Traditional Balinese Sate Lilit

the mens cookoff

Cooking Lessons for lovers of Balinese flavours!

Have you ever taken a cooking class when you’ve traveled overseas?   Do you love exploring new flavours, learning about the exotic dishes and aromatic spices?  Bali is one of our favourite travel destinations so learning to cook the Balinese way suited our plans perfectly.  The flavours of traditional Balinese Sate Lilit were exactly what we signed up for!

Learning about the flavours of every country we visit is one of the highlights of our travels.

We’ve attended a couple of cooking schools in Bali over the years and can highly recommend both these cooking class experiences.

Anika’s Cooking School in Kuta and The Taste of Bali Cooking School taught us about the herbs and spices that are an integral part of Balinese cooking.

Cooking simple dishes, learning different culinary techniques is part of the experience.  The classes were quite different from each other but both were great fun.  We learned the traditional way, grinding traditional herbs and spices into paste, exploring the different smells and flavours and learned how each addition influenced taste and texture.

The real benefit is that after the preparation, the table is set with the food you’ve prepared and you can enjoy each dish with a new appreciation of your culinary expertise.

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Where to start

It is important to make the seasoning, the dipping sauce and the fried shallots before preparing the sates.  They are each simple to make but each component adds it’s own beautiful flavours to the dish.

Balinese Sate

Balinese Bumbu (Base Gede) 

Step 1:  Seasoning:  Grind to a paste in a stone mortar – some ingredients found in Asian specialty shops. (this can be stored in refrigerator for 3 – 4 weeks).Julie & Trev

  • Chilli – 1 large, finely chopped
  • Whole Shallot onions – 20 finely chopped
  • Garlic – 10 cloves finely chopped
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tsp, crushed
  • Kaffir lime leaves – 3 finely sliced
  • Galangal – 5 cm peeled, sliced
  • Tumeric – 5 cm peeled, sliced
  • Ginger – 3 cm peeled, sliced
  • Candlenuts (Macadamia) – 5 chopped
  • Black peppercorns – sprinkle, crushed
  • White peppercorns – sprinkle, crushed
  • Clove – 1, crushed
  • Shrimp Paste, 1 tsp
  • Palm Sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • Tamarind – 1 tspn
  • Coconut oil – 150 ml
  • Lemongrass – 10 cm, slicked finely
  • Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Combine all ingredients except oil, in stone mortar or food processor and grind coarsely.
  2. Place ground ingredients into a heavy saucepan, add all ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (5 – 10 minutes) until marinade turns golden in colour.
  3. Cool before using.

Learning about spices

Crispy fried shallots

  • 1 cup of peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup shallots – sliced finely


  1. Place shallots and cold oil in a small pot.  Deep fry, stirring constantly with chopsticks until golden – about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain well and set aside.  (can be kept in an airtight container).

Grilled BBQ sauce

Step 2: Dipping Sauce:  (can be stored in refrigerator 3-4 weeks)

  • Shallot onions – 10 chopped finely
  • Garlic cloves – 5 chopped finely
  • Birds eye (hot) chilli – 1 chopped finely
  • Tomatos – 2 chopped finely
  • Tumeric – 2 cm chopped finely
  • Candlenuts (Macadamias) – 5 chopped finely
  • Coriander seeds – 2 tsp crushed
  • Sprinkle of white and black pepper
  • Coconut oil – 1/2 cup
  • Palm Sugar – 4 tbsp


  1. Blend all ingredients except oil, combine in a heavy pan and cook until mixture has thickened.
  2. Add coconut oil and stir for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Serve with Sate Lilit as a dipping sauce.

Sate Lilit (Chicken Satay)

  • Chicken thighs/breasts – 500g minced
  • Base Gedu / Balinese Bumbu (above) – 2 tbsp
  • Grated Coconut – 1 tbsp
  • Coconut Milk – 2 tbsp
  • Palm sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves – 3 finely sliced
  • Kaffir lime juice – 1 tbsp
  • Fried shallots – 1 tbsp


  1. Combine all ingredients except shredded coconut and kaffir lime leaves into the pestle – mix well with pestle until a smooth paste.Balinese Sate Lilit
  2. Add shredded coconut and lime leaves and mix thoroughly.
  3. The mixture should be fragrant, deep yellow in colour and slightly sticky.  If it is too dry, add a small about of water or coconut milk.
  4. Shape the chicken mixture firmly onto lemongrass stalks or sate sticks in a spiral way around the stick until a third of the skewer is covered.
  5. Grill until golden brown, turning constantly for about 5 minutes until cooked.

Serve these sate’s with steamed jasmine rice, Mie Goreng (fried noodles) or Nasi Goreng (fried rice) sprinkled with crispy fried shallots.

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Traditional Balinese Sate

Enjoy!   Put these on your menu and don’t forget to let me know how dinner went down in your house.