"Just off Jalan Sabang, down a street called Kebon Sirih, is a really famous nasi goreng joint at number 73. Theirs isn’t just any nasi goreng though; they make it with mutton and the locals love it. So do I. I arrive early in the afternoon, at around 4.30 pm, because I really want to catch the cooks preparing the dish. They have two of the biggest woks I think I’ve seen in my life and in them they sear the mutton – kilos upon kilos of it. Next, in goes the rice with all the lovely spices, plus heaps of sweet, sticky kecap manis. It is then stir-fried with a massive shovel – such a joy to watch." Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's Street Food Asia
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 200 g mutton or lamb backstrap, cut into small cubes
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 Asian red shallots, sliced
- 2 long fresh red chillies, finely chopped
- 740 g (4 cups) refrigerated cooked rice
- pinch of five-spice powder
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 head pak choi, sliced
- 50 g white cabbage, thinly sliced
- 40 g (¼ cup) fresh peas
- 2 spring onions (scallions), sliced
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp kecap manis
- pinch each of salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp fried shallots
- 1 tbsp thinly sliced spring onion (scallion)
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 2 green bird’s eye chillies, sliced
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.
Heat a wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the mutton and stir-fry for 1 minute or until seared. Transfer the mutton to a bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the wok, then sauté the garlic, shallot and chilli on medium heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the rice, increase the heat to high and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until lightly browned and all the rice grains are separated. Add all the spices and continue to stir-fry for another 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the pak choi, cabbage, peas and spring onion along with the mutton. Toss to combine well, then add the dark soy sauce, kecap manis and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with fried shallot and spring onion. Serve with cucumber, tomato and green chilli.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Tammi Kwok.