Nasi Goreng (Indonesia)

There are something like 60 million households in Indonesia, and probably 60 million different nasi goreng recipes.  I've cobbled this together, with most of it coming from an Indonesian cookbook, and some coming from random online sources.  

I made my own "fancy" kecap manis (see below), and my daughter now loves it on everything.  I also used tempeh, which turned out to be awesome.  I had no expectations, but it brought a nutty flavor that was fantastic.

When stir-frying, move FAST.  Have everything ready to go in a mise-en-place, and your experience will be much better.  Also, you may find you need more kecap manis or less sambal oelek.  Just play with it and find the ratio that's right for you!

 

Serves 6

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups (1 liter) cooked rice (long-grain of jasmine)

  • 1 lb (500 g) protein (chicken, pork, shrimp, or tempeh), diced into small cubes

  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) shredded carrots

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) green onions (1/4 cup (60 ml) white parts, 1/4 cup (60 ml) green parts, reserved)

  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) shrimp paste OR 1 tbsp (15 ml) fish sauce 

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) sambal oelek

  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) kecap manis (see below)

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water

  • 6 eggs

 

STEPS

  1. Hopefully you've cooked the rice the day before and are using leftovers.  If not, cook the rice you otherwise would and then spread it out over a baking sheet and put it in the fridge.

  2. In a bowl, combine the shrimp paste or fish sauce, the sambal oelek and the kecap manis plus the water

  3. Heat the oil in the wok over high heat and stir-fry the protein.  Once browned on all sides, remove, keeping as much oil in as possible.

  4. Add the white parts of the green onions, garlic and carrots, stir-frying quickly for about 2 minutes.  Don't let the garlic burn.

  5. Add the sauce, stirring quickly, then the protein back in.

  6. Add the rice, stirring to ensure the everything is mixed through.  The rice should become a deep brown color.  Add the green parts of the green onions at the end.

  7. Serve, and top each plate with a fried egg.  Be sure to keep the yolks runny - it lends a delicious extra richness to the rice.

For kecap manis, if you can't find it in the store, here's a quick version and a fancy version:

Quick:  Melt 2 cups of sugar in a saucepan until it gets a caramel color, add 16 ounces of soy sauce.  Bring to a boil and reduce at a simmer until it reaches maple syrup thickness.

Fancy: Melt 2 cups of sugar in a saucepan until it gets a caramel color, add 16 ounces of soy sauce, 2 cloves of garlic (cracked), 1 slice of ginger (peeled), and 2 pods of star anise.  Bring to a boil and reduce at a simmer until it reaches maple syrup thickness.  Remove the solids.

 

Recipe adapted from  Marks, Copeland. The Exotic Kitchens of Indonesia: Recipes from the Outer Islands

 

Photograph from Drew Vahrenkamp

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