Those who follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, run there) have had a glimpse of our dream vacation in Bali. I completely fell in love with the island 4 years ago so I had to return, this time with my family. Even if I often travel, I found such tranquility in Bali that I thought I hadn’t had a real break since I had first come. It’s true that Bali concentrates all the things that I love on vacation, and even in life in general: sunny and warm weather all year round, wonderful and diverse landscapes (rice fields, white sand beaches, and thousands of fragrant flowers anywhere you look), yoga and daily massages, kitchenware and fashion shopping, and above all, a food culture that I love. In particular, I became completely addicted to the nasi goreng. I almost fed on this national Balinese dish during our 15-days long stay. I nearly ordered it for breakfast once but my man looked at me in such a way that I changed my mind in favour of more traditional pancakes. In short, 5 days after we came back I already needed one so I had to cook a nasi goreng ASAP.
I took a cooking class during our stay, I will tell you more about it later on. We didn’t cook nasi goreng but they generously gave me their recipe. Their version did not use shrimp paste which I thought was absurd because the shrimp paste is what gives to the dish its distinctive taste but I guess if you can’t find it you can omit it. Aside from that flagship ingredient, I have adapted and simplified everything and you should, like me, be only 20 minutes away from enjoying that delicious dish. It’s so easy that I have already cooked it twice in a two weeks. It’s my favorite TV dinner right now, I enjoy it while while watching The Great British Bake Off.
Beware, I must tell you about a slightly inconvenient after-effect of this recipe – which might explain why the Balinese constantly burn incense. The nasi goreng leaves a persistent fish smell after cooking it. Hold on your scented candles ;-)
Prep time: 5mn
Cook time: 15mn
- 450g of long grain rice, from the day before (pssst, I use microwaveable cooked rice, even easier!)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or neutral vegetable oil like sunflower)
- 1 big shallot
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 green onions
- 1 small red pepper, deseeded
- 2-3 teaspoon of shrimp paste (optional but essential to me to obtain the distinctive taste of the nasi goreng, it can be found in every Asian grocery shop)
- 1 carrot, cut in small cubes
- 1 handful of shredded cabbage + 1 handful of boc choy (I replaced all of that by a big handful of fresh spinach)
- 2 tablespoons of Kecap Manis (Balinese sweet soy sauce which can be replaced by traditional sweet soy sauce or teriyaki sauce)
- 2 tablespoons of Kecap Asin (traditional soy sauce)
- 3 tablespoons of ketchup
- 1 teaspoon of palm sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- Beat the eggs and cook them until scrambled in a small saucepan. Set aside. Cut the chicken in cubes.
- Peel the shallot and garlic. Scoop the seeds out of the red pepper. Finely chop the shallot, garlic and red pepper. Chop the green onions (green parts included). Heat the coconut oil in a big saucepan or a wok. Sauté the shallot, garlic, red pepper and green onion on medium heat, until slightly golden.
- Add the shrimp paste and crush it down the bottom of the pan before adding the chicken and carrot (if you go for the cabbage and bok choi option add them here). Mix well. Sauté on medium heat until the chicken is cooked (approximately 5mn).
- Add the different soy sauce, ketchup, palm sugar, celery, rice and fresh spinach. Mix and keep cooking for another 2-3 minutes or until the spinach is cooked.
- Cut the heat and add the scrambled eggs, mix. Serve hot with some Balinese crackers or prawn crackers.
A few words about the nasi goreng…
There are generally three versions of nasi goreng: vegetarian, chicken and seafood. For me, nothing compares to the nasi goreng ayam (the chicken version), I simply love it. The vegetarian version is usually served with a fried egg on the top. If you like it, you can use noodles instead of rice, that dish is then called mi goreng. Of course, since it is a traditional dish there is no official recipe, every family has its own version but this one is a good basis to start. You’ve understood my point: you are on dish away from your next getaway!