Thanks to Holland's colonial past in Indonesia, nasi goreng ("fried rice") is a staple in every Dutch family home today. It's not authentic, of course: in fact, most Dutch versions use ham or bacon, which isn't halal, but that doesn't make it any less delicious.
It's classic fridge-raid food; using up leftover rice, vegetables, bacon, and eggs to make a filling meal that'll please the whole family.Turning your leftovers into another meal isn't only a tasty way to save money, but will help to save the environment, too. In this way, a longtime favorite now seems more timely than ever. Serve as a main with fried eggs and a cucumber salad, or as part of a Dutch-Indonesian rijsttafel.
We've translated and adapted this recipe from the original Dutch in Boekoe Kita. It has been republished here with the permission of the publisher.
- 4 tbsp. sunflower oil
- 2 large onions (peeled and finely chopped)
- 6 garlic cloves (peeled and cut into thin slices)
- 9 oz./250 g. smoked bacon lardons
- 6 eggs (beaten)
- 5 1/2 cups/900 g. cold, cooked pandan rice (or 2 1/3 cup/450 g. dry rice)
- To Serve:
- 3 to 4 fried eggs
- 1 cucumber (sliced into thin sticks)
- Heat the oil in a traditional Indonesian wadjan, regular wok or large frying pan. Fry the onions, garlic and bacon lardons for a few minutes until the vegetables are glazed and the bacon cooked.
- Add the eggs to the wok and cook until the eggs begin to set. Now add the cooked rice (see tips below) in batches, while continuing to stir.
- Serve with fried eggs (see tips below) and thinly sliced cucumber sticks or cucumber salad (see tips below).
This recipe really is better with day-old cold rice, such as leftover rice from the takeaway meal you enjoyed the evening before. You can also make rice, especially for this dish. Here's how we cook rice:
Wash the rice in a sieve to get rid of starch and impurities. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Add 1 1/2 cups water for every cup of pandan rice. Bring the rice to a boil in an uncovered saucepan over a medium heat. Once it boils, turn the heat down low and place a lid on the saucepan, tilting it to let the steam escape. Allow to cook until the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and use as needed. See step-by-step instructions.
- To fry an egg:
- Heat 1 tbsp of sunflower oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a high heat until it is so hot that you can see a faint shimmer on the surface. Break a few large, fresh eggs into the frying pan. Allow the eggs to cook for about half a minute, then turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook them, tilting the pan and basting the eggs with the hot oil so that the tops of the eggs cook too. The eggs will be ready after a minute or so. Carefully remove the eggs from the pan with a spatula.
- To make our cucumber salad:
- Cut 1 cucumber in half lengthways. Gouge out the seeds using a teaspoon. Discard the seeds. Now cut the cucumber into thin half moon slices. Place the slices in a bowl. Cut 1 chili in half. Scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard the seeds. Chop the chili very finely. Add to the cucumber in the bowl. Now make a salad dressing by mixing 2 tbsp sunflower oil, 1 tbsp plain vinegar, and a pinch each of sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add the salad dressing to the cucumber salad to taste, toss and serve immediately.
- We also usually place a small bowl of sambal and a bottle of ketjap manis, that salty-sweet Indonesian soy sauce, on the table for everyone to add to taste.