Nasi goreng is incredibly addictive and I couldn’t have enough when I was in Indonesia. I got so used to their savoury breakfasts, which could have easily been lunch or dinner, that I had to make myself some once I was back home! The rice Indonesians like to use is fragrant jasmine, but you can also use basmati. You could turn this nasi goreng into a full one-pot meal by adding shredded chicken, or prawns or strips of beef or lamb. Count on 200g of meat and sauté it before adding the egg and adjusting the seasonings at the end.
- 60ml vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste (terasi)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed to a fine paste
- 2 organic eggs, beaten
- 200g Thai jasmine rice, boiled in twice the amount of water until tender and the liquid is fully absorbed
- 1 tablespoon kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
- 2 fresh green chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 bunch spring onions (about 50g), thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons Chilli and Tomato Sambal (see recipe below), plus more to serve
- Sea salt and finely ground black pepper
For the egg garnish
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 organic eggs
- Sea salt
- Dried chilli flakes
- Heat the oil in a wok or a deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp paste and sauté for a minute or so. Transfer to a small plate. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until golden, making sure it does not burn. Add the beaten eggs and let them cook undisturbed a little as if it were a frittata, then start stirring them to break them up in pieces. You want the egg to brown on the base to release the aroma, as William Wongso, Indonesia’s foremost celebrity chef, explained to me. Remove half the egg to a plate.
- Add half the rice to the egg remaining in the pan (this is being done a half at a time because if you overpack the pan, the rice will not fry properly). Stir for a couple of minutes until the rice starts to heat up and toast a little. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the kecap manis and mix until it is completely blended with the rice. Add half the shrimp paste and mix well. By now, the rice should have turned a lovely golden reddish-brown colour.
- Add half the chillies (if using) and half the spring onions and stir until they are well mixed in. Add half the sambal and mix well. Taste before adding salt and pepper to season. Remove to a plate and keep hot while you fry the remaining rice in the same way. Then add the already fried rice to the pan and keep on a very low flame while you fry the eggs for the garnish.
- To make the egg garnish, heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, break the eggs into the pan and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the edges are crisp and the white is done but the yolk still runny. Season the eggs with salt and a light sprinkling of chilli flakes.
- To serve, transfer the fried rice to a serving platter. Place the fried egg garnish over the rice and serve with more chilli sambal for those who want to have more.
Chilli and Tomato Sambal (Sambal Bajak)
This sambal comes from Java and is cooked slightly to produce a darker, richer mixture. Makes about 250g.
- 5 fresh mild red chillies, deseeded and sliced into rings
- 2 fresh bird’s eye chillies
- 6 small shallots (about 125g in total), quartered
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped palm sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, smashed
- 1cm piece fresh galangal, peeled and cut into very thin julienne
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste, diluted in 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Sea salt
- Put the chillies, shallots and palm sugar into a food processor and blitz until you have a fine paste.
- Put the vegetable oil, chilli/shallot paste, bay leaves, lemongrass and galangal into
a medium frying pan and place over medium heat. Sauté, stirring all the time, until the mixture has darkened somewhat. Add the diluted tamarind paste, nutmeg and salt to taste and simmer for another minute or so. Leave to cool, then discard the bay leaves and lemongrass before serving. This sambal will keep for a few days, either in the fridge or in another cool place, stored in an airtight container.
This recipe is taken from Feast, by Anissa Helou (Bloomsbury, £45), out now. Buy a copy here.