It’s incredible how some places surprise you with fresh, tasty and cheap of vegan food and Ubud, in Bali is one of those
I recently had the opportunity to visit Indonesia, specifically Bali. Bali is a tourist hotspot which for vegans is a great thing as there will be no shortage of vegan options for us to devour. I spent the vast majority of my two weeks on Bali in Ubud which is an inland.
Ubud is similar to Chiang Mai with a large selection of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Ubud is a place where many expats find themselves spending a few months in as a form of detox given the thriving fresh juice scene and raw food options among the yoga studios.
In Ubud I found myself eating the following three dishes regularly. They ensured that I was going to be full and had enough fresh vegetables to ensure that I was going to be feeling great all day.
While many call this a salad, I would not call it exactly that with the density of the meal overall leaving me happy for hours. This Indonesian dish was available at nearly all restaurants I visited with a price of $2-4. The traditional recipe includes boiled egg but explaining you’re vegan to all staff is no issue as they are very familiar with the term.
Gado-gado has a base of slightly boiled vegetables. They normally would contain beans, spinach, tomato, cucumber and sprouts with a bunch of tempe and tofu. To top it off was the satay like peanut sauce generously that was piled on. I am not sure how they make it exactly but it was thick and full of flavor which was amazing having been so accustomed to soy sauce in Thailand. The crackers were made from some form of plant but were also addictive!
Nasi Bakar Kampoeng:
Just reading this item was enough for me to not even consider checking out the rest of the menu the first time I saw it. While it is a heavy meal, I think seeing the grilled rice was the tipping point as opposed to the regular fried rice.
This is a traditional Balinese dish and once again the tempeh and tofu was there. Tempeh was cooked to perfection every time I had it in Bali. The grilled rice was wrapped in banana leaves alongside corn and potato frittatas whose texture was impressive. There was a small side of beans and another great sauce, this time a tomato sambal.
For the third dish I was going to go with Nasi Goreng, the Indonesian version of fried rice but that means I would miss out this unusual dish. Again, the textures of the Balinese food were what I really loved.
Jukut Urab is a salad that uses coconut in addition to a Balinese sauce to bring the vegetables together. The Jukut Urab’s I tried were all the same, with string beans and sprouts the prominent ingredients. Everything else was there for a reason though including the lime, peanuts and ginger.
Ubud spoilt my taste buds. I had a number of other dishes including the above however these three were the ones I regularly had in addition to lots of coconuts and fresh juices.
Have you made it to Bali before? What was your favorite dish? If you have a trip there soon, you are in for a treat!