Nasi Goreng is an Indonesian fried rice seasoned with shrimp paste, chiles, shallots, and kecap manis. There are a few variations, but I made a basic version often served at breakfast topped with a fried egg. Make sure to use cooked rice that has been refrigerated for a few hours.
.It is noted by CNN as number 2 on the voter-decided list of the “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods“. I have also made a few other dishes on this list: Ice Cream from the United States, Pho from Vietnam, Fajitas, and Goi Cuon from Vietnam.
The two lesser known ingredients in this dish are shrimp paste and kecap manis.
Shrimp paste (terasi, trassi, kapi, belacan, bagoong alamang, shrimp sauce) is a Southeast Asian condiment made by grinding shrimp with salt and drying the mixture in the sun. Like fish sauce in Southeast Asia and anchovies in Europe, it has a strong odor, but is flavorful when added in small quantities. In Indonesia, shrimp paste (terasi, trassi) is sold in block form or ground. It is very salty, so take care in adding more salt to meals. Shrimp paste can be made at home, but I have not tried it and the process can be time consuming. I found shrimp paste at the local Asian food market and it is also available on Amazon: Tra Chang brand Thai Shrimp Paste.
Kecap manis (ketjap manis) is a thick, syrupy sweet soy sauce from Indonesia. The sauce can be made at home, but I have not tried yet. I plan on attempting soon, because the only brand of kecap manis I can find has sodium benzoate: ABC Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce.I bought a new bottle for this recipe and two days after making the Nasi Goreng (after using only 4 1/2 teaspoons), the large bottle fell out of the refrigerator while I was reaching for something else and broke. Cleaning the contents from the floor, part of the rug, and under the refrigerator is not fun and I hope to never have that happen again. I can definitely vouch for the thick and syrupy consistency.