"Nasi goreng (fried rice) is a Chinese-influenced dish and one of Indonesia's most renowned culinary offerings," writes Janet De Neefe in her stunning book Bali: The Food Of My Island Home (Pan Macmillan Australia.
"It varies from island to island, but the principal remains the same: wok-fried rice with seasonings, sauces and simple ingredients."
She points out that it is enjoying a curious renaissance, appearing in all shapes and sizes across the archipelago in clever combinations of meats, herbs and garnishes.
"If you wander through the food courts of Indonesia's glam shopping malls, you will see modern interpretations of it wherever you look."
She recently found this delicious version on her travels to Jakarta.
"In the spirit of nasi goreng, feel free to add what you like (providing it tastes good!) as it is all about experimentation," she suggests.
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 10-15 minutes
- Yield : 2 - 3
- vegetable oil - 2 tablespoons
- large raw prawns, shelled and deveined with heads and tails left intact - 2 - 3
- leek - 1/3, finely chopped
- shelled raw prawns - 250g, finely chopped
- kaffir lime leaves - 5, rolled into a bundle and finely shredded
- choy sum or bok choy - 3 cups, chopped
- snow peas - 25, blanched
- peas - 1/2 cup
- kecap manis - 2 teaspoons
- fish sauce - 1 teaspoon
- oyster sauce - 1 1/2 tablespoons
- cooked rice - 2 cups
- lemon basil or Thai basil - 1/3 cup, chopped
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- fried shallots - to serve
- large krupuk (prawn crackers, or another flavour) - 2 - 3, to serve
- Spice Paste:
- red shallots (or 1/2 red onion) - roughly chopped
- garlic cloves - 8
- long green chillies - seeded and roughly chopped (optional)
- small green chillies - roughly chopped (optional)
- slice of shrimp paste - equivalent to 1 teaspoon
Make the Spice Paste: put ingredients in a mortar and pestle and pound to a smooth paste, of blitz in a blender with a splash of water to get the mixture moving if needed.
Heat a splash of oil in a wok over medium heat and fry the large prawns on each side until just cooked. Transfer to a tray and cover to keep warm.
Add the remaining oil to the wok and fry the spice paste for 30 seconds. Add the leek, chopped prawns and lime leaves and toss for about 30 seconds, then add the vegetables and sauces. Toss until the vegetables are barely cooked. Add the rice and mix thoroughly until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper and more sauces if desired. Serve topped with fried shallots, the large prawns and krupuk.