Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nasi return Goreng

Traveling is simply the one thing I need to do to survive. If I don't have a trip on the horizon, I get the fidgets. If I haven't got an e-ticket number, or a booking reference to refer to, I'm anxious.

It's times like these, right now anyway, where I return to a place of familiarity and am reminded why I move around so much, why I do what I do and what kicks me on and off those planes. In a nutshell, this destination has a fabulous Nasi Goreng written all over it.

The ironic part of where I've hit landfall, is in that it isn't some beautiful corner of Indonesia where the humble nasi is as part of the fabric as shortbread is to my youth in Scotland, but rathe where I think 'we' perfected this dish.
It's been a year since I was here, and let the boys loose. But I haven't returned to be disappointed. Delighted more like.

Here's pretty much what we're working off - give or take a splash here and there, and a chicken skewer or two.

Serves 4

2½ tblsp vegetable oil
6 small shallots, finely sliced
250g long grain rice, freshly cooked and cooled
A handful each of stir-friable greens, such as asparagus, mangetout, sugar snaps, beansprouts 
Salt and pepper
Handful of prawn crackers, deep fried in vegetable oil
4 fried eggs

2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp shrimp paste, toasted
2 mild red chillies, chopped
1 tblsp kecap manis or dark soy sauce
½ tblsp sweet chilli sauce

For the dressing, in a mortar, pound together the garlic, shrimp paste and chillies, then mix in the kecap manis and chilli sauce.

Or just chop and crush everything. Heat 2 tblsp oil in a wok and large frying pan and fry the shrimp paste mixture for 2 minutes.

Add the shallots and stir-fry for about half a minute, then add the rice and stir-fry together for about 3 minutes.

Divide between serving bowls or plates. Stir-fry the beansprouts and greens in ½ tblsp oil with salt and pepper for about 1 minute and pile on to the nasi goreng.

Add rice crackers, fried egg, and serve.


  1. A lovely post - I've often thought some of the best experiences should be revisited to be truly appreciated.

    Great recipe as well - my children will eat a scabby dog if it's covered in kecap manis so is a store cupboard staple. Thanks.

  2. Hi-tops? Really....?

  3. Nice post, and the recipes look great! x

  4. i really, really love this dish- it is one of my father's favourites- smthg he came to love when he used to travel to Jakarta for work. i'll try your version one day and let you know how it turns out- am sure it will be delish. x shayma

  5. Where can I get/make the kecap manis? Is it important or can I just reduce some soy sauce to make it richer?