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Friday Foods: The Traditional Malay Fried Rice

Or better known as Nasi Goreng Kampung.

Nasi Goreng Special
Photo by hpgonline

The first time I had this was when I visited my late paternal grandmother and an aunt had made this. It was different from the fried rice I’ve known; it’s spicy, a little on the salty side and hits the spot and burns the tongue, just the way I like it.

Ingredients
2 bowls of cooked rice, preferably stored in the fridge over night
3 red chillies, cut into big chunks
2 shallots
1 clove of garlic
3g of toasted belacan (shrimp paste)
3 long beans, chopped into 1/4 inch lengths or shorter
1/2 carrot, diced into small cubes
1/2 cup dried anchovies
1 egg, scrambled
50g of shrimp, shelled
salt to taste
3-4tbs oil


Put the chilli, shallots, garlic, belacan and a pinch of salt into a food processor or a blender and blend everything until it’s smooth. Don’t add too much water when blending as it will take longer to cook to a thick paste. Alternatively, you can pound the mixture in a mortar and pestle, which is the traditional way to do it. Set the paste aside.

In a wok or pan, heat up some oil. Throw in the anchovies and fry until their brown and crispy. They burn rather easily so take care when frying. Drain and set the anchovies aside.

Fry the shrimp in the same oil that you fried the anchovies in. It won’t take long. Drain and set the shrimp aside.

Fry the pounded/blended paste in the same pan. Adding a little bit more oil will help with the frying, but not too much since it’ll make you fried rice too oily.

When the paste is fully cooked (because if it isn’t, your rice is just going to taste of raw chilli), add in the rice. The rice may be lumpy so break the lumps with your stirring utensil and stir to make sure that the rice is fully coated with the paste.

Add in the chopped vegetables. Stir the rice to mix in veggies and continue cooking until the veggies are cooked through.

When the fried rice is cooked to the point where the paste coating the rice granules is dry, stir in the scramble egg, cooked shrimp and fried anchovies.

Served hot with your choice of sambal or side dish.

Note: This is just the basic recipe for the fried rice. You can add in anything you want with it. Personally, I love adding in chopped up left over fried chicken from yesterday’s dinner and a lot, a lot of fried anchovies. I’ll usually add in a couple of chilli padi to give it that extra kick.

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