The Best of Balinese Cuisine is a series that lets you explore some of the finest culinary delights you can find in Bali. Take a trip and eat your way like a local through the Island of the Gods with this exciting series!
Bali is known for its reputation in the world as the tropical paradise of the untold beautiful nature and the never ending fascination. When it comes to its cuisine, Bali has a range of culinary delights, and there is one that is very sought after which has a unique taste, the Pepes Klengis.
Pepes Klengis is steam-cooked fish and spices wrapped in banana leaf, based on ‘sari ampas’ from the traditional coconut oil production. The coconut milk produced from grating the coconut and then fried. As the water is reduced, the clump of protein is separated. The protein clumps form a deposit at the bottom of the pan, and that is called telengis. That is the main ingredient of Pepes Klengis.
Because of the main ingredient, Pepes Klengis has its own distinctive flavour: sweet, savoury and fragrant. For the Pepes Klengis seasoning, ‘basa genap’ is used, this is a traditional Balinese spice paste. Pepes Klengis is wrapped in banana leaves which adds aroma to it. This dish is fairly healthy as it uses natural ingredients. It is filling and nutritious and cheap too. One pack is about Rp 2,000 – Rp 5,000, depending on where you buy it from. Eat it while it’s warm and have it with a plate of rice or just as it is, or even, as a snack for tea time, surely you’d be asking for more!
Back in the day, Pepes Klengis could only be found in food stalls in the urban areas, sometimes sold in the markets with ‘singkong’ or porridge. Nowadays, you can find it in the city, if you know know where to find them, that is.
As there are other ways to make Pepes Klengis besides using the ‘sari ampas’, there are different types of it. It can be combined with chicken, shrimp, tofu or other food. This traditional dish is often served at custom events and ceremonies in Bali. So if you are making your way to Bali and to complement the holiday experience, be sure to put Pepes Klengis into your list of what to eat!