Babi guling: A Balinese recipe and holiday recap

Iv’e just arrived back from a 5 day holiday in Seminyak, Bali, and boy was it just what I needed! There was food, exploring, relaxing, massages, time with my man, more food, cocktails, monkeys, culture and jungle rain. The Indonesian food is just incredible, it’s spicy, full of flavour and exciting! Just to name a few dishes I experienced; Nasi Goreng, Gado Gado, Mi Goreng, Nasi Campur and Babi Guling. Of all of them the Babi Guling we tried from a tiny shop on the side of the road, was by far the best. The small Indonesian woman behind the counter filled up bags made from simple brown paper with rice, vegetables, spicy sauces and Babi Guling (Roasted suckling pig).

Here are a few snaps of the food, and some of the trip:

Salek-Indonesian Snakefruit
Vegetarian Nasi Campur
Candied coconut Mojito at Single Malt, Seminyak
Rice Paddies
Cam and Britt at the Monkey forest, Ubud
Mumma and bub monkey at the Monkey forest, Ubud
Babi Guling: Roasted suckling pig
Coffee Luwak tasting at the coffee plantation
A simple Mi Goreng for the first Indonesian meal
Our gorgeous guide through the coffee plantation: Wis!

The highlight would definitely be the Monkey forest in Ubud and and the coffee tasting, which was incredible as it was SERIOUSLY pouring with rain, and there was a full on thunder storm! Plus we got to meet the gorgeous Wis (who was our guide for the tasting) and showed us all the things they grow at the coffee plantation (including; cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, coffee, cacao, mango, and galangal). There are a few places that I would definitely recommend in Seminyak for food; Cafe Bali, Cafe Zucchini, Anomali Coffee (Best coffee I have had ANYWHERE in the world!), Le Patio (Great vegetarian Nasi Campur), Ananda Restaurant, and Single Malt (amazing flavoured Mojito’s:I got the candied coconut and vanilla passionfruit mojito’s).

Anyway, after getting back i’ve decided to attempt to make Babi Guling, and I thought i’d share the recipe with you so you can get a taste of Indonesia at home. The recipe below is a combination of ideas from various recipes from a number of websites, I really got the jist of the flavours I needed and went from there!.

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1-1.5 kg Pork belly roast (skin on)
3 small onions
2 green spring onions
3 garlic cloves
1 large red chili
2cm piece of fresh ginger
1 Tbsp ground turmeric (or 2 cm peice of fresh turmeric)
1 Tbsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground black peppercorns
1 tsp ground sea salt
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
1 tsp fish sauce
Butcher’s string


  • In a small food processor combine all ingredients except for pork. Blend until it forms a smooth paste.
  • Line a tray with baking paper. Sore the pork using a knife to create small grooves all over the pork. On one side of the pork create a larger cut, going about 3/4 of the way through the meat (creating a pocket). Fill this pocket with about 1/3 of the paste. Cover the remainder of the outside of the pork with another 1/3 of the paste and massage the paste into the meat. Tie the pork together with butchers string and leave covered in the fridge for 2-4 hours to marinate.
  • Heat oven to 150 degrees Celcius, take pork out from fridge and leave to warm to room temperature while oven is heating. When oven is ready, place pork inside and roast for around 2 hours at this temperature. After 1 hour turn pork to another side. Baste every 30 minutes with half of the remainder of paste.
  • Take pork out at 2 hours, remove paste from skin side, and cut along skin about 1 cm deep to create crackle. Add a small amount of sea salt to crackle and turn oven up to 220 degrees Celcius. Place pork back in the oven for another hour (or until skin is crispy).
  • Remove the paste from the outside of the pork, and place in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup of water and simmer on low for 5 minutes, this will make a sauce to use for the babi guling.
  • Serve with rice, sauce and spicy vegetables.

Spicy vegetables: 

1 tsp sesame oil
1 red capsicum
1 cup red cabbage
10 cm piece zucchini
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup shredded coconut or coconut chips
2 tbsp paste from Babi guling


  • Heat sesame oil in a frypan on medium heat. Thinly slice all vegetables while oil is heating.
  • Place capsicum, cabbage and zucchini in frypan and cook until tender. Add coconut and stir to combine, still heating. Add paste and stir well.
  • Add spinach just before serving to prevent over cooking. Stir well.

*Please note, this is not the most “healthy” meal, but having small amounts of the pork with lots of brown rice and vegetables, is a great way to get yummy protein into your day, while also saving the pork for other meals. In Indonesia, the Babi Guling was served with 2-3 TINY pieces of pork, not a huge pile of meat like we usually have in the western world.

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