September 1, 2010
Vegetarians, you might want to close your eyes. Pork-lovers out there, read on...
We have been eating like royalty here in Bali. Fresh fruit juices, garlic prawns, pungent sauces, candlelit dinners while reclining on batik cushions......ahhhhhhhh. This has been a decadent beginning to our trip. We realize that things won't always be so plush so we are soaking it all in with great appreciation.
Our lunch at Ibu Oka was by no means fancy, but this was a meal I had to share with you. As many of you know, my family loves pork. Give us carnitas, ribs, bacon, any tasty, salty pig, and we are happy. Hearing of the famous suckling pig at Ibu Oka, we knew this was the place for us.
As we entered the warung, we saw piles of juicy roasted pork. At lightning speed, the meat was being put onto plates or scooped into paper cones for take away. These quick-to-assemble travel containers are one of my favorite food tricks here in Bali. A folded piece of paper - so simple, green, and quite cute.
As we waited for our own sampling of this famous pork, the kids gulped bright orange Fanta, P had a morning Bintang, and I happily slurped young coconut. Then came the pork: succulent, thinly-sliced deliciousness, with crispy skin to boot. Damned this stuff is good! Anthony Bourdain is right. This might be the best pork on earth!
In the middle of our meal, a delivery boy pulled up on his moped. He had an entire roasted pig on a tray, on his head! How he maneuvered this, I have no idea, but I leaped up to take photos. Within minutes, the new arrival had been carved and was feeding the long line of newly arrived patrons. This was only 11 am. I wonder how many suckling pigs they sell in a day.
Carnitas recipe. I have yet to roast my own suckling pig, but a girl can dream, right?
By the way, I had the good fortune to spend this morning learning a few Balinese dishes with a very kind local cook. I will share those homey Balinese recipes, and photos, with you soon!