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How to make nasi goreng – Indonesian fried rice

Literally translated from Bahasa as fried rice – rice is “nasi” and “goreng” means fried – the name pretty much sums up exactly what nasi goreng is!

The national dish of Indonesia is found throughout Southeast Asia and is very popular in both Singapore and Malaysia. Interestingly, it’s also well known in the Netherlands, having been brought back home by Dutch colonisers from the early 17th century onwards.

chef_teaching_cutting_red_chilli_3

Nasi goreng originates from Indonesia, dating at least as far back as the 10th century when substantial numbers of Chinese immigrants began migrating there. In fact, the Chinese influence on local cuisine started even earlier, with traders who started spending time at various island ports from around 2000 BC! Wok-frying is just one of those culinary influences – others include spring rolls, noodles, and meatballs.

 

ginger cinnamon spices cooking

 

For breakfast, these immigrants would often fry up any rice leftover from the previous evening meal. Actually, cold leftover rice works better than freshly cooked rice because it’s firmer and less likely to turn mushy in the wok. Over the centuries, with the addition of Indonesian flavours like sambal belacan (chili and shrimp paste), the dish gradually evolved into the nasi goreng we know today.

Like many Indonesian dishes, nasi goreng is highly customisable and you can adjust the ingredients according to your taste – fiery hot if that’s what you like, or on the milder end of the chili scale. As a matter of fact, the basic recipe contains neither meat or fish – except for the shrimp in the belacan paste served with it – and is traditionally topped with a fried egg and often with satay on the side.

Variations include nasi goreng kambing (mutton) and nasi goreng ayam (chicken). Nasi goreng
gila, which translates as “crazy fried rice”, is just a mix of any of the above!

 

Though it originated as a morning meal, nowadays nasi goreng is enjoyed at any time of the day
– for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!


The following recipe makes 4 portions.

IMG_6819
 
Ingredients:


Ingredients for sambal belacan paste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
40 grams garlic
200 grams large red chilies
80 grams red shallots
20 grams shrimp paste
4 candlenuts

 

Ingredients for nasi goreng
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
40 grams garlic
400 grams cooked white or brown rice

100 grams carrots
100 grams cabbage
100 grams bok choy or other leafy vegetables
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten
4 whole eggs
30 grams fried shallots

 

Method:


Prep
1. Cook the rice according to packet instructions, preferably the day before.
2. Finely chop the garlic, chili, and candlenuts.
3. Finely shred the cabbage and julienne the carrots.

Sambal belacan
4. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a pan.
5. Sauté the garlic, shallots, chili, candlenuts, and shrimp paste until soft and fragrant.
6. Transfer to a mortar (cobek) and grind into a paste. Leave to cool.

Nasi goreng
7. Heat the rest of the oil in a wok or pan and sauté the remaining chopped garlic until fragrant.
8. Mix in the beaten egg and vegetables (carrot, cabbage, and leafy vegetable).
9. When the egg has firmed up, add the cooked rice and toss it through.
10. Stir in the oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce, and light soy sauce; salt and pepper to taste.
11. Fry the 4 eggs in a frying pan.
12. Divide the rice mixture between 4 plates, garnish with fried shallots, top each helping with a
fried egg and serve with the sambal belacan, some satay sticks, and – if you like – a garnish of sliced cucumber and tomato. 

 


If you enjoy cooking Indonesian food, why not try some other recipes fresh from the Bawah Reserve kitchen?  HERE

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