Balinese-style crispy fish
Serves 2
  1. 1t salt
  2. 1/2 t ground black pepper
  3. 450g white fish fillets (eg. dover sole, plaice), skinned
  4. cornflour
  5. 6T ground nut oil
For the sauce
  1. 2T groundnut oil
  2. 2 onions, chopped
  3. 3T garlic, chopped
  4. 2t ginger, chopped
  5. 1t grated lemon zest
  6. 1t salt
  7. 1T soy sauce
  8. 2T lemon juice
  9. ground black pepper
  1. Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and when really hot add the onions. Stir for 5min or until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, lemon zest, salt, soy sauce, lemon juice and some black pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, then set aside.
  2. Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the fish fillets and dust them with cornflour, shaking off any excess. heat a wok, add oil and when very hot add the fish. Fry for 2 min, until crisp and brown underneath.
  3. Turn over and brown the other side. Remove fish and drain on kitchen paper, and transfer to plate. Spoon the sauce over fish and serve.
Two Little Piggies by Miki Nava

It’s not like I know much about food from Bali… I did visit Bali with my parents and sisters once in 1999 actually, we were living in South Africa at the time and for some reason the prices to Bali were extremely cheap. What the travel agent neglected to tell us was that there was an election going on at that time. We ended up getting caught in riots while we were there. It was like out of a scene from a movie. We were driving around and suddenly there were big trucks and tyres being burnt in the middle of the roads. Our driver said he’s not able to take us back to the house as the roads were closed. We were terrified. Then out of no where this man on a scooter appears, tells us to follow him and off we go. We had no idea who he was, where he appeared from, or where he was taking us. No clue if he was good or bad!? But we had no choice but to follow. He drove for a while and then suddenly drove into this gate to what looked like a small guest house. It turned out to be a brand new boutique guest house that was just about to open. Somehow we ended up there and they said we could stay for the night. It was the most beautiful place. Like a piece of heaven. To this day, we have no idea how that all magically happened!?

Next morning the roads were all quiet again and we managed to get back to the house we rented. So that’s my experience of Bali…. A beautiful peaceful place but we managed to have some unexpected drama! I would love to go back again with my kids some day, without the riots of course!

Anyway, back to the point…. The house/villa we had rented came with a chef! We ended up eating a lot at home because my sister had 2 young kids at that time. During our stay we had many beautiful dishes. Recently I was going through a cookbook and found a recipe of a Balinese fish dish. It was a super simple dish to make so I had the kids help me, (well in fact just Ale and Gaja, they are the 2 chefs of the family). The meal was a success! All the kids loved it. Ale and Gaja especially, since they were so proud they actually made it! We will definitely repeat this dish again!