Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

By Esther Boateng

Nasi Goreng is an Indonesian rice dish made with a small quantity of vegetables, some seasoning, and a protein of your choice, such as chicken. If you’re a dab hand at making risotto, you’ll find this recipe a breeze; the other good news is that you only need a few simple ingredients.

There’s one ingredient that might be less familiar: shrimp paste. This ingredient was tricky for me to get hold of at my local grocery. Generally, if I don’t have a particular ingredient at hand, I’ll use a substitute; in this case it was anchovy paste, which is a great choice.

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to this type of dish, there is one general rule of thumb; use cold rice to get the best results. This means pre-cook your rice and let it cool, or freeze it if you have time and use it later.

If you use warm, freshly cooked rice, you might end up with sticky fried rice, which isn’t altogether a bad thing, but it’s not Nasi Goreng. I like to sprout my rice the night before, cook it in the morning, put it in the fridge, let it cool, and use it to make this recipe in the evening.  This recipe tastes good with a fried egg or on its own.


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