NASI GORENG AYAM
I’ve been asked by a few people for my recipe for nasi goreng ayam (Indonesian fried rice with chicken). My parents were Indo, and my dad made this sometimes but I stupidly never asked him to teach me how.
This version is ayam (chicken), but you can make it with tempeh, beef, shrimp, lamb …
First of all, there really is no recipe. There are so many variations of the dish that it’s more a concept than a recipe. And I’m probably breaking tradition in several ways. But what I did was check out the first three or four Google recipe search results to get the basic idea. The quantities are more or less winging it, but in general I go for more flavor than less, and I like it spicy.
Cook some plain white rice. You could steam it, boil it, use your automatic rice cooking gadget, whatever. I use jasmine rice. The key is that it has to be cold, so day-old is best, but at least let it sit for two hours in the fridge. I’ve even used week-old rice from the freezer.
Fry a couple or a few beaten eggs. Set them aside.
Stir fry the following together in some hot (smoking) vegetable oil:
Some chopped vegetables (I like using carrots and green onions. I bet snap peas would be good.)
A couple or a few cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
A jalapeno or half a jalapeno or two jalapenos or other kind of hot pepper (How much really depends on how hot the pepper is.)
Ground cumin (half a tsp to 1tsp, maybe)
Ground coriander (half a tsp to 1stp, maybe)
Salt (maybe a tsp)
Chicken in bite-sized chunks
Get all this stuff well mixed together and at least partially cooked.
Add your rice. How much? It’s a rice dish, so you want enough to be the bulk of the meal.
Add in kecap manis (dark, sweet soy sauce). This is a key ingredient. It’s got a strong flavor, so start off with a small amount (maybe 1tsp), get it good and stirred in, and then add more if you like the taste and want more of it. But it should be enough to color the rice.
Throw in a teaspoon of sambal oelek (chili paste). This stuff provides a lot of the heat (and nasi goreng should have heat), but be careful with it. You can always add more as a condiment.
Add a wee bit of sambal terasi (shrimp chili paste) or shrimp paste. I’d really just use a little. Less than a teaspoon in most cases.
Get everything good and mixed in. The rice should be brownish by now.
Add in the fried egg, cut into strips or bits.
Serve with crispy fried onions on top (you could even use that stuff they put on greenbean casserole).
If you want, go all the way and get some krupuk (fried prawn crackers) on the side.
I think that’s it!