Hi, my name is Robin and I am addicted to Nasi Goreng.
Nasi = rice
Goreng = fried
Nasi Goreng = my addiciton, Indonesian fried rice
I was first introduced to nasi goreng, the national dish of Indonesia, in 1982 soon after arriving on the island of Java. Hooked immediately, I have spent the last 33 years seeking the memorable flavors of the many different versions of Indonesian fried rice, most often disappointed. I was very anxious to return to Southeast Asia for numerous reasons, but high on the list was for the smells and flavors of the cuisine.
During our recent travels, we ate fried rice in Japan, Hong Kong and finally in Indonesia. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Jack admitted along the way, I believe in Bali, that he was hooked as well.
I attended a cooking class at Hotel Tugu Lombok, an exotic resort on the quiet island of Lombok, Indonesia. I was able to choose four dishes for the class and tag along to the market in the morning to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and seafoods. There are many types of fried rice throughout Indonesia, so I selected Nasi Goreng Kampoeng as one of the four dishes for my class, the local Lombok twist on this perfect one dish meal.
What you’ll need for two servings:
Rice: cooked and cooled – about 1 1/2 cup
Chicken, thigh or breast: cooked and shredded
Red chili pepper – one diced
Shallot – one diced
Garlic – one large clove diced
Eggs – two raw, one hard boiled
Bean sprouts – handful
Cabbage – one cup chopped
Fresh egg noodles – available at Asian supermarkets, prepared according to package
Kecap Manis, or Indonesian Sweet soy sauce – 1 teaspoon
Soy sauce – 1 teaspoon
Salt, pepper and sugar (palm sugar, if available) – a pinch or two
Chicken powder – 1/2 teaspoon
And a really hot wok, or large skillet.
The key, in my opinion, to successful Southeast Asian cooking is proper preparation. Cook your rice, noodles, egg and chicken in advance and bring to room temperature. In Indonesia, leftover rice is always available. We used chicken thigh meat, simmered in coconut milk. While your rice and chicken are cooking, gather, measure, clean and cut your remaining ingredients.
Now let’s make our Nasi Goreng.
Add oil to hot skillet, enough to coat generously. Once oil is hot, add diced red chili, shallot and garlic, sautéing until coated with oil, and starting to soften. Add stirred, raw egg.
Once eggs are cooked through, add rice.
Add Indonesian sweet soy sauce. Wait, what’s Indonesian sweet soy sauce? It is thick, dark and sweet, and I make my own and store it, and you can too.
Kecap Manis (Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce)
What you’ll need:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup brown sugar
In a small, heavy pot, bring sugar and soy sauce to a boil over low to medium heat until it thickens, resembling maple syrup. It will thicken as it cools.
Back to cooking. Add the sweet soy sauce, soy sauce, salt, pepper, sugar and chicken powder to rice mixture and stir until well blended.
Now add cabbage and stir. And finally, add the egg noodles, stir and cook until heated through.
Serve the Nasi Goreng on plates of banana leaves, if available, and top with shredded chicken and sliced, boiled egg.
Along with the Nasi Goreng Kampoeng, we prepared Lebui Meat Ball Soup, Ikan Bungkus Daun (fresh fish grilled in banana leaves) and Saute Bulayak (grilled skewers of beef tenderloin), recipes that I will share soon.
Although Jack was not interested in going to the market, or joining us in the beautiful outdoor kitchen at Hotel Tugu Lombok, he did enjoy sharing this traditional, delicious Indonesian feast with me.
Let me know if you have any questions about the ingredients or preparation.
Selamat makan (enjoy your meal),