Today’s recipe is a quickie, mostly because I’ve written so much about fried rice already. Regardless, I though it was time to introduce nasi goreng (“fried rice” in Indonesian/Malay), one of my favorite fried rice dishes, to the world.
Nasi goreng is different from other fried rices in that it uses shrimp paste/powder (“terasi” in Indonesian, “belacan” in Malay, and could be labeled as either in the store), chilies, and a little palm sugar. The result is a taste that is pungent, spicy and sweet all at the same time. The traditional recipe uses “kecap manis” – a sweet soy sauce used in Southeast Asia – but I think that there’s enough sweetness in the palm sugar alone so I stuck with my tamari/aminos combo.
2 cups day-old rice
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp tamari or coconut aminos
1/2 tsp each shrimp paste, fish sauce, palm sugar, chili paste (or one small chili, de-seeded and finely chopped)
2 tsp coconut oil
Your first step is to toast the shrimp paste until is dries out and becomes aromatic. Five minutes on medium heat should be enough. Next, in a small food processor (or Magic Bullet), blend the shrimp paste, fish sauce, chili, and garlic. Fry each egg individually (usually until the yolk is only a little gooey) and set them aside.
Heat up the coconut oil on med/high heat in a pan or wok, and add the shrimp paste blend. Heat the paste up until it becomes aromatic, one or two minutes. Add the rice, breaking up any clumps, and stir together quickly until well blended, about three minutes. Add the tamari and palm sugar, and mix it in and continue to stir fry for another three or four minutes. It should be done by then – now just put the rice in a bowl and top it with a fried egg. You can also complement your meal with slices of raw cucumber and tomato, which help to offset the spiciness.
I should add that the Indonesians in general don’t eat with chopsticks; they eat with their hands or with a fork and spoon (a product of Dutch influence). In other words, use a spoon!