Nasi Goreng Istimewa (Indonesia)
This tempting fried rice can be a meal in itself if it is served with Shrimp Wafers and either of the red bell pepper sauces in the book.
In Indonesia hot chilies and cucumbers—cut to resemble tropical flora—decorate the rice plate like bunting, along with Egg Strips. You may prefer a simpler garnish of finely sliced scallion, and/or chopped hard-cooked eggs, and cucumber slices.
It is a good idea to cook the rice well ahead, so it has time to cool off completely before it is stir-fried. For optimum flavor, the rice should be stir-fried with all the other ingredients just before eating.
1-1/2 cups long-grain rice
1 red bell pepper
1 shallot, or 1/2 small onion
1 teaspoon shrimp or anchovy paste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
4 ounces lean beef steak
4 medium shrimp
2 cabbage leaves
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Put the rice in a bowl and wash in several changes of water, then drain. Cover it generously with fresh water and leave to soak for 30 minutes; drain again. Put the rice into a heavy-based pan. Add 1-2/3 cups water and bring to a boil, Cover the pan tightly, turn the heat to very low, and cook for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat. Keep covered and let the rice cool to room temperature.
2. Core, deseed, and coarsely chop the red pepper. Peel and coarsely chop the shallot. Combine the red pepper, shallot, shrimp paste, salt, and chili powder in a blender. Blend to a smooth paste.
3. Cut the steak across the grain into very thin slices, then cut the slices into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Peel and devein the shrimp. Cut into 1/4-inch-wide segments. Cover both and set aside, refrigerating if necessary. Cut the cabbage leaves into very fine long shreds.
4. Shortly before serving, set a wok over medium-high heat, then put in the oil. When the oil is hot, add the spice paste from the blender. Fry, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes until the paste turns dark red and the oil separates. Add the beef and shrimp; stir and fry for 1 minute. Add the cabbage and fry, stirring, for another 1 minute. Now put in all the rice, breaking up any lumps with the back of a slotted spoon. Stir and fry for 4 to 6 minutes or until the rice is heated through. Garnish as suggested (see headnote), and serve.
Madhur Jaffrey's Step-By-Step Cooking
Over 150 Dishes from India and the Far East
Including Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia
by Madhur Jaffrey
Pages: 272; $37.50; $56.50 (CAN)
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created June 2002
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