In Indonesia, in all restaurants serving Indonesian food, you will find a classic dish: nasi goreng. The base is fried rice (nasi) sautéed with vegetables and some chicken or beef strips and will include, depending on the region, shrimps, a fried egg, and decorated with some fried dried onions. A variant, the mie goreng (mie – also spelled mi – meaning noodles) is prepared the same way but replacing rice with Chinese noodles. The mie goreng may look more greasy as the rice absorbs more oil.
In restaurants on the tourist islands like Bali and Lombok or in major Indonesian cities you will often be offered the “special” version which includes both chicken and shrimp, and often topped with a fried egg. Then ask for a nasi goreng special, or mie goreng special.
The picture above is a version of a nasi goreng special, but as the Spanish paella there are many regional versions and no real official. But this picture gives a general idea of the final result.
Here is the nasi goreng recipe, for your next weekend and surprise your friends before you leave to or when return from Indonesia:
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced into strips
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon of mashed garlic
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (see preparation below)
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 4 cups cooked rice with water and cold
- 4 spring onions, thinly sliced (including the stem)
Preparation of sambal oelek (per cup):
Chop thinly 200 grams of small peppers (type bird pepper) after removing the head. Bring to ebulitionl in a saucepan with 1 cup water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour the remaining in a blender with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Mix to reduce in a fine puree. This chili paste can be stored in a covered glass jar (no metal) in the refrigerator and kept for a maximum of 2 weeks.
Preparation of nasi goreng:
Beat the egg in omelette and pour into a heated pan with 1 tablespoon oil, simmer in a thin pancake, when cooked put it on a plate and let cool. When cold, roll it on itself to slice thinly.
Put the remaining oil in a wok or large pan, heat, add the chicken, carrot, and let brown slowly. Add the sambal oelek (chili puree), the soy sauce, the rice and the fresh onions. Fry until all takes a nice golden color and is hot. Add the garlic or mashed or finely chopped and let it cook one more minute.
Serve immediately, decorated with strips of omelette and chopped white onion stem.
Note: cook your rice in advance and let it cool before frying. So it will not stick when you do fry. As this is a main course you can add peeled fresh prawns Finally you can add spices found in some Asian grocery store to your preparation of nasi goreng (or mi goreng). Even if it is not essential they will give a flavor of authenticity that is not essential to enjoy the traditional dish.
You will find also the counterpart of the asian version of a noodle dish: the mi goreng. Take the same recipe, same ingredients, but replace the rice with Chinese noodles (cooked and cooled), or instant noodles. A way to vary your pleasure …
Now here’s the version to avoid if you prefer better food! It will be faster to prepare as it is packs of instant noodles. but the taste is way different :
Another way to present mie goreng, tasted at Café Alberto in Senggigi (Lombok). It is served with a pair of chicken skewers topped with satay sauce. A nice version:
Finally, here is the luxury version served at the only 5 star hotel in Lombok: the Oberoi Lombok. The mie goreng is served with a pair of chicken skewers with satay sauce (rather Balinese sauce), fresh sliced vegetables, a fried egg, chips shrimp and prawns:
Two simple indonesian recipes better than your sandwich or salad on the corner of your desk… But I guarantee you a whiff of exoticism in your kitchen when you will put these recipes into practice this evening or during the next weekend. Low cost and prepared in a few minutes!
Try, and come back to tell me what you think in a small comment below!