Nasi goreng is enjoying a curious renaissance, appearing in all shapes and sizes across the archipelago in oh-so creative combinations of meats, herbs and garnishes. If you wander through the food courts of Indonesia’s glam shopping malls, you will see modern interpretations of it wherever you look. I recently found this particularly delicious version on my travels to Jakarta. However, in the spirit of nasi goreng, feel free to add what you like (providing it tastes good!) as it is all about experimentation.
- 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
- 2–3 large raw prawns, shelled, deveined, heads and tails intact, plus 250 g shelled raw prawns, finely chopped
- ⅓ leek, finely chopped
- 5 kaffir lime leaves, rolled into a bundle, finely shredded
- 3 cups chopped choy sum or bok choy
- 25 snow peas, blanched
- ½ cup peas
- 2 tsp kecap manis
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1½ tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 cups cooked rice
- ⅓ cup chopped lemon basil (or Thai basil)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- fried shallots, to serve
- 2–3 fried large krupuk (crackers, prawn or another flavour), to serve
- 3 red Asian shallots (or ½ onion), roughly chopped
- 8 garlic cloves
- 4 long green chillies, seeded, roughly chopped
- 3 small green chillies, roughly chopped (optional)
- slice of shrimp paste equivalent to 1 tsp
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place the spice paste ingredients in a mortar and pound to a smooth paste, or blitz in a blender, with a splash of water to get the mixture moving if needed.
Heat a splash of the oil in a wok over a medium heat and fry the large prawns on each side until just cooked. Transfer to a tray and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add the remaining oil to the wok and fry the spice paste for about 30 seconds.
Add the leek, chopped prawns and lime leaves and toss for about 30 seconds, then add the vegetables and sauces. Toss until the vegetables are barely cooked.
Add the rice and mix thoroughly until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon basil. Taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper and more sauces if desired.
Serve topped with fried shallots, the large prawns and krupuk.
Recipe from Bali: The Food of My Island Home by Janet de Neefe. Published by Plum/Pan Macmillan Australia.