Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Recommended Posts

So I did a search on eG for this Indonesian fried rice dish and came up empty! If I Google the dish I come up with hundreds of variations. I totally expected this as no fried rice dish in any culture has a definitive recipe. The only constant I ran across that suggested this was Indonesian versus any other kind of fried rice was the ingredient Kecap manis (spelled many different ways).

Tell me how you make your Nasi Goreng and if I am missing some other crucial ingredient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nasi goreng generally requires a spice mix that contains chillies, shallots, garlic, kecap manis and fried belacan (fermented shrimp paste). This mix is then fried and forms the core of the flavour profile of nasi goreng. The exact recipe varies widely and I have not been able to replicate the best examples that I have eaten in Indonesia.

Here in Australia I can buy a pre made spice paste that is a great start. I would look in an Asian grocery store for a packet and start there.

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I did a search on eG for this Indonesian fried rice dish and came up empty! If I Google the dish I come up with hundreds of variations. I totally expected this as no fried rice dish in any culture has a definitive recipe. The only constant I ran across that suggested this was Indonesian versus any other kind of fried rice was the ingredient Kecap manis (spelled many different ways).

Tell me how you make your Nasi Goreng and if I am missing some other crucial ingredient.

 

 

Ive been slowly making Malaysian dishes...

And I could be off base but I think there are 2 separate sauces Kecap Masin/Asin and Kecap Manis

One is sweeter and the other is saltier...

 

Kecap Manis  

http://www.supershinetrading.com/products_detail.php?id=1418

 

Kecap Masin/Asin

http://www.supershinetrading.com/products_detail.php?id=1417

 

Grace from Nyonya cooking has this dish

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I did a search on eG for this Indonesian fried rice dish and came up empty! If I Google the dish I come up with hundreds of variations. I totally expected this as no fried rice dish in any culture has a definitive recipe. The only constant I ran across that suggested this was Indonesian versus any other kind of fried rice was the ingredient Kecap manis (spelled many different ways).

Tell me how you make your Nasi Goreng and if I am missing some other crucial ingredient.

After I lost my old recipe for this dish and couldn't find my Indonesian cookbook, I asked the guy at the local SE Asian market about a recipe and he directed me to this website  which had an earlier version of the recipe, with less instructive photos, back in '09 or so.

I keep the sweet soy sauce on hand all the time - in the large bottle because I use it in barbecue sauces, marinades &etc., quite often.

HPIM7364.JPG    I also use it for "glazing" roasting duck and chicken - boneless turkey breast, etc.

 

This dish does have a lot of variations but this is almost identical to the dish served at an Indonesian restaurant I frequented for many years in Inglewood, CA,  J.B.s Little Bali. 

 

And "Kecap" is pronounced  ketchup...  


Edited by andiesenji (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A store with Dutch imports should have the Comimex brand of of spice mixes... They have many Indonesian spice mixes, including Nasi Goreng.

Pulled out my packet and the ingredients are: onion, red pepper, carrot, leek, green beans, salt, coriander, garlic, sesame oil, yeast extract, mustard, malodextrine, potato flour, ginger, soy sauce, shrimp powder, beet extract, and lemon juice powder. You need to make the vegetables, rice, meat and eggs that go along with the spice packet. Might just be easier to make the whole thing from scratch. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A store with Dutch imports should have the Comimex brand of of spice mixes... They have many Indonesian spice mixes, including Nasi Goreng.

Pulled out my packet and the ingredients are: onion, red pepper (this is red bellpepper btw), carrot, leek, green beans, salt, coriander, garlic, sesame oil, yeast extract, mustard, malodextrine, potato flour, ginger, soy sauce, shrimp powder, beet extract, and lemon juice powder. You need to make the vegetables, rice, meat and eggs that go along with the spice packet. Might just be easier to make the whole thing from scratch. :-)

You're referring to their boemboe's (pron. boom-boos) I see and not the packs with dried veg and stuff which are also available (but not from the Conimex brand I see. Google nasi kruiden, you'll see pictures of the mixtures with pieces of dried onion, leeks, etc. along with spices. I prefer these over Conimex boemboe's if I don't cook it from scratch, which is very unusual though).

