Rolled Pig

Vegetarians may want to skip this post.  It is also very, very non-kosher and non-halal.  Dieters should also avoid reading this.  There! That should take care of all disclaimers.

“Babi Guling” literally means “Rolled or turned pig” in Bahasa Indonesia but it actually refers to “suckling pig”, a famous Balinese dish.   The suckling pig is stuffed with herbs and shoots and then roasted on a spit until cooked and with its skin crackly and crispy.  And if you were in Bali, everyone would tell you that one of the best places to try this local delicacy is at a small stall or warung caled “Ibu Oka”.

Ibu Ora's the place to go for the best Babi Guling

Ibu Oka is located in Ubud which is a town in the foothills of central Bali.  Ubud is well known as a centre for culture and the arts.  The local temples are full of artistic carvings and are often the sites for cultural dances and performances.  Beautiful pastoral scenes of green paddy fields surround the town and are often the settings where some of the best restaurants and warungs are found.

The Crowd Gathers Early for Lunch


The crowd gathers early for lunch and seating is limited so it would be wise to go early.  There are some tables and seating in the garden area.  Inside, everyone sits on the floor and eats from a low table.


You're lucky to get seating on the floor.

Once you have found a seat, then all that you can do is wait for the pig to arrive.  Watching them prepare the pig can be quite entertaining.


The Pig is Roasted with Herb Stuffing
Yum Yum Yum


With so many hungry customers to serve, the wait at Ibu Oka can be long but if some of your group holds on to the seats, you can wander off to the nearby temple and admire the carvings.

Cultural Distractions Nearby

But the connoisseur generally prefer to wait patiently and try to reach a zen state while waiting to have their  senses blown away by the taste of sweet roasted meat, crackling skin and herbs.

Or You Can Wait and Beg

22 thoughts on “Rolled Pig”

  1. I’m ready to eat right now!!!! This looks scrumptious! Very nice post – including the amazing surrounding scenery. One day I’d like to travel to Bali!

  2. Have loved pig roasts for quite some time. They are something I don’t have enough. Good eating but hard to find.

  3. Not my kind of fare – but I love learning about other cultures. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love the photos! I too enjoy learning about other cultures. I have eaten roast pork before, actually, but not stuffed with all the goodness you mention in this post. I bet the smells and taste were absolutely divine!

    How long did you have to wait? And did I see a coconut on the table in one of the photos? Awesome!

  5. Terry,
    I know you are keen on all things Icelandic but one day we should exchange our favorite islands. I should visit Iceland and you – Bali.

    No time to reply your comment – have to go get a hearty lunch.

  6. Sincerity,
    The wait’s really not that long. Perhaps 30 minutes at the most but it can be torture seeing the food go to others first during that time. Coconut is indeed very common and cheap there.

  7. One of the biggest things I’ve missed about North Carolina after living in Texas all these years is a good ole pig pickin’. The men always got up early (and started drinking early) turning the pig over the giant barbecue pit (usually made from a large metal barrel that’s been cut in half), throughout the day as the women all mingle making the side dishes. The children (myself included) would spend most of the day running around playing and bothering the men by trying to grab a bit of crackled skin. Crunch, crunch, crunch.

  8. So uhh does Ibu Oka deliver? You are cruel cruel squirrel for putting up such clear pictures of roast pig. You could have made them slightly fuzzy and grainy to better serve my knowledge that my flying to Asia is never going to happen. Not even for that pig which I can TASTE. Cruel, cruel!

  9. I like the idea of being entertained watching your meal being prepared!
    What is it people are drinking from that big round fruit?
    And finally, the preciseness of the menu with ‘special suckling pig’ and ‘different suckling pig’ along with plain old ‘suckling pig meat’ makes me want to try it all.

  10. geewits,
    I suppose in Texas it is more usually a beef BBQ rather than a pig roast? I think “Joy Tea Pet” is some drink in a cardboard carton.

    Cruel? No, cruel is hunting squirrels! 🙂

  11. VioletSky,
    Haha, yes, you have to try all the different suckling pigs. The round fruit is fresh young coconut – great refreshing coconut water and tender coconut meat.

  12. Called Spanferkel here, but sadly without the spices of Bali, only some boring green stuff ripped from the next garden spot. Oh dear, I’d happily sit on that floor for a while.

  13. Mago,
    German Roasted Pork Knuckle is pretty popular with a lot of Malaysians and is available in several restaurants here that specialise in German food and/or beer.

    I know. Apologies for the non-halal subject.

  14. It sounds great but for some reason those photos of that woman cutting up that pig are kinda creepy and make me not want to partake in the feast…but then again, I’ve never been a big pig fan.

    That temple is gorgeous though!

  15. Pauline,
    Ya, I know a lot of people are a little grossed out when seeing a whole animal being chopped in that way. We are more used to seeing our meat in neat cling-wrapped pieces.

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