Nasi goreng is a fried rice dish from Southeast Asia, and - although it's originally Indonesian - I've enjoyed it mainly as a Malaysian speciality.
Let me tell you about this tastebud-tingling concoction. Nasi goreng makes any other fried rice seem amateur at best. It's super-spicy, packed with flavour, and - best of all - traditionally topped with a fried egg. There's also cucumber involved, and prawns. On paper it sounds like a batshit crazy combo of ingredients, but it works. Oh, it works so well. Let's go.
Nasi Goreng (serves 4)
You will need:
For the spice paste
- 4 shallots, peeled and halved (I used really little ones; if you've got big 'uns or banana shallots, use fewer)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3-4 bird's-eye chillies, seeds removed
- 20g fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 20g unsalted peanuts
- 1 tbsp palm sugar (I found it in Tesco's fancy ingredients for fancy people aisle)
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- Lots of pepper
- A squeeze of lemon or lime juice
- A squeeze of anchovy paste (optional)
For the fried rice
- Olive oil for frying
- 250g chicken breast, sliced
- 3 or 4 shallots, peeled and halved
- 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 200g uncooked king prawns, deveined
- 1 tbsp ketjap/kecap manis (Indonesian soy sauce)
- 500g cooked long grain rice, completely cooled (should weigh around 200g uncooked)
- Salt and pepper
- 4 eggs, fried sunny-side up
- A handful of fresh coriander
- A handful of unsalted peanuts
- A large piece of cucumber, julienned
- Blitz all the paste ingredients in a food processor or with a blender on a stick. If it seems a little dry, add a splash of oil and blitz again until you have a smooth paste.
- Heat a little oil in a large frying pan, and fry the paste until you want to salivate into the pan with longing (traditionally this is two minutes or so).
- Add the chicken, and fry until cooked through, adding the halved shallots and the spring onions along the way.
- Throw in the prawns and ketjap manis, and as soon as the prawns are pink, add the cooked and cooled rice. Fry for about ten minutes, stirring regularly to stop everything sticking to the pan in a horrific mess.
- Towards the end of the rice cooking time, fry your eggs. Now taste the rice and add more ketjap manis and some salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
- Stir once more, and serve your nasi goreng with the fried eggs on top, along with generous helpings of coriander and peanuts, and the sliced cucumber on the side.