If you don't want to cook from scratch, do yourself a favour and select something more authentic than Conimex boemboe's. It's Dutchified, so unless you're looking specificly for a toned down version of a Dutch-Indo experience at least get yourself an Indonesian or Malay brand instead.

Like Andie I have ABC kecap, but I also use (and like) the ones in the white mini jerrycan's like ketjap medja.  There's a difference in flavour between some of these as some have more molasses or sugar content, which might be worth trying out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of my Indonesian cookbooks use light (salted) soy sauce rather than the sweet (manis) version in Nasi Goreng.

 

I'd recommend Sri Owen's book "Indonesian Food" for anyone who is interested in investigating this delicious cuisine. I've put in the link to the ebook but there is also a print version.

 

Nyonya cooking is Malaysian and, although they have great food, I'd prefer to be looking at Indonesian sources for a more genuine version of the dish.

 

Edited to add: Here's a link to Owen's recipe on Epicurious. The discussion in the recipe's rating on the site suggests that finding an "authentic" recipe is going to be an uphill battle.

 

 


Edited by nickrey (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah but whose dish is it?

The Malaysians claim it as theirs...They also claim Chicken Rendang, But so do the Indonesians...So whose is it?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of my Indonesian cookbooks use light (salted) soy sauce rather than the sweet (manis) version in Nasi Goreng.

 

I'd recommend Sri Owen's book "Indonesian Food" for anyone who is interested in investigating this delicious cuisine. I've put in the link to the ebook but there is also a print version.

 

Nyonya cooking is Malaysian and, although they have great food, I'd prefer to be looking at Indonesian sources for a more genuine version of the dish.

 

Edited to add: Here's a link to Owen's recipe on Epicurious. The discussion in the recipe's rating on the site suggests that finding an "authentic" recipe is going to be an uphill battle.

The discussion is fascinating. Those recipes reviewers are almost as passionate as we are on eG. It would seem that Nasi Goreng is whatever one says it is! Thank You for sharing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're referring to their boemboe's (pron. boom-boos) I see and not the packs with dried veg and stuff which are also available (but not from the Conimex brand I see. Google nasi kruiden, you'll see pictures of the mixtures with pieces of dried onion, leeks, etc. along with spices. I prefer these over Conimex boemboe's if I don't cook it from scratch, which is very unusual though).

If you don't want to cook from scratch, do yourself a favour and select something more authentic than Conimex boemboe's. It's Dutchified, so unless you're looking specificly for a toned down version of a Dutch-Indo experience at least get yourself an Indonesian or Malay brand instead.

Like Andie I have ABC kecap, but I also use (and like) the ones in the white mini jerrycan's like ketjap medja.  There's a difference in flavour between some of these as some have more molasses or sugar content, which might be worth trying out.

CeeCee, actually yes, I like to reproduce the Dutch Indonesian food that I have had in the Netherlands but am very interested in the Indonesian & Malay versions too. Would you be willing to share your recipe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found one cookbook, Authentic Recipes from Indonesia  by Heinz Von Holzen and Lother Arsana (2006)

 

The recipe for "Classic Nasi Goreng"   is very similar to the one I posted a link to in my earlier post.

 

Specifies  sweet Indonesian soy sauce plus  Sambal Kecap (recipe on page 33)  and Krupuk shrimp crackers, (recipe on page 24)  and 1/2 portion of Mixed Vegetable Pickles...

 

I usually use only a couple of hot fresh peppers and if it isn't spicy enough I use a very small amount of Sambal badjak. 

 

I have at least two more Indonesian cookbooks.  one is Regional food of Indonesia and is older, probably late '90s and I have another that was published in the early '80s.

Plus a book just about Sambals and other hot sauces from SE Asia and Indonesia. 


Edited by andiesenji (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tracked down the photo of nasi goreng that I cooked for the Cradle of Flavor thread, and miraculously I remembered how to upload the photo.

 

JavaFriedRice_0367.jpg

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny, I also have 2 of Heinz von Holzen's books...

 

CeeCee, actually yes, I like to reproduce the Dutch Indonesian food that I have had in the Netherlands but am very interested in the Indonesian & Malay versions too. Would you be willing to share your recipe?


