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.
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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: 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. It can be found in markets with Southeast Asian ingredients and on Amazon: 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.
Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) Recipe
Adapted from Saveur
Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)
- 1 teaspoon dried shrimp paste
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 2 shallots chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 red chilies stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 4 eggs
- salt to taste
- 5 cups cooked long grain rice refrigerated overnight
- 4 1/2 teaspoons kecap manis sweet soy sauce
- 2 small cucumbers sliced diagonally
- 2 medium tomatoes sliced
- In a large skillet, cook shrimp paste over medium high heat. Once toasted, after about 2 minutes, remove from skillet and let cool.
- In a small food processor, add cooled shrimp paste, brown sugar, shallots, garlic, chilies, and water. Process until smooth.
- In the cleaned large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Break in the eggs, keeping them separate, and season with salt. Cook just until the yolks are set, about 4 minutes. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. Decrease heat to medium and add the pureed spices. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to high and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly and breaking up the clumps. Once the rice is heated through, stir in the kecap manis until the rice is evenly coated. Season with salt and serve with fried eggs, cucumbers, and tomatoes.