It was a Friday evening, pretty late and my stomach was in need of some good Indonesian food. Well, this was easy for me. Because most Indonesian people, or people with Indonesian roots, know that there is one typical Indonesian recipe that is easy to make, ready if you blink twice and the taste,.that is so ….No, I am not going to tell you about that haha, for that I say: read on and try it yourself!
To begin with Nasi Goreng means literally ‘fried rice’. It looks kinda like the Chinese-style fried rice, but there is so much difference between their taste. Nasi Goreng is also known as the national dish of Indonesia and the people across the country eat it regularly. For many people the reason to eat nasi goreng is because the dish is easy to prepare and very cheap.
I don’t know how it’s with the nasi goreng in your countries, but in the Netherlands it’s also quite common. This because Indonesia used to be a colony of the Netherlands, so when the Indonesian people arrived here, they brought some culture, including nasi goreng.
Enough about the background of nasi goreng, I think it’s time to talk about the preparation! So, I will guide through some different steps and I won’t tell you exactly what to do and to add this or that. I will give you the basic ingredients and what I used, besides I tell you things you can add. I want you to make the nasi goreng yours. Use the ingredients you like, because eventually, you are the one that’ll eat it!
Step 1 – Ingredients
There are many different sorts of rice. Just notice that you need rice that is not too sticky. I learned from my father that if you add 2 cups (no matter what size) of rice, you have to add 3 cups (that same size) of water. so the ratio is 1 : 1,5 . It’s also better if you prepare your rice the day before you will make nasi goreng.
Leek is a common vegetable in nasi goreng but not required. Just add the vegetables you like. Instead of the ones that I use, you can also use courgette, cabbage, broccoli, paprika, peas, etc. Onion is pretty typical for the tase, but if you don’t like, don’t add. (quantity: depends on the number of people you are cooking for)
- Egg (2 or 3)
I used egg but you can also use it instead/with something like chicken, shrimps, ham, etc.
- Garlic (3 or 4)
- Ginger (1 or 2 slices)
Not basic, but I like the sharp taste of ginger.
- Sambal manis (2 tablespoons)
In my opinion you must add sambal. No matter what kind of sambal, but you have to add it for the taste. The sambal I used is more sweet than hot, even though I like hot. But..you can also you Sambal Ajam, Sambal Badjak, Sambal Bawang, Sambal goreng, Sambal trassi, Sambal Pedis, and you can go on for ages haha.. just find out wich one you like.
- Terasi (1 or 2 teaspoons)
Also spelled like terasie or trassi. This is shrimp paste and a basic ingredient for the dish. No nasi goreng without terasi. (by the way you pronounce it as [tràsee] )
- Peppers (2 or more)
Basic ingredient. There are many kinds of peppers, but use the ones you like. The ones I use are called ‘Lomboks’, it’s the same as the Spanish pepper/red pepper/Chili pepper.
You’ll need this if you don’t want any burned food.
Beside the ingredients for the nasi goreng:
- Krupuk: various types of crackers, usually emping or prawn crackers
- Acar: pickles made from vinegar preserved cucumber, shallots, carrot, and small chilli pepper
- Some fresh tomato, cucumber, etc. To use as garnish or side dish.
- Some extra sambal
- Fried egg ( like I said before, you can add it in the nasi goreng or serve it separately)
- I also fried some fish sticks because… I just like haha
Step 2 – preparation
- Get yourself a pan and fill it with your amount of rice. For more people you can use more cups or bigger cups, as long as you use the right ratio. You can boil the water before adding it to your rice to be faster, else just add the water and light up your fire. Set the fire at its maximum until your water begins to boil, then stir and put it on its lowest. Just keep an eye on it and get it of the fire when ready.
- While your rice is on the fire cut the vegetables, garlic, ginger, peppers, etc in slices. If you have any ‘hard’ vegetables, boil them. Just fill a pan with some water and heat it up.
- Now grind the peppers together with some terasi, sambal oelek, the garlic slices, some onion. This mixture of spices or seasoning is called ‘bumbu’.
- Put a thin layer of oil in another pan (best is to use a wok/wadjan) and heat it up. Add the bumbu and ginger. Wait a few minutes or some until you smell the spices and add the egg (you can also fry your egg separately, depends on what you like). Instead of the egg you can add the chicken, shrimps, ham, etc. Just keep in mind how much time the ingredient needs, because the chicken needs to be fried longer than the shrimps. (If you fry something else like I did, do it now).
- Get the boiled vegetables of the fire. Pour off the water and add them to the other pan. Just cook this until you think it looks nice and set your fire on the lowest. Now add the rice and mix everything.
- To serve your dish nicely you can use a small bowl. Put your nasi in the bowl press it firmly, just like this:
- Now get the plate on which you want to serve it and put it on top of your bowl. Now turn it around and release the bowl.
- To finish everything you can cut some fresh leek, or something with more color if you prefer, to use as garnish.
Now your dish should look something like this
I hope that all of you will try it and if so, enjoy the Indonesian flavour!