If you're really looking to reproduce an experience like that, it's important to know where you had it. Was it in a restaurant or take out from a toko? Chinese-Indo, Indonesian or perhaps even Surinamese-Javanese? Or did you eat at someone's house? Where they Dutch, Indo, Indonesian, etc.?

Conimex imho is only suitable if you're longing for a home cooked Dutch-Indo meal by a Dutch person.

It would be nice to finally give something back to this great forum, but I don't have a go to recipe I'm afraid. (Generally, I'm more inspired by a recipe anyway than following it to a tee). Depends on what's in my fridge, which cookbooks or websites I've been reading and what we feel like. Lateley this meant Surinamese-Javanese mostly, but I'm looking into rendang atm I do have some of my Indonesian cookbooks out so I'll look up some recipes for you.
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Anna for bringing up this topic! I'm going to try out some of these recipes all of you have shared and check my bookshelves... I think I bought Cradle of Flavor when everyone on eGullet was cooking from it. Always meant to cook from that book, now might be the time. Anna, I'm looking forward to see what versions of nasi goreng you make.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the mean time here's chef Lonny Gerungan in a Dutch video making a nasi goreng. Yes, a nasi goreng since there exist thousands of versions in the world he explains in the intro.
This version is nasi goreng kampong, kampong means village.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oyNid30IZc



He advises a light Chinese soy sauce here by the way. I think the light refers to a less thick soy sauce rather than the light vs dark soy like Pearl River Bridge brand. His bottle looks like Kikkoman to me.

Not a cook video, but I feel this belongs here as even Lonny referred to it in his video. It's a song by a Dutch actress born in Indonesia. She still performs as the Dutch-Indonesian character Tante Lien. One of her songs is "Geef mij maar nasi goreng", which is about moving back to The Netherlands, Dutch cuisine and how she prefers nasi goreng and other Indonesian delicacies instead of Dutch fare.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB-mVj54PQg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB-mVj54PQg

 
Edited by CeeCee (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Nasi Goreng" simply means fried rice (nasi = rice, goreng = fried), and is the same in either Malay or Indonesian, two very closely related languages which are mutually comprehensible.  It is not an exclusively Indonesian dish, as others have mentioned.  The dish (called Nasi Goreng) in Malaysia/Malay Peninsular is just as "authentic" a dish, as it is "authentic" to the locale and milieu.**  The Chinese influence on the development of the dish I suspect overlaps in both Malaysia and Indonesia as Chinese settlements occurred in both places (Sumatra/Padang especially? I'm not certain) as in Melaka/Malacca & etc.  As to whether one predated the other by a lot I'd have to look deeper into that.  The dish is of course also found in Singapore and Southern Thailand as well as in the Philippines (called by another term).

 

There are Nyonyas in Indonesia too.  Ditto Singapore.  Perhaps if one used the term Peranakan (see here and here for some info to lead one off) one might not declare that Nyonya cooking is Malaysian.  (p.s. Malaysia as a country did not exist until 1963.  :-) "Malaya" or "Malayan" or "Straits Settlements" in context might be better; or Malay Peninsular".)

 

The "basic" nasi goreng would, indeed, be simply leftover rice fried w/ some kind of flavoring sauce.  The variations are multitudinous.  Anything else is an add-on and varies depending on who's cooking and where.  :-)  Cookbook authors no doubt have their favorite versions.

 

 

** The word "authentic" is a very slippery and ill-defined word.  Other terms that might be considered instead might be "traditional" or "classic" or "as probably done when it was probably initially cooked in such-and-such a place".  Don't forget that Kung Pao Chicken, as one example, is an Authentic Chinese-American dish.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some ingredient listings for Indonesian and Indisch/Indo/Dutch-Indonesian nasi goreng recipes to see how they differ. This is an incomplete list by any means, just to compare for fun. Please note that all ask for cooked and cooled down rice and mostly cucumber and tomato to garnish.

Dina Yuen - Indonesian Cooking, Satay, Sambals and more

 

Classic Nasi Goreng:

oil, garlic, shallot, eggs, rice, green onions (scallions), soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, salt, ground turmeric, ground coriander.


