Recipes from Malaysia: Nasi Goreng


Here it is, the shrimp paste recipe of the week. Now, I've just spent a whole lot of time telling you how awful shrimp paste is, but it's really just a smell thing. It's not so bad to eat, but I honestly wouldn't blame you if you left it out.
If you have to order your shrimp paste, and it arrives, and you smell it ... don't throw it out and order another one. No, you did not get a spoiled batch. It is supposed to smell like that.

With that in mind, here is the recipe (Note that the original version called for a small chicken breast and 12 oz of prawns, which I left out becasue I was making it as a side dish. I did find other Nasi Goreng recipes that didn't include meat, so I felt like it was still authentic.):

First mix the kecap manis, soy sauce and sweet chili sauce together and set aside. I actually have a bottle of kecap manis left over from another blog meal, but you can also make it from scratch by boiling a half cup sugar with 3 tbsp water, a half cup soy sauce, one star anise and one crushed garlic clove (discard the garlic and anise pod after boiling).
Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a frying pan or wok over high heat. Add about a quarter of the beaten egg to the pan and swirl it around until it coats the entire pan. Cook for 30 seconds or until the egg is completely set. Remove from the pan and repeat until you have four really thin omelets. Let cool, then roll them up and slice thinly.
Heat up the rest of the oil in the wok or frying pan. Add the onion, sambal olek (A spicy chili paste--if you can't find it in the ethnic foods section of your local supermarket, you can buy it on Amazon.com), garlic, shrimp paste and carrot. Laugh as your kids start running desperately around the house like trapped rodents, screaming "What is that SMELL???"
Fry for a minute or so, or until stinky I mean fragrant. Add the rice, sauce mixture, green onions and cabbage. Keep cooking for three or four more minutes until the rice is heated through. Toss with half the omelet, and then put the other half on top with the fried shallots and sliced chiles.

So yeah, it wasn't awful. I didn't eat the leftovers, though, so I guess like stinky cheese I wasn't able to get completely past the shrimp paste thing. If you're still on the fence about whether or not you should make this with shrimp paste, ask yourself how you feel about stinky cheese. If you hate the smell but love the taste, I think you'll be OK with shrimp paste too. I can't really promise anything when it comes to the rest of your family, though.

Here's the printable recipe:


Ingredients

  • 2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 2 1/2 tbsp kecap manis
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce (I used Mai Ploy)
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sambal olek
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fried shallots
  • Thinly sliced red chili peppers

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice just as you would usually cook it. Drain and let cool, then move to the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
  2. Now mix the kecap mais, soy sauce and sweet chili sauce together and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a frying pan or wok over high heat. Add about a quarter of the beaten egg to the pan and swirl it around until it coats the entire pan. Cook for 30 seconds or until the egg is completely set. Remove from the pan and repeat until you have four really thin omelets. Let cool, then roll them up and slice thinly.
  4. Heat up the rest of the oil in the wok or frying pan. Add the onion, sambal olek, garlic, shrimp paste and carrot.
  5. Fry for a minute or so, or until fragrant. Add the rice, sauce mixture, green onions and cabbage. Keep cooking for three or four more minutes until the rice is heated through. Toss with half the omelet, and then put the other half on top with the fried shallots and sliced chiles.



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