This delicious pork stew is one of the recipes we got from the Bumbu Bali Balinese Cooking school. Ig and I did a full day Balinese cooking program when we were in Bali last May 2009. We really had fun doing the program. The class size is kept to a small group of 10 people. The program started early in the morning where we visited the local and fish market. The head chef (Heinz) joined us from the morning and gave us a brief overview about Balinese food. He bought a variety of Balinese cakes and fruits in the market for our breakfast :). After the market, we went straight to the restaurant/ cooking school. We had our Balinese breakfast together in a huge wooden table in the middle of the garden. It was such a nice day and it’s good to be in an open area like that.

After breakfast, we headed straight to the kitchen (the kitchen is in open area as well). We learnt and made 22 recipes of Balinese food; each of us in the class took turn in making the dishes. For more information about the cooking school, see here.

The 22 dishes that we prepared and made were basically our lunch! What a feast!

This pork stew is considerably easy to make and does not have a long list of spices and ingredients like the typical Balinese foods are. It has a lot of garlic, shallots, ginger and chillies; and it uses the much-loved kecap manis or the Indonesian sweet soy sauce. I made this in the weekend; kept it in the fridge and served it a couple days after. It tastes better when reheated 🙂

Pork stew in sweet soy sauce

(adapted from recipe from ‘Bumbu Bali’, Balinese Cooking, Bali, Indonesia)

(serves 4)

  • 800 gr diced lean pork
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 70 gr shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 50 gr garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 50 gr ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 10 bird’s eye chillies, left whole
  • 2 cups water

Step 1. Heat oil in a heavy saucepan. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes over medium heat or until lightly coloured.

Step 2. Add pork and ginger, continue to sauté for 2 more minutes over high heat. Add sweet and salty soy sauce and black pepper; continue to sauté for 1 minute.

Step 3. Add the chillies. Then, add the water, little by little (ratio of 2 parts meat to 1 part liquid), and simmer over medium heat for approximately 1 hour.

Step 4. When cooked, there should be very little sauce left and the meat should be shiny and dark brown. If the meat becomes too dry during cooking, add a little more water. Best served with hot steamed rice.