Heinz von Holzen and Lother Arsana - Authentic Recipes from Indonesia

Classic Nasi Goreng:
rice, oil, eggs, shallots, garlic, red chili, trassi, fresh shrimp, fresh chicken meat or left over chicken/lamb/beef, cabbage, salt, kecap manis.


Charmaine Solomon - Asian Favourites

Nasi Goreng:
rice, eggs, salt, pepper, oil, shallots or onion, garlic, dried shrimp paste (blacan), rump steak,
small raw or cooked school prawns, sweet soy sauce, spring onions, fresh chillies, fried egg(optional).


The following books were released on the Dutch market (Jeff Keasberry is hoping to release an English version later this year btw), so this more fusion style and translated by me. The last entry was only an ebook I think, which they also posted online here. (Dutch website)

Jeff Keasberry - Indische Keukengeheimen

Nasi Goreng (met Tjeplok/fried egg):
rice, onions, garlic (powder), oil or butter, fresh trassi, sambal ulek, leek, celery leaves, vegetable stock cube, salt, sugar (fried egg).


Nasi Goreng Billy Style (Billy being his dad):
rice, beef or corned beef or just some left over meat, onions, garlic (powder), oil, leek or scallion, fresh trassi, beef stock cube, sambal ulek, kecap manis.


Joyce Huiman and Kwee Siok Lan - Koken op z'n Indonesisch

Nasi Goreng:
rice, oil, chicken breast, onion, garlic, trassi, sambal ulek, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground galangal, ground turmeric, thick slices of ham, kecap manis, eggs.
 

Robin Cohen - Sambal Bij! Eigentijdse recepten uit de Indische keuken

Nasi Goreng:
rice, garlic, egg, trassi, scallion, red onion, red chili, lean bacon, chicken stock cube, peanut oil.  


John and Maggie D'Ancona - Indisch Kookboek

Nasi Goreng:
meat, rice, cabbage, onions, garlic, coriander powder, turmeric powder, trassi (belacan), ham, cooked shrimp, celery leaves.

 

Nasi Goreng Chinese:
rice, onions, garlic, bean sprouts, cabbage, celery leaves, pork chicken shrimp crab or a mix of these, ham, eggs, lard, vetsin (ajinomoto/msg), chives

 

Nasi Goreng Jawa:
Shallots, garlic, oil, trassi, sambal ulek, paprika powder, rice, red and green chili, salt
 

Nasi Goreng Marine style (army):
rice, eggs, trassi, ham, garlic, lean bacon, onions, pork, leek, kecap, salt, msg, Dutch shrimps.
 

Nasi Goreng Speciaal:
speklap (something pork, no clue how to translate this correctly, but perhaps some carnivore will recognize its proper name...?), candle nuts, garlic, trassi, onion, stem ginger, veggiemix of cabbage, bean sprouts, leek, carrots, etc. red chili, coriander powder, salt, kecap, galangal powder, lemongrass powder.


Curls or anyone else, if one of the above tickles your fancy, please let me know.
 


Edited by CeeCee (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your efforts CeeCee. Your research supports what I was able to ascertain. Nasi Goreng is rice plus whatever! I never imagined nor ever mentioned anything about an authentic recipe as I do not believe in such animals. Nonetheless I had hoped to find a few common ingredients so that I would be able to determine that it was not Chinese fried rice or Thai fried rice but I suppose even there there is nothing really to distinguish one from another.

huiray's explanation of the meaning of the name Nasi Goreng again supports my contention that it is whatever I say it is.

I think it is interesting that one can imagine that a recipe for a dish exists and is distinctly of its origin (let's assume Indonesian) yet each Indonesian cook chooses very different ingredients. There are many, many dishes where ingredients differ from person to person, from country to country, from era to era but few that I can think of that vary as much as this fried rice dish, Nasi Goreng.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're welcome Anna!

Lonny Gerungan does state in his Rijsttafel book that nasi goreng is a dish in itself and no Indonesian would eat it as part of a rice table for instance. Not sure how other cultures look upon this. Is it a solo dish in general?

To me, the trassi belacan makes nasi goreng Indonesian, but this is highly personal I think. Also the colour is somewhat telling. The Chinese versions around here tend to be white, while the Surinamese tend be quite dark. The Indonesian versions I come across seem to be in between.

