Seriously Simple Recipes
You've probably enjoyed one-dish rice dishes like arroz con pollo, paella or risotto.
Nasi Goreng (which means fried rice in Indonesian) is a bit more unusual than these other dishes.
Spicy and full of bright flavors, but also hearty and satisfying, this dish is just the thing to pick you up on a chilly night.
In Indonesia the taste can differ dramatically depending upon the region and the proximity to the ocean. This adaptation that will perk up any cook's culinary repertoire. What makes this a Seriously Simple dish is that all of the preparation is done ahead.
For the best result, the rice should be allowed to cool to room temperature before making the dish. So keep that in mind and plan ahead. If the rice is warm, it will become oily when stir-fried.
The cooking will go quickly, so it's essential to have all of the ingredients prepared and ready. That way the dish takes just a few minutes to put together. I recommend using serrano chilies, but any small, hot, flavorful chili (such as jalapenos or Thai chilies) will work well. Avoid Scotch Bonnet or Habenero chilies unless you like your food extremely hot and spicy. Roasted peanuts may not be authentic, but their addition as a garnish looks pretty and tastes delicious!
Help is on the Way
--Long grain rice, which comes out fluffier and is less sticky than other types of rice and is best for fried rice dishes.
--If you like egg: scramble 2 eggs separately and add to the rice in the final stage of cooking.
--The shrimp and vegetables should be cooked separately and added in the final stage of cooking.
--If you want to remove some of the heat, discard the chili seeds that contain most of the heat.
--Advance Preparation: This may be prepared through step 1 up to 8 hours ahead. Have all ingredients chopped.
--When working with chilies, always wear rubber gloves. Wash the cutting surface and knife right afterward.
Nasi Goreng with Shrimp (Indonesian-style Fried Rice)
Serves 4 to 6
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and diced
- 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 scallions, white and light green parts, finely chopped
- 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 small green or red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 pound fresh bean sprouts (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
- 1/2 cup roasted shelled peanuts
1. At least 3 hours before preparing: In a large saucepan with a lid, heat the water on medium-high heat until boiling.
Add the rice and turn down the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed.
Remove from the heat and transfer the rice to a large cookie sheet or strip of wax paper to cool, separating any clumps of rice.
Let cool to room temperature.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large wok on high heat.
When the oil is hot and almost smoking, add the carrots, mushrooms and red pepper, and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until slightly softened.
Add the shrimp and scallion, and toss every 15-20 seconds for 1-2 minutes or until the shrimp just turns pink.
Remove the vegetables and shrimp to a side bowl and reserve.
3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok.
When the oil is very hot and almost smoking, stir-fry the shallots for about 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned.
Add the garlic, ginger and chilies, and toss for about 30 more seconds or until they are aromatic.
4. Add the rice and spread it all around and halfway up the sides of the wok.
Let the rice cook about 10 seconds and then toss to combine and coat the ingredients.
Add the paprika, ketchup and soy sauce, and toss to blend.
Add the reserved vegetables and shrimp and toss again, making sure to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Add the bean sprouts and toss once more.
Taste for seasoning.
Transfer the ingredients to a large serving bowl or platter and garnish with the cucumber and peanuts.
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Diane Rossen Worthington Recipes
Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including "Seriously Simple Holidays," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.
(c) 2009, Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.
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