There are so many ways to cook rice, the possibilities are endless. The continent of Asia alone has about a thousand variations. I love how the same spices used in slightly different combinations can produce a totally different taste. Nasi Goreng is an Indonesian style of fried rice. There are many different ways of making Nasi Goreng, some people add prawns, steak or chicken, others add a variety of vegetables, basically whatever is leftover and on hand. But some of the basic spices don’t change. The key to Nasi Goreng is using Kecap Manis or Sweet Soy Sauce.
Kecap Manis or Sweet Soy Sauce
Kecap Manis is made from fermented soy, date palm sugar (jaggery) and several other spices. It is quite thick and has several layers of flavor that is very different from regular soy sauce. It is delicious. The other must have items in Nasi Goreng are red chilis and Sambal Oelek. I like to use both.
Red Chilis and Sambal Oelek
Sambal Oelek is a red chili paste found in any Asian super market (same place where you’d pick up some of the Kecap Manis). Cumin and Coriander are also used. This adds a slight smoky flavor and balances out the sweetness of the Kecap manis and the heat of the red chilis.
Even though garlic, cumin, coriander and chilies are regularly used in South Asian cooking, when combined with the Sambal Oelek and Sweet soy sauce it completely changes the taste. This dish is widely eaten in Malaysia, Singapore and of course Indonesia. Served hot with that wonderful fried egg on top, it is amazing. You can’t stop eating it!
Left over Basmati Rice
Make a well in the middle of the wok and add eggs to the mixture
Add rice to vegetable mixture
Add caramelized onion
Nasi Goreng served with fried egg
Here’s the recipe:
6 cups cooked rice (preferably overnight)
2 large eggs
Salt according to taste
6 tablespoons cooking oil
3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 onion, finely chopped
2 red chilies, seed removed and sliced finely
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tbsp Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)
2 tsp Sambal Oelek
3 Stalks of celery, chopped
1 whole tomato, seeded and chopped
½ cup frozen green peas
4 finely chopped scallions
Additional eggs to serve over rice
1 large onion, thinly sliced (for caramelized onion)
In a large frying pan or wok heat oil and add 1 large onion very thinly sliced (using mandolin really helps to keep it very thin). Cook until onions are dark golden brown in color and place in a paper towel lined pan.
Beat the eggs in a bowl until foamy. Add a little salt according to taste. Set aside. Use a food processor to process the onion, chili, tomato, Sambal Oelek, garlic, sugar, cumin and coriander until it became a thick paste.
In the same pan that the onions were caramelized earlier add the processed paste and cook until it is fragrant. Add the vegetables except for the sliced scallions and stir fry for a few minutes. Make a well in the middle of the pan and add beaten eggs. Stir fry eggs until cooked and mix in with the rest of vegetables. Finally add in the cooked rice and a more cooking oil if necessary. Add the Kecap Manis (Sweet Soy Sauce) and scallions and continue frying for another 30~60 seconds, until it is well incorporated. Finally add caramelized onions and toss.
Scoop from the wok onto a plate and serve with a fried over-easy egg on top. If using as a side dish then serve without the egg on top.