Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nasi Goreng

One of the most popular and best-known Indonesian dishes, this is a marvellous way to use up leftover rice, chicken and meats such as pork. Recipe serves 4-6.


1 3/4 cups basmati rice (dry weight), cooked and cooled
2 eggs
2 tablespoons water
7 tablespoons sunflower oil
8 ounces (250 g) pork fillet or fillet of beef
2-3 fresh red chilies, seeded and sliced
1/2 inch (1 cm) cube terasi (blachan)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, sliced
4 ounces (125 g) cooked, peeled shrimp (prawns)
8 ounces (250 g) cooked chicken, chopped
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Deep-fried onions, to garnish


1. Separate the grains of the cold, cooked rice with a fork. Cover and set aside until needed.
2. Beat the eggs with the water and a little seasoning. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan, pour in about half the mixture and cook until set, without stirring. Roll up the omelet, slide it on to a plate, cut into strips and set aside. Make another omelet in the same way.
3. Cut the pork or beef fillet into neat strips. Finely shred one of the chilies and set aside. Put the terasi into a food processor, add the remaining chili, the garlic and the onion. Process to a paste.
4. Heat the remaining oil in a wok. Fry the paste, without browning, until it gives off a spicey aroma. Add the strips of pork or beef and toss the meat over the heat, to seal in the juices. Cook the meat in the wok for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. Add the shrimp, cook for 2 minutes, then add the chicken, rice and soy sauce, with salt and pepper to taste, stirring constantly. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with omelet strips, shredded chili and deep-fried onions.

Tip: Make the terasi paste using a pestle and mortar, if you prefer.

Indonesian Pineapple Rice

This way of presenting rice not only looks spectacular, it also tastes so good that it can easily be served solo. Recipe serves 4.


3/4 cup natural peanuts
1 large pineapple
3 tablespoons groundnut or sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 chicken breasts (about 8 ounces/250 g) cut into strips
Generous 1 cup Thai fragrant rice, rinsed
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 lemon grass stalk, bruised
2 thick slices of ham, cut into julienne strips
1 fresh red chili, seeded and very finely sliced


1. Dry-fry the peanuts in a non-stick frying pan until golden. When cool, grind one-sixth of them in a coffee or herb mill and chop the remainder.
2. Cut a lengthwise slice of pineapple, slicing through the leaves, then cut out the flesh to leave a neat shell. Chop 4 ounces (125 g) of the pineapple into cubes; saving the remainder for another dish.
3. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the chicken strips and stir-fry over a medium heat for a few minutes until evenly brown.
4. Add the rice to the pan. Toss with the chicken mixture for a few minutes then pour in the stock, with the lemon grass and a little salt. Bring to just below boiling point, then lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes until both the rice and the chicken pieces are tender.
5. Stir the chopped peanuts, the pineapple cubes and the ham into the rice, then spoon the mixture into the pineapple shell. Sprinkle the ground peanuts and the sliced chili over the top and serve.

Rice Noodles with Pork

Rice noodles have little flavor themselves but they have a wonderful ability to take on the flavor of other ingredients. Recipe serves 4-6.


1 pound (500 g) pork fillet
8 ounces (250 g) dried rice noodles
1 cup broccoli florets
1 red pepper, quartered and seeded
About 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
10 spring onions, trimmed and cut into 2 inch (5 cm) diagonal slices
1 lemon grass stalk, finely chopped
1-2 fresh red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon tomato puree
3 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
For the marinade:
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh root ginger


1. Cut the pork into thin strips, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and 1/2 inch (1 cm) wide. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the pork, stir to coat and leave to marinate for about 1 hour.
2. Spread out the noodles in a shallow dish, pour over hot water to cover and soak for 20 minutes until soft. Drain. Blanch the broccoli in a small pan of boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
3. Place the pepper pieces under a hot grill for a few minutes until the skin blackens and blisters. Put in a plastic bag for about 10 minutes and then, when cool enough to handle, peel away the skin and slice the flesh thinly.
4. Drain the pork, reserving the marinade. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan. Stir-fry the pork, in batches if necessary, for 3-4 minutes until the meat is tender. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
5. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary and fry the garlic, springs onions, lemon grass and chilies over a low to medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the broccoli and pepper and stir-fry for a few minutes more.
6. Stir in the reserved marinade, coconut milk and tomato puree, with the kaffir lime leaves, if using. Simmer gently until the broccoli is nearly tender, then add the pork and noodles. Toss over the heat for 3-4 minutes until completely heated through.