Babi Guling, Balinese Pulled Pork

Gary H. NJ

TVWBB Platinum Member
Babi Guling, Balinese Pulled Pork
1 pork butt or “picnic” pork shoulder, boneless or bone-in
Kosher salt
One 13.5 ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk
2 stalks lemon grass, outer layer removed, then pounded and cut into 4 inch pieces
3 Tbsp gula melaka or gula jawa (palm sugar), or raw sugar or brown sugar
Juice of one lime
Spice paste:
4 shallots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 inch ginger, peeled, sliced thin against the grain
2 inch galangal*, sliced thin against the grain
4 inch turmeric*, chopped, or 1.5 tsp powdered turmeric
10-25 Thai chilies (or equivalent fresh chilies), chopped
3 stalks lemongrass, outer tough layer removed, sliced thin against the grain
1 tsp dried shrimp paste (belacan), dry-toasted in a skillet
10 candlenuts (or substitute dry-roasted, rinsed macadamia nuts)
1 Tbsp cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp gula melaka or gula jawa (palm sugar), or raw sugar or brown sugar

*available frozen in Asian markets

Add all spice paste ingredients, including ½ tsp salt in food processor and pulse until smooth. It’s important to slice the ginger, galangal, and lemongrass before adding to the processor. They each contain long fibers that won’t get cut up otherwise.

Butterfly pork and salt liberally, about 1- 1.5 Tbsp kosher salt. Wait 10 minutes, and then rub spice paste into the pork. Place pork in large plastic bag (2 gallon capacity or bigger) and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, one half hour before smoking the pork, take pork out of refrigerator and rub the pork with ½ cup of the coconut milk. Truss the pork with some butcher’s twine and smoke per your usual method for pulled pork. Try to keep as much of the spice paste on the pork as possible. This will help to develop the incredibly tasty bark.

In a pot, add the remainder of the coconut milk, along with 1 cup water, the chopped lemongrass, a pinch of salt and the palm sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes until thick (like cream) and fragrant. Mop the pork with this every half hour after the first 2 hours of smoking. Reserve ½ cup of the seasoned coconut milk, to be added to the pork when pulling, along with the lime juice. Salt the pork to taste, if needed.

Serve your Balinese Pulled Pork on a sesame seed bun with sliced cucumber (preferably quick-pickled), a tomato slice, a smear of mayo, a squirt of Sriracha, and a hearty pinch of sliced fresh herbs: any combination of cilantro, lemon basil, Thai basil, mint, and shiso (Japanese mint).
Pics here.

Antti P

TVWBB Member
Any suggestions for a sauce to go with this?
What I have done so far is to make Alabana white sauce + North Carolina red sauce.
We usually eat PP with slaw and other fresh green stuff, so no buns in our house

Way cool recipe - waiting to try it ASAP, so thanks!

Gary H. NJ

TVWBB Platinum Member
Really I don't think it needs a sauce. The flavor profile is competely different than American southern BBQ. Add some of the coconut milk with lemongrass and lime juice to it when you pull the pork. Serve with some mayonaisse, sliced herbs (mint, basil), pickles, hot sauce. Any bread will do. Hope you enjoy it.

Randy G

Currently giving this recipe a go.
Initial thoughts are that I might have used too much chiles!
Will see how it turns out.
Pics to follow.
Randy G

Randy G

This recipes was great.

I used 2 small butts, approx 4 lbs each.
I mistimed and mismanaged my fuel due to a inattention to detail. Could have used about 1-2 hours more for the complete pulled pork feel. It was pulled and sliced.


Taste was great. Next time will decrease the chiles or up the palm sugar. Not sure which yet.

The key is balancing the heat (both spice and temp) with cool from the condiments. Produces a awesome taste texture contrast.

We went with rolls & roti (not in pic). Cucumber, tomato, 2 different asian slaws, cilantro, Thai basil, and saracha.

Everyone loved the roti and pork & eating it "taco style."

Oh yeah, and BEER.

Life is good.

Not sure the link to pic's works but here is a try.

Randy G

Made this recipe for a very informal smoke off amongst 5 friends. Mixed in a small amount of the basting suace at the end before serving as sliders. It was amazing. Other than being a non-traditional BBQ, everyone agreed it was the best!
If you want to impress people with different type of pulled pork, go with this one.
Smoke em if you got em.

Gary H. NJ

TVWBB Platinum Member
Say Randy, so sorry I didn't notice that you had tried the recipe back in October. So happy that it worked out for you. I'm very flattered. That's the beauty of this website: share and share alike.

Randy G

Going to make croquettas out of this pork. Same recipe, then food processor with some binder, then roll into panko breadcrumbs and fry. Serve with saracha mayo for dip.
Will keep you posted!

Gary H. NJ

TVWBB Platinum Member
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Randy G:
Going to make croquettas out of this pork. Same recipe, then food processor with some binder, then roll into panko breadcrumbs and fry. Serve with saracha mayo for dip.
Will keep you posted!
Randy </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Cool beans. Looking forward to the results.


This looks great!

I've rubbed a whole shoulder with the paste right now and will smoke it tomorrow.
Smells real good already!

Thanks for the recipe



Made this last weekend and turned out to be a winner!
1st prize in the contest!

Thanks again for the recipe!

Daniel M (Dmac)


I was in Bali a couple of years ago and indulged in real authentic Babi Guling with a group of 8 friends!

The chef brought the entire suckling pig out to the table, and served everyone individually. The skin was super crispy (like crackling, but even more brittle), and the meat almost melted in your mouth it was that tender. We ate it with rice, steamed veges, chilli sauce and lots of beer Bintang. The whole meal (babi guling, sides, and beers) cost about 100USD for the 8 of us ($12.50 each, bargain!) Had to order it a few days before we wanted to dine, as it takes them 12+ hours to cook the pig the traditional Balinese way. There was probably 1/4 of the pig left, so we gave the rest to the kitchen staff who promptly tucked into the leftovers.

I've been wanting to try and get the same flavours myself, so I think once I get the hang of my WSM I'll give this recipe a shot. Thanks!




Randy G

Thinking about trying this on the Weber kettle rotisserie. Any suggestions or recommendations? I want to do with skin on for crispy skin but not sure how the baste will take to it.

Randy G

Made this again on the WSM. Been awhile since I had made it. Forgot how great it is. Decided it needed a bump back towards the top. Will post the pics to Photos.

Added some crispy pork belly skin to the the final proudct. Mixed it all in and chopped it up. One of the best recipes here.