa. Spa treatments include the Balinese Boreh and can come with the famous and beautiful decorated flower bath.

Looking for a place to stay in Ubud? Then make sure to read Bisma Eight, the best boutique hotel in Ubud, and don’t forget to learn more about other dishes of the Indonesian cuisine.

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I am Elen, and I help 9-5ers plan their next getaway. I curate travel experiences, from places to sip a coffee to stays in boutique hotels, so you can save time when planning your next vacation. Here you will find travel guides, tips, and the best itineraries for your next trip.

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