|nasi goreng (photo: mine)|
My husband was born in Indonesia and spent a good portion of his childhood there, and he fondly remembers this fried rice dish. There are a variety of ways to prepare the dish authentically, but it seems most folks tweak it to their own taste and according to what's available. Over the years I've done the same, and this is the version my husband currently likes most (as do our kids). We make it about once a week, and there’s always enough for left overs.
1 cup uncooked rice (jasmine or basmati both work)
12-16 ounces cooked chicken breast (canned works in a pinch)
2-4 eggs, scrambled
6-8 green onions, sliced and chopped
1-2 zucchinis, chopped
3 cups sliced cabbage
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped and divided
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped and divided
several thin slices of red onion
2 tablespoons soy sauce sweetened with honey or sugar (substitute for kecap manis)
1 ½ tablespoon sesame oil, divided
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil, divided
a couple of chopped anchovies and/or a tablespoon or so of fish sauce (substitute for shrimp paste)
half a tablespoon or so ground turmeric powder
a tablespoon or two of fresh basil, chopped
crushed coriander pods
sambal oeleck (or substitue chili paste, hot sauce or chili powder)
Tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Cucumber, sliced in thin strips or "sticks"
Note: If you have a wok, you can prepare this all in one place, but I use several pans in addition to a pot to prepare the rice.
First, start the rice cooking according to directions and then chop the garlic, ginger and vegetables and set aside.
Heat half of a tablespoon sesame oil and half a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet; add half of the chopped garlic and half of the chopped ginger. Sauté for a minute or so and add the cabbage; stir fry until the cabbage is slightly browned and soft and then set aside and keep warm on a separate plate.
While the cabbage is cooking, in another pan heat half a tablespoon seasame oil and half a tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat; add the chopped zucchini and red onion and sauté until the zucchini is softened; set aside.
At the same time, scramble the eggs and cook until just done; set aside.
When the rice is done, heat the remaining sesame and olive oils over medium high heat in the large skillet; add the remaining chopped garlic and ginger and the chopped anchovies (if using, add the crushed coriander pods at this point). After sautéing for a minute or so, add the bean sprouts, green onions and then the rice. If using, sprinkle the chopped basil, chili powder (or hot sauce or chili paste) and ground turmeric over the top. Stir fry the rice and spices until the rice starts to brown. Add the sweetened soy sauce and fish sauce and stir thoroughly. Then add the cooked chicken, cabbage, zucchini and onions, and scrambled eggs. Stir fry until mixed well and heated through.
Serve onto plates and top with the chopped tomatoes and cucumber sticks. Enjoy!