Balinese Pork Kerrie Ketjap

Balinese Pork Kerrie Ketjap, with uncomplicated ingredients and a very complex taste, is fantastic.  While most of Indonesia is Muslim and pork is not eaten, Bali is the exception.  Balinese Pork Kerrie Ketjap is an excellent choice to include in your own rijsttafel, or Indonesian buffet, or on its own accompanied by a Green Beans Indonesian Style and lots of steamy rice.  We can attest that every time we make Balinese Pork Kerrie Ketjap, whether in a rijsttafel with guests or for dinner at home, there are never any leftovers, it’s that good!

Balinese Pork Kerrie Ketjap

Prep Time: 25 minutes, Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes. Serves 4.

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  • 1 Lb Pork*, de-boned and cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 Tb coarse Sea Salt
  • Water
  • 3 dried Galangal* slices or a 1” piece of fresh Galangal*, peeled and sliced into 3 pieces
  • 3 Tbs Cooking Oil (Peanut/Canola Oil blend recommended)
  • 1 large Onion, finely chopped, approximately 1 ½ cups
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Galangal Powder*
  • 1 tsp Dried Shrimp Powder
  • 1 Bay Leaf, preferably fresh
  • ½ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
  • ½ cup Sweet Soy Sauce Ketjap Manis*
  • 1 stalk Lemon Grass, trimmed and cut into 2 or 3 pieces


  1. In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, combine the cubed pork, sea salt, galangal, and enough water to cover the pork and galangal. Cover and simmer over a medium heat until the pork is partially cooked and the fat is rendered, then remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Combine the onion, turmeric, dried shrimp powder, galangal powder, bay leaf and black pepper in a bowl; this is the boemboe or seasoning.
  3. In a wok, heat the cooking oil over a high heat. Add the boemboe to the hot oil and stir-fry until the onion softens.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the partially cooked pork to the wok, reserving the cooking liquid.
  5. Stir-fry over a high heat until the pork caramelizes, becoming deep brown and crispy-tender.
  6. Prepare the sauce by stirring the sweet soy sauce ketjap manis and lemon grass pieces into the reserved cooking liquid, including the galangal slices.
  7. Add the sauce to the pork, stirring thoroughly to mix all ingredients.
  8. Lower the heat, cover and cook until the liquid reduced by half; it will be quite thick and sticky.
  9. Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf, galangal slices, and lemon grass pieces; serve Balinese Pork Kerrie Ketjap accompanied by freshly steamed white rice.

Balinese Pork Kerrie Ketjap


  • In its origins, the pork used in Balinese Pork Kerrrie Ketjap would be fairly fatty, quite unlike the lean cuts of pork more popular today. You really must use a fatty cut of pork, like cushion meat or rib meat, for the dish to come out moist and tasty, as it should be.
  • Galangal, which is related to ginger and turmeric, and galangal powder can be purchased in Asian specialty markets and grocery stores and on-line. We prefer to use dried sliced galangal as it keeps indefinitely in a sealed container in your spice cabinet.
  • Sweet Soy Sauce or Ketjap Manis is a critical ingredient of this dish; it can be purchased in Asian specialty markets and grocery stores and on-line. We recommend ABC Brand Ketjap Manis.