Nasi Goreng with Achar (Indonesian fried rice with pickles) - AFF Indonesia Mar 2014

I used to think that Nasi Goreng is the same as our chinese fried rice; after trying I found the taste to be more flavourful and fragrant. I guess it must be the use of spices in the fried rice. So I bought one of those commercial pack of "Nasi Goreng paste" to try but wasn't quite impressed with the taste.

Decided to do a proper Nasi Goreng this time round, and after searching the internet for recipes, I found that it's not so difficult after all. Basically just pound or blend shallots, garlic, toasted belachan and chilli into a paste for the fried rice; and the other key flavouring is kecap manis which gives the fried rice a mild sweet taste. The fried rice turned out so flavourful and fragrant! Love it!


Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)
(recipe adapted from Indochine Kitchen)
(serves 1-2)

Ingredients:
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3g belachan/shrimp paste, toasted
  • 2 chilli padi
  • 80g chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 300g cooked rice, preferably left overnight in fridge (I use mixture of jasmine, brown and red rice)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
Steps:
  1. Grind/pound shallots, garlic, belachan and chili padi to fine paste.
  2. Heat cooking oil in a wok using medium heat and stir-fry spice paste till fragrant and slightly golden brown.
  3. Push spice paste to side of wok and add chicken breast. Fry till opaque.
  4. Push aside. Pour egg into the wok and quickly scramble.
  5. Mix egg and chicken with the spice paste, break them into smaller pieces.
  6. Add rice, pepper, kecap manis and soy sauce. Stir-fry everything quickly over high heat, for 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle chopped spring onion and serve warm with condiments such as achar.  

As a condiment to the fried rice, I also made some achar (Indonesia pickle). The pickled cucumber and carrot was sweet, sour and slightly spicy and remained very crunchy, very appetising and complimented the fried rice well. Some people served the fried rice with a fried egg or sunny-side-up but since there was already egg added to the fried rice, I decided to pair the rice with some Sate Lilit Ayam.

I'm a big lover of achar, whether the ones made by Chinese or Malay. I love them all! But I haven't tried making before because I think it's rather tedious having to cut up the vegetables neatly and also prepare the rempah. However, this Indonesia recipe is so quick and easy! The taste was so good that I finished half the portion and hubby the other half portion at one go.

Both the fried rice and achar are very suitable to pack for lunch-in at the office as well, which I did for hubby. They are definitely keepers!


Achar (Indonesian Pickle)
(recipe adapted from Daily Cooking Quest)

Ingredients:
  • 1 large cucumber, remove seeds and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 large carrot, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 5 chili padi, remove the stems
  • 8 shallots, peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
 Pickling liquid
  • 300 ml water
  • 80g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
Instructions:
  1. Place cucumber, carrot, chilli and shallots in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Toss well. Wash and strain after 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the pickling liquid, bring water, sugar, salt, and vinegar to a boil in a pot. Turn off heat when all the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add the vegetables into the pickling liquid and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer to glass jar and let rest for at least 1 hour before the achar is ready to be enjoyed.
  5. Store the pickles in fridge, for up to 2 weeks.


I am submitting this to Asian Food Fest Indonesia Month

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