I’ve been eating chicken fried rice for as long as I can recall and it’s a dish of which I never tire. This version of nasi goreng is my absolute favorite. The galangal and white pepper give it a good amount of heat, which is balanced by the sweetness of the kecap manis and the saltiness of the soy and fish sauce. The fried duck egg with a runny yolk on top is sheer luxury. With the added crunch of green beans, fried shallots and kerupuk or prawn crackers, this dish hits all the right spots and is my favorite choice for a Friday night in.
Origin Popular all over Indonesia
Chilli heat Mild
Sambal suggestion Peanut sauce
- If using raw peanuts, heat 150ml of oil to 160°C in a deep saucepan over a high heat. (If you do not have a kitchen thermometer, check the oil is at temperature by adding a cube of bread; it should turn golden in 25–30 seconds.) Carefully lower the peanuts into the hot oil using a slotted spoon. Stirring continuously, as peanuts can easily burn, fry for 4–5 minutes until golden. Remove the peanuts from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a tray lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the chillies and garlic and fry until softened, about 4 minutes.
- Place the fried peanuts or peanut butter in a small food processor with the cooked garlic and chillies, kecap manis, tamarind paste and salt. Pulse briefly, then add a splash of water to loosen the sauce and pulse again. Gradually add water (about 4 tablespoons) and continue to pulse until the sauce is a pourable consistency. Season with salt or more kecap manis as needed.
- Combine the soy sauce and sugar in a small saucepan, place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and thicken to the consistency of maple syrup. This should take no longer than 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
- Toss the sliced shallots with a little salt to add flavor. Fill a deep saucepan one-third full with oil. Heat the oil to 140°C. (If you do not have a kitchen thermometer, check the oil is at temperature by adding a cube of bread; it should turn golden in 40–45 seconds.) Add the shallots and, stirring occasionally, gently cook for 10–12 minutes. When more than half the shallots are golden, turn off the heat and allow the shallots to brown in the residual heat. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and spread the fried shallots flat on a tray lined with paper towels. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Keep the shallot oil in an airtight container, as it is utterly delicious. I like to stir a little through rice before serving to give a lovely depth of flavor.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and white pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan or wok over a high heat and fry the chicken until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, add the garlic, galangal or ginger and shallots and cook over a medium-high heat until fragrant. Add the green beans, spring onions and turmeric and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the rice to the pan, breaking up any clumps with a wooden spoon. Ensure all the ingredients are well combined and the rice is warmed through. Return the chicken to the pan. Season with the kecap manis, fish sauce, light soy sauce and a large pinch of white pepper, and extra salt if needed.
- Meanwhile, fry the eggs. Place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once shimmering, crack the eggs directly into the oil. Cook for 2–3 minutes until the whites are partially cooked. Tilt the pan and spoon the hot oil over the egg whites until they are fully cooked (I like my yolk runny, but cook yours to your liking). Season with salt.
- Divide the fried rice between two serving plates and garnish with the fried shallots, sliced chilli and fried eggs on top. Serve with crackers.
Reprinted from Coconut & Sambal by arrangement with Bloomsbury Publishing. Copyright © 2020, Lara Lee. Photography by Louise Hagger.