12-22: Nasi Goreng

Here’s something a bit different from the Pasta and Rice chapter. Simply Delicious has a lot of international recipes, some more authentic than others. 12-22: Nasi Goreng is a take on a popular Indonesian fried rice dish, a sweeter and spicier variation of the ubiquitous Chinese take-out version.

This recipe doesn’t give you much in the way of creating Nasi Goreng spices if you don’t have access to or want to use a premixed blend. After the jump, I’ll include a Nasi Goreng spice blend I used and a link to the book from which I pulled it.

This recipe suggests using curry powder, paprika, and Tabasco sauce as a substitute for Nasi Goreng spices. You COULD do that, but here’s another suggestion.

This is the spice blend recipe that I used, from a book I picked up on one of my used book/thrift store adventures. The book is The Spice and Herb Bible: 2nd Edition by Ian & Kate Hemphill (there’s a newer edition out there, but this is the one I have). It usually lives on my counter (you’ll see it in a lot of the ingredient shots, including the one for this recipe), and I use it a lot for spice blends and quick reference.

The galangal and amchur powder were tough to find, but if you don’t have access to an Asian or international market, I’ve linked to the ones I bought on Amazon–sometimes that’s just the easiest way to go.

Ingredients. The rice is Thai jasmine (I bought a 25 lb bag at Costco, this is the easiest way to store it), and I would have liked ham steak rather than ham slices, but you go with what you’ve got. The Nasi Goreng spices are the blend from the book I linked above, stored in an old clean jar.

I cheated and made my rice in a rice cooker rather than on the stove. I missed out on getting the onion flavor directly in the rice as it cooked, but it came out okay in the end. Spices went in to the cooker with the rice & water.

Get ready for some VERY spicy rice.

Onions cooked on their own on the stove in a bit of chicken fat with the oil to brown them.

I missed the whole part about condiments when buying things for this recipe, so I went with what was closest in my pantry. Mango chutney became ginger marmalade & tart cherry/apricot jam, pineapple slices became pineapple vinegar, and I had to 86 bean sprouts completely. I had soy sauce, but sweet soy sauce is more authentic. I attempted to make some sort of crab cake with some of these “condiments” to go with the rice, but it wasn’t good enough to write down/share.

Oil for cooking eggs. I prefer butter, but let’s keep it dairy free.

Onions are nice and brown now. I save them and the pan to add the rice to later.

Rice is done.

Eggs mixed & thinned with water.

I had the best intentions to actually make the omelette and slice it, but it didn’t go as well as planned.

Rice & onions incorporated together. If you go the rice cooker/separate onion route like I did, it should work out okay in the end.

I just really hate cooking rice on the stove.

Omelette became scrambled eggs after some pan lubrication malfunctions (told you I don’t like doing it with oil). Now it’s a bit more similar to the Americanized fried rice we all know and love.

Now I’ve got the ham going in a third pan. I sautéed it a bit first to give it a bit more flavor before I added it to the rice.

All together now, in one big pan (saved the big pan for the ham, knowing it’d be the last thing).

Final product, before any condiments/weird crab cakes were added. It was good, but pretty spicy. I think it was WAY better with the proper spice blend rather than Simply Delicious’ suggested substitutions. If you’re going to make it, do it right–it’s worth it.

Grade: A-