Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice), by Bill Wilkat May 9.2008
I was born in the Netherlands and raised eating Dutch, Indonesian and North American style food. My family immigrated to Canada in the early 1950s and my late father was a chef. I grew up in Montreal and Laval, Quebec and with the exception of 3 years living in Goose Bay Labrador, we were always close to the diversity of food that could be found in the province of Quebec, but Indonesian style food was not commonly found in those days. Having made trips back to Holland as a child, I am always reminded of the ever popular RIJSTTAFEL (Indonesian Rice Table) that is still a favourite of locals and tourists alike when they visit cities like Amsterdam and it remains a part of my life to this day.
When we visited Holland, I remember a nostalgic family dinner where the meal was ordered from a neighbourhood restaurant and it was delivered to our door in cast iron pots via bicycle. The pots were stacked high behind the rider all joined together with steel rods so that they stayed intact, and he also had a small trailer hitched to his bike to carry more of the pots. There were a number of different dishes with things like spicy meat satays on small bamboo sticks, pickled veggies, curry flavoured dishes and of course rice. And the most popular rice dish was always Nasi Goreng.
My dad used to make a pretty basic version of Nasi Goreng, and while it was darn tasty, I was always looking for ways to jazz it up more, but I never knew where to start. I asked around and received tips from a lot of people including some recipes that I tested out but was not totally satisfied making. Ironically, my wife’s Japanese heritage came to the rescue since her mother had been making a version of fried rice that seemed perfect to marry together with Nasi Goreng. So we took the best of both dishes and created our own version which I’m sharing with your today.
You can serve this up as a main course, or as a side dish, depending on how much you make and what you’re in the mood for, but we often enjoy it as a side dish served with a variety of meats.
Note: Left over cold rice works best for this dish, and you can save it in the refrigerator for a few days before making the Nasi Goreng.
- 3 to 4 cups cooked rice (Japanese white rice works best)
- 1/2 Onion diced — about 1/4” (6 mm) sized pieces
- 1/2 sweet red pepper — about 1/4” (6 mm) sized pieces
- 2 cloves garlic pressed or very finely chopped
- 1 green onion chopped — about 1/4” (6 mm) sized pieces
- 6 to 8 slices of bacon cut into 1/2” (13mm) size pieces
- 1 tsp Sambal Oelek (Ground Chilli Paste)
- 3 eggs
- 1 to 2 tbsp milk
- Crack eggs and mis with the milk in a large measuring cup and place aside.
- In a large deep non-stick frying pan, over medium high heat fry up the bacon until crispy, remove and place on paper towel to drain, reserving the bacon fat in the pan.
- Add the onions and fry for 4 minutes, then add the red pepper, and fry for other 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic stirring continuously to prevent it form burning.
- Add half of the green onion and stir, then add the Sambal Oelek and mix thoroughly.
- Move all the vegetables to the sides of the pan making an opening in the centre of the pan.
- Add the egg and milk to the centre of the pan and scramble to large pieces.
- Push the egg to the sides and add the cold cooked rice pressing down with the bacon a large serving spoon.
- Fry to soften the rice and gently stir it all together with the vegetables and scrambled egg.
- Continue frying and stirring until the rice is thoroughly heated.
- Sprinkle the balance of the green onion and crispy bacon pieces over top and serve immediately–Enjoy!
If you prefer a very a very spicy version, add more of the Sambal Oelek to your taste, or serve as a condiment long with gluten-free soy sauce for more seasoning if desired. Use regular low sodium soy sauce if do not suffer from Celiac Disease.