Citizens, nasi goreng – literally meaning “fried rice” in Indonesian and Malay – is a meal based around stir-fried rice, typically spiced with kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), shallot, garlic, ground shrimp paste, tamarind and chili and accompanied by other ingredients, particularly egg, chicken and prawns.
Nasi goreng is sometimes described as Indonesian stir-fried rice, although it is also popular in Malaysia, Singapore and the Netherlands. It is distinguished from other Asian fried rice recipes by its aromatic, earthy and smoky flavor; owed to generous amount of caramelized sweet soy sauce and powdered shrimp paste, and the taste is stronger and spicier compared to Chinese fried rice.
Nasi goreng has been called the national dish of Indonesia, though there are many other contenders. It can be enjoyed in simple versions from a tin plate at a roadside food stall, eaten on porcelain in restaurants, or collected from the buffet tables of Jakarta dinner parties.
In 2011 an online poll by 35,000 people held by CNN International chose Indonesian nasi goreng as the number two of their ‘World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods’ list after rendang!
Citizens, my version (of course) uses a homemade curry paste, in this case from the Island of Bali, as I am enamored with the use of spices there. I also add a unique twist to the recipe by using coconut water to cook the rice in, which adds an inimitable sweetness and flavor to the final dish!
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