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Continuing the Balinese feast (check out our tofu fritters and chicken curry), we made a fresh bean and roasted coconut salad as an accompaniment. We made a similar salad (urab buncis) at our cooking course, which included beans, coconut and the sambel mix, but it also had a spice mix and coconut milk dressing. Given that we were serving the salad alongside two curries that featured coconut milk and planned on drizzling coconut milk on our dessert, we thought it best to avoid putting coconut milk in the salad as well.

We used a mixture of snake beans and regular green beans for the salad:


Lovely beans

We  boiled the beans, let them cool, then chopped them into 0.5 cm lengths.

The recipe called for roasted coconut. We couldn’t find any roasted coconut so we used regular shredded coconut and put it under the griller for a couple of minutes until golden. We set the coconut aside to cool.

Next we made sambel goreng for the dressing. We chopped up shallots, garlic and chillies:


Makings of the sambel goreng

These were fried in the wok, together with shrimp paste and sea salt that had been rubbed together. The end result looked like this:


Sambel goreng

Now for the assembly. We combined the cool coconut, beans and sambel goring with fried shallot, shredded lime leaves and sea salt. We finished the salad with a big squeeze of lime:


Final product

The end result was fresh and zingy. The lime juice helped cut though the richness of the roasted coconut and fried shallot. I probably preferred the version we made at our cooking school (replete with coconut milk), but this was an appropriate side dish which complimented the rest of the dishes we served.


First make the Sambel goreng. The recipe below makes at least a cup of sambel, but only a tablespoon or so is needed for the salad. You could reduce the quantities but the sambel is useful to have around, so I recommend making the full amount.

Sambel goreng

7 red shallots
10 garlic cloves
1 large red chilli
4 small red chillies
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup oil


400g green beans
2 cups roasted shredded coconut
2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
3 tbs fried shallots
1-2 tbs Sambel goreng (to taste)
kaffir lime to taste
sea salt to taste

  • Finely slice the chillies, garlic and shallots.
  • Mix the shrimp paste with the salt until crumbly.
  • Heat oil in a wok, fry shallots for 3-4 minutes (if the shallots burn on the edges, the oil is too hot).
  • Add garlic and fry until golden brown.
  • Add chilli and shrimp paste/salt mixture, stir together for about 30 seconds.
  • Drain off excess oil and set aside.
  • Boil the green beans, cool then cut into 0.5 cm lengths.
  • Combine the beans with coconut, lime leaves, fried shallots and 1-2 tbs of the Sambel goreng.
  • Add sea salt and lime juice to taste.

Up next:  Balinese lamb stew.

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