sharing recipes from one generation to the next
Australia’s place in Asia has well and truly been cemented by our embrace of her food.
Stir fried meals are the mainstay of week night meals for busy Aussie cooks and long snaking queues at hole in the wall sushi joints demonstrate our love of the grab’n’go nori roll for lunch. Hardly a suburb or a country town exists in Australia that doesn’t play host to a Thai or Chinese cafe and our major supermarket all dedicate a large amount of shelf space to Asian ingredients.
I have very vivid relocation as a young newlywed a long long time ago when British food was our mainstay, attempting to make fried rice. The electric frypan I’d received as a wedding gift seemed perfect for the task. I’d boil the rice, fry some meat and veg, dump in the still steaming rice and produce a horrid gluey savoury mass. There was no google then to help me solve my cooking woes, but eventually I mastered the technique.
I love savoury rice dishes but now find Chinese style fried rice unexciting. Nasi Goreng, Indonesian fried rice, with it’s sweet chilli flavours and fresh crunchy accompaniments is a wonderful alternative. There are no hard and fast rules about what should be added to Nasi Goreng although the sauces are mandatory for the traditional sweet and savoury kick. Remember though this dish is all about the rice so don’t overload it with meat and vegetables. A fried egg served on top of the rice is the traditional crowning glory.
As with most Asian food, the time taken to make Nasi Goreng is all in the pre-cook preparation so be sure to have all your ingredients ready before you put the heat under the wok.
I always steam rice by the absorption method. I don’t use a rice cooker, just a saucepan with a tight fitting lid. The day before you intend to make Nasi Goreng steam 1 cup of basmati or jasmine rice. This is my method.
Measure the rice in to the saucepan and then measure the same volume of cold water plus 1/2 cup. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Put the saucepan, uncovered over a high heat and bring to the boil. As soon as the pot boils reduce the heat to the lowest setting, tightly cover the pan and steam for precisely 10 minutes. It should be barely bubbling. Turn off the heat and set the rice to rest for a further 10 minutes. Remove the lid of the pan and rest for a further 10 minutes.
The rice is now ready to chill overnight in readiness for making Nasi Goreng.
Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 chicken thigh, finely shredded
8 small green prawns, heads removed, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, julienned
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
2 teaspoons garlic infused oil
1 teaspoon onions infused oil
2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
3 tablespoons kecap manis
1 teaspoon sambal oelek
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup mung bean sprouts
3 cups cooked and cooled long grain rice, basmati or jasmine
2 tablespoons sliced spring onion greens
1 gem lettuce, quartered
1 small cucumber sliced
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts extra
1/4 cup ground peanuts
1 tablespoon sliced spring onion greens
4 fried eggs
Prepare the chicken, prawns, ginger, chilli, tomatoes and spring onions.
Mix the sauces, flavoured oils and sambal oelek together.
Break up any clumps of rice.
Before you begin to cook arrange the lettuce, cucumber slices and lime wedges on four shallow serving dishes.
Heat both the wok for the rice and a small frypan in which to fry the eggs.
When the wok is smoking add 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil, chicken, prawns, ginger and chilli.
Stir fry until the prawns change colour.
Add the sauces and tomatoes.
Add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the small frypan and add the eggs to fry over a medium heat.
When the sauces have boiled, add the rice.
Stir to thoroughly combine.
Add the bean shoots and spring onions and keep tossing the wok contents until they heat through.
Divide the rice between the four bowl.
Top with a fried egg and scatter over the crushed peanuts and extra spring onion slices and bean shoots.
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One of our favorite dishes when we traveled to Indonesia… even though the ingredient list is long, a dishe worth making 🙂
With a totally ‘sick’ computer system for the last few weeks have just ‘caught up’ with this delight! Well, my kids well and truly have had their kids, but I began making this when my daughters were in kindy and a Dutch-Indonesian Mom taught me how!! Exciting! Yours has fun differences – shall remember and try 🙂 ! Kate says 1970s Britain – may I make it 1960s Australia 🙂 ! How exciting it used to be at so many ‘foodie-club’ dinner parties!
Nasi goreng deserves to be on everyone’s dinner table, really delicious
Looks so delicious! And, goodness, Sandra, can you believe we ever lived without Google? I love my cookbooks and am generally skeptical of Internet recipes unless I “know” the person posting them, but I don’t know how we did it before the ability to look up an ingredient, general information about how to cook something, etc. I think we had a lot more failures. 🙂
We could spend weeks talking about how google changed our lives! Sadly I think cookbooks have become a dumbed down version of themselves in response. There is little serious reference material being written. Recently I went to a charity secondhand book sale. The gargantuan number of ‘look good’ cookbooks selling for $2 was startling and for me said a lit about their intrinsic value …
Your way of making Nasi Goreng is very interesting — I’ve never made it, but it’s one of the best dishes I’ve eaten in the Netherlands. The numerous small bowls of vegetables and condiments are so incredibly wonderful! Last time I had it was on a canal cruise around the town of Leiden. I should try your recipe!
best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com
It’s simple to make at home Mae. The flavours will bring back wonderful memories of your time in Holland
This is a delicious dish with nicely paired flavours and works well both for lunch or dinner 😀
Homemade Chinese style fried brownrice is a big fave in our household so will need to push out of that comfort zone and try this next time. Nice one.
Thanks Cheery, we love the chilli bite with this one, hope you do to
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Fabulous recipe. I have to completely agree with you on two points – I never use a rice cooker either (just a pan with a lid) and I also find Chinese fried rice a bit yawn, yawn. In fact, I prefer Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine in general to Chinese. Great post. Will definitely be trying – my husband would go mad for this!
Thanks Tracey, hope hubby approves..
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Sandra, I have never had Nasi Goreng. Reading through your instructions made it clear that the flavours would be superior to what I know as Chinese fried rice (i.e. something like you described making in your electric frying pan). Must find the ingredients and give it a go.
It’s a pretty straightforward dish Debi, hope you can find sambal oelek and mung bean shoots 😀
I’ve just discovered a shop here in Athens that sells all sorts of Asian products, so I’m set!
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You are making me ravenous again! That looks so good. Wish I lived next door. 🙂
Thanks Linda, I’d always be pestering you for a cup of sugar…😉
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You would always be welcome to one. 😀
It looks fantastic, Sandra. I have had a few of these in Bali 🙂
Very nice version, though Basmati would be quite untraditional here. Often a fat medium white rice is used more often than a long grained rice.. Only mentioning this as I am in the land of this dish right now and so am feeling annoyingly pedantic. I could it it day and night. A little home made sambal on the side is rather nice too.
I always choose basmati for Asian style dishes purely and simply because of lower carb content, just a personal choice. Lucky you, enjoy…..
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Nasi goreng was my mother’s party piece, and very unusual it was in 1970s Britain. She used to bring ingredients home after visits to her family in the Netherlands: sambal oelek, kekap manis, peanut oil, the whole nine yards; we had a pantry full of Conimex condiments. She was taught to make her version by her parents’ Indonesian housekeeper. Thank you for this tasty nostalgia trip.
You’re welcome. The very first time I made Nasi Goreng I used a Conimex dry spice mix that has heaven knows what in it. I really like this version..
Beautiful dish! My eyes and stomach are asking for more 😀