Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nasi goreng sambal ijo (green chili fried rice)

Good news: Holiday is officially starting tomorrow for me. Yaaay!
Bad news: My kitchen`s ceiling has been leaking. Water is dripping everywhere. Since last night. Forget the yaay.
Another bad news: The soonest I get my kitchen repaired will be Jan 5. That`s the soonest.

No, I won`t let myself complain on this. Having my kitchen flooded with water from the neighbor above (on long holidays!) does suck. But it`s not her fault. Our building is just old.
The universe is probably telling me to stop cooking for a while. The kitchen is now filled with buckets and towels for the leaking water making it impossible for me to cook there, indeed. I can only hope that the leaking will not get worse or spread to other room.

And in my efforts to cheer up, I just remembered that I have one dish I`d like to share with you. Oh yes, sharing the happiness (and deliciousness) in my life always cheer me up.  It`s not a fancy dish, but I llllllove it. I`m 70% sure that you`ve heard of Indonesian fried rice called "Nasi goreng". The general idea of nasi goreng is mixing sambal with leftover steamed rice and cooking them altogether. Meat, seafood, vegetables, or eggs are common as additional ingredients. It`s often recommended to use day-old cold steamed rice, not the fresh hot one, as the old rice has less water content and thus making the nasi goreng lumps-free and nicely dry. However, perfection isn`t my thing. I would have run away from the kitchen if I just let it bother me. And in fact, nasi goreng in our house usually comes without a plan. So, I inevitably always use hot steamed rice. I really don`t mind having my nasi goreng a bit mushy. Few lumps don`t bother me and him either.

So, if you happen to have old steamed rice, use it. Or if you purposely spare it, even better. I salute you. But if you want to be spontaneous, don`t hold back. You`ll still be happy with your nasi goreng.
Now, first thing to do (after you make sure that you have steamed rice), we need to prepare sambal ijo. You can check out the preparation here. But, this time I made some changes: 1, I didn`t steam the ingredients prior chopping and 2, I omitted dried shrimps. But I`m sure your nasi goreng would be equally (or more) tasty if you use sambal ijo prepared like I did before.
So, after chopping chilies, garlic, and onion, saute them with olive oil on medium heat and toss in shrimp paste (optional).Good fishy smell!

And I use this tiny white fish, which I completely forgot the name in Japanese (despite how frequent I use this in my dishes) and have no idea what it`s called in English. I`d be really glad if any of you can help me with this.

To the sambal toss in the fish.

Add fried tofu strips to the pan and toss again. Now is time to season it. I used soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, and pepper. You can add cayenne pepper if you need to spice it up. Remember that you`re going to add rice to this mixture, so you need to a little bit overseason it.

Bring in the rice. Hot or cold (not fridge cold, though), it doesn`t matter. For me. Apologies to any of you who`s about to scream at me on this. Keep stirring, try breaking any lumps, and adjust the taste. The more rice you stir in, the more powerful your arm and spatula need to be. Good luck.

Look what you`ve earned! A plate (or two, or three. I won`t judge) of green chili fried rice. You can top it with fried egg and add some shrimp crackers for crunchy kicks.
Fun fact: whatever the meal is, and whenever possible, Indonesian always eats with savory crackers or chips. And sambal. It`s in our genes.

For sambal (for this nasi goreng)
Green chili
Shrimp paste
Salt pepper
Fish sauce

Fried tofu strips
Steamed rice


  1. looks super delish!!!! are those anchovies or something different?

  2. no idea! but they`re not that salty like anchovies are. i need to recheck the name at seiyu`s label. ikan teri, or teri medan are the only names in my mind right now :D

  3. I am so sorry about your kitchen. Isn't it bad when it happens, especially to a person that loves to cook? This dish is beautiful full of colors and aromas.

  4. Hi Katerina, thank you so much. Yes, it is really bad. But we`re lucky to have a store nearby to buy our daily meals :)

  5. LOVE! I adore nasi goreng sambal ijo and the many many versions of it (mine is pretty minimal tho heheheh) ^_^

  6. I wonder if your kitchen's ceiling have been repaired ?
    I hope you will have a generous amount of happiness instead of water.

    I am from Japan, and I am writting to let you know that the teeny fish is called " SHIRASU".
    Your " nasigoreng looks gorgeous !
    Sad to say,I don't have fish sauce but your recipe made me want to eat fried rice with some shirasu!
    And your idea of using fried tofu strips to make fried rice is something new for me, which is lovely!

  7. Hello there, thanks for visiting! 明けましておめでとうございます!
    Now I remember it`s called shirasu, thank you! Actually you can replace the fish sauce with dried shrimp ground together with shishitou and garlic. Or you can just use the regular nasi goreng instant pack (with red sambal) sold at shops for imported goodies. Shirasu and aburage go perfectly nice with it too.
    They`re still repairing the kitchen, so I still can`t cook now. But thanks for caring and the good wishes :))

  8. Oh my, this is an avalanche of yumminess, so full of flavor, I love it!!

  9. hi bentobird! this fried rice is my favorite :)