Nasi goreng literally means ‘fried rice’ and although you can eat it any time of the day it is particularly popular in many South East Asian countries for breakfast.
To many, the idea of rice, spice, chicken and prawn first thing is an extraordinary concept, but we are living in extraordinary so perhaps now is the time to give it a go.
Many of the ingredients can be prepared in advance and thrown together bleary eyed in the morning while the kettle boils.
It wasn’t until my second trip to South East Asia that I really got into the spirit of this but there is something fantastic about having something spicy for breakfast. On a chemical level the heat from the spices causes your body to release endorphins which gives you a welcome boost.
The dish is popular in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia but also Sri Lanka where Indonesian traders brought the dish with them. Curiously the dish is also popular in the Netherlands where Dutch traders brought the dish back from their colonies in the 20th Century.
The aroma of fresh ginger, lemongrass and garlic in the kitchen will transport you to the far east and get your day off to a cracking start.
You will find many variations of nasi goreng as it is claimed by several countries as their own and each country has their own twist. Personally, I favour the Malay version to the Indonesian. Below is a link to Rick Stein’s version which is made with more readily available ingredients than those in a more traditional recipe. If you’re a fan of heat source yourself an extra strong sambal!
Personal tip: use day old rice as the slightly drier rice absorbs the liquid and flavours better.