N is for Nasi Goreng Ayam
Nasi Goreng Ayam literally means chicken fried rice and is a national dish of Indonesia. It is popular not only in Indonesia but also in neighboring countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Migration of population has carried it over to countries all over as well.
Nasi goreng ayam has originated from the Chinese fried rice, and started out as a way to use up left over cooked rice. Today there are many versions of this dish as can be expected of a dish with many ingredients.
Like every fried rice recipe anywhere in the world, the basic concept revolves around three main ingredients: cooked rice, vegetables and meat. Mixed together and spiced up. It is where the spicing up part is considered that the recipes differ most.
What makes nasi goreng ayam unique is the addition of kecap manis, a sweet soy sauce, and fried shallots. Also that it is served with fried eggs – scrambled into the rice in some versions and served separately in some versions.
Don’t be scared away by the long list of ingredients for this recipe; it is all much easier than it looks. The ingredients are not difficult to gather and you just throw them in the pan one after the other. And tada… the fried rice is ready!
Nasi goreng ayam is usually served with shrimp crackers, in addition to the fried egg. Pickled or fresh salad vegetables can also be a good side.
N is for Nasi Goreng Ayam
- Marinate the chicken pieces with 1 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp oyster sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Heat two tbsp of oil in a pan on medium heat. Add half the thinly sliced shallots to the oil. Fry on medium heat, stirring constantly. When crisply fried, remove to a plate and set aside.
- Heat 1 and 1/2 tbsp oil in a largish wok (or frying pan) on high. Add the marinated chicken pieces to the pan and fry, stirring regularly, till the chicken is cooked and the outside is crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add 1 and 1/2 tbsp of the remaining oil to the pan. Add the remaining shallots and ginger to the pan. Fry till the shallots turn soft and transparent. Add the garlic and fry for a minute.
- Add the green beans, snap peas, and the white parts of the scallions to the pan. Add the turmeric powder and fry till the vegetables are cooked yet crisp, about 3 minutes.
- Add the cooked rice and fried chicken to the pan and mix well.
- Add the sliced green parts of the scallions, kecap manis, soy sauce and oyster sauce to the pan. Mix gently taking care not to mash the rice. Check for seasoning.
- Sprinkle the fried shallots on top.
- When ready to serve, use 1 tbsp of remaining oil to fry an egg sunny side up, for each serving. Serve hot with the fried egg and any other accompaniments like shrimp crackers or pickled vegetable.
- To make kecap manis, mix together equal quantities of soy sauce and palm sugar (or brown sugar) in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook on low till it reaches the consistency of a thick sauce. You can increase the amount of sugar if you would like a sweeter sauce.