Regional Cuisine: Roast Babi guling an adventurous Indonesian delicacy

The origin

Babi Guling is a roasted pig-ling which originated in Bali, Indonesia as a cuisine for the kings of Gianyar, Bali. This place still retains the secret as to the preparation of the Babi Guling. It takes a considerable amount of time, patience and skill in its preparation which is quite expensive. No wonder, this particular dish was meant only for the kings. There is a place called Babi Guling Ibu Oka in Gianyar which sells the roast pig and is very popular.

The cuisine

Babi guling

Babi Guling is prepared with unique Southeast Asian ingredients blended with the exotic flavors of India. Hinduism which reached Bali centuries ago brought along with it, the special flavors and spices of India. Babi Guling is a whole roast suckling pig which is the most popular dish, next to Nasi Gorang. Prior to the process of roasting, the whole pig is stuffed with herbs and spices and then roasted slowly over an open fire for at least 5 hours. The preparation of the spices and ingredients itself takes at least 2 hours. It is constantly rotated over the fire to get all the parts cooked evenly. Once the pig starts turning golden color then you know that the inner meat is getting tenderly succulent and cooked.

The wacky tinge

The wacky tinge

The pig which is rotated gently over the fire cooks slowly and evenly. While the meat softens inside by soaking in the spices and herbs, the outer skin starts changing its color texture. The outside part begins to acquire a golden reddish tinge with crackings. Once it gets this tinge of color, the meat inside becomes tender and soft. The unique aspect is that, the skin is crispy and chewy and gives out the perfect crunching noise in the mouth. Most Babi Guling stands have pictures of the whole pig up for display.



You will require the following ingredients in the preparation of the dish. You will need to chop these ingredients roughly or in a food blender. The ingredients are in approximate measures.

1. 1 cup peeled ginger

2. 15 shallots

3. 8 kaffir lime leaves

4. 8 stalks of lemon grass

5. Half cup galangal

6. 12 red Thai chillies

7. 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

8. 1 tbsp Thai shrimp paste

9. 3 tbsp coriander seeds

10. 5 piece star anise

11. 3 tbsp salt

12. 1 cup vegetable oil

13. 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

14. 1 whole suckling pig about 6-8 kgs

15. 15 chopped candlenuts

16. 1 tbsp crushed black peppercorns

17. 4 tbsp turmeric water

18. About 10 cm fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped

19. 6 gloves garlic, peeled and chopped

The process


1. Clean out the inside of the suckling pig completely

2. Apply salt inside and outside to season well

3. Leaving the turmeric water aside, combine rest of the ingredients and thoroughly mix them up

4. Taking this paste, fill the inside of the pig properly then close up the belly with satay skewers or string

5. Rub the pig completely a shiny golden yellow with the turmeric water

6. You can then place the pig over a spit fire or charcoal grill for 5 hours or for two and half hours in a moderately hot oven.

7. Baste with oil now and then during the roasting process

8. Rotate the pig constantly to cook evenly

Health benefits

Indonesian cooking has several variations according to the province. This greatly indicates to the unique Balinese cuisine with the favorites being chicken satay or Babi Guling. The Indonesian cooking techniques is basically traditional in style till date.

The various kinds of spices used in Indonesian cooking did not all originate from Indonesia but from different parts. Spices like galangal, nutmeg, cengkeh originated from Muluku in Sulawesi. Spices like turmeric, black pepper, shallot, lemongrass and cinnamon came from India. From China, Indonesia got its famed garlic and ginger.

The use of these spices, some of which have medicinal value makes for a healthy and delicious Indonesian cuisine. The cuisine is not only tasty but has many health benefits because these spices are rich in vitamins and protein. Ingredients like coconut and chilli pepper are equally important for Indonesian cuisine.

Chilli pepper is not only hot but if you take in daily small measure, you will benefit much from it. It is a good agent that can even fight cancer if taken regularly. Coconut is full of nutrients which benefits the health.

With the spices, the cuisine is not only tasty and full of flavor but it also adds to the benefit of your health in a large way.

Today's Top Articles:

Scroll to Top