Balinese pork parcels

Balinese pork parcels

Leanne Kitchen

Being a non-Muslim enclave, there’s no issue with eating pork in Bali, although these parcels can also be made using chicken or even duck. Traditionally the pork would have been chopped by hand. If you use chicken, we’d urge you to hand-chop or coarsely mince boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the best flavour and texture. If you can’t get banana leaves, you can use lightly greased pieces of foil instead.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing
600g minced pork, not too lean
3-4 large pieces banana leaf
oil, for brushing

Spice paste

Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon trasi (indonesian shrimp paste)
4 red asian shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh turmeric
or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon chopped fresh galangal
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
4 red bird’s eye chillies, chopped
4 candlenuts, chopped

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
Tomato sambal
Lemongrass sambal


  1. For the spice paste, wrap the trasi in foil. Heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, add the wrapped trasi then dry-fry for 2 minutes on each side, or until fragrant. Cool and unwrap. Combine with the remaining spice paste ingredients in a food processor and process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water if necessary. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the paste in the oil, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the heat and cool.
  3. Combine the paste in a bowl with the pork. Using clean hands, knead the mixture to distribute the paste evenly. Season the pork mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide into 12 even-sized portions and use your hands to roll each into a log about 8 cm long.
  4. Using kitchen scissors, trim the tough fibres from the sides of the banana leaf pieces, then cut the leaves to make 12 pieces about 18 cm square. Using tongs to hold them, pass each piece over a gas flame until softened and it has turned a darker shade of green. If you don’t have gas, blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes or until they soften. Drain and dry.
  5. Put the leaves, shiny side down, on a work surface and lightly brush each with oil. Put a log of the pork mixture on each, diagonally, then bring the corners of the leaf over the meat. Roll the log up in the leaf then tie using kitchen string, or use a toothpick to secure.
  6. Bring a steamer to the boil, add the rolls and cook for 12 minutes, covered, or until cooked through. Remove the pork logs from the banana leaf pieces and serve with the tomato sambal and lemongrass sambal.
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