As mentioned, there is also a Surinamese rendition of nasi goreng. Supposedly the Javanese brought this to the Sranang melting pot, but the Chinese influenced this cuisine as well. So in the end, who knows?

Some Suri style ingredients include fa-shong (Chinese sausage), a bigger quantity of celery leaves than one sees elsewhere, white pepper iso black (although I've both being used), a mixture of both salty and sweet soy sauce(s), Maggi stock cubes (the red-yellow ones in a tub are ubiquitous). Trassi is not always used, even saw some fish sauce once although this doesn't seem to be very common. Galangal or kencur are sometimes used as well.

If looking for a cheat, Faja Lobi brand has a jar of nasi trafasie (trafassi meaning different or special). Beats Conimex imho, albeit you can do better preparing it from scratch obviously. At least I've seen some Surinamese actually use this brand (opposed to no Indonesian using Conimex).

Dried and spiced veg packs are available as well, they contain kencur sometimes.

 


Edited by CeeCee (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're welcome Anna!

Lonny Gerungan does state in his Rijsttafel book that nasi goreng is a dish in itself and no Indonesian would eat it as part of a rice table for instance. Not sure how other cultures look upon this. Is it a solo dish in general?

To me, the trassi belacan makes nasi goreng Indonesian, but this is highly personal I think. Also the colour is somewhat telling. The Chinese versions around here tend to be white, while the Surinamese tend be quite dark. The Indonesian versions I come across seem to be in between.

As mentioned, there is also a Surinamese rendition of nasi goreng. Supposedly the Javanese brought this to the Sranang melting pot, but the Chinese influenced this cuisine as well. So in the end, who knows?

Some Suri style ingredients include fa-shong (Chinese sausage), a bigger quantity of celery leaves than one sees elsewhere, white pepper iso black (although I've both being used), a mixture of both salty and sweet soy sauce(s), Maggie stock cubes (the red-yellow ones are ubiquitous). Trassi is not always used, even saw some fish sauce once although this doesn't seem to be very common. Galangal or kencur are sometimes used as well.

If looking for a cheat, Faja Lobi brand has a jar of nasi trafasie (trafassi meaning different or special). Beats Conimex imho, albeit you can do better preparing it from scratch obviously. At least I've seen some Surinamese actually use this brand (opposed to no Indonesian using Conimex).

Dried and spiced veg packs are available as well, they contain kencur sometimes.

 

In all my visits to Indonesian restaurants I never had nasi goreng as part of Rijsttafel - it was a stand-alone dish that was a brunch, lunch or late "supper" favorite.  I was introduced to it at a restaurant in Burbank in the early '60s, when the rather exotic "Lava Isle" opened, styled as a "supper club" it offered entertainment and food, but because of Burbank's rather archaic laws, no dancing.  The "shrimp crackers" were huge and meant to be broken up and shared.  The only other notable item I recall was the crab balls with a very hot mustard-based sauce that were served at the bar and probably increased the sale of drinks exponentially. 

One of my acquaintences who lived for many years in Bandung as a teacher said nasi goreng was usually eaten for breakfast, made from leftovers from the previous day and her cook would prepare and serve it on a section of banana leaf.


Edited by andiesenji (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

** The word "authentic" is a very slippery and ill-defined word.  Other terms that might be considered instead might be "traditional" or "classic" or "as probably done when it was probably initially cooked in such-and-such a place".  Don't forget that Kung Pao Chicken, as one example, is an Authentic Chinese-American dish.

 

Oops.

Kung Pao Chicken General Tso’s Chicken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, the trassi belacan makes nasi goreng Indonesian...

 

Just a quick comment here - "trassi belacan" is also known as "sambal belacan" in Malaysia and Singapore.  "Sambal Terasi" (terasi being a more commonly seen spelling outside of Dutch-influenced areas, I think) is simply the Indonesian version of "Sambal Belacan" (new spelling; old spelling = Sambal Belachan) in Malaysia and environs.  I'm not sure if sambal belacan or even just belacan is commonly added to nasi goreng in Malaysia or Singapore but if it is then it would be no different from adding "trassi" to Indonesian nasi goreng.  :-) 

 

ETA:  I think some folks use sambal ikan bilis in Malaysia or Singapore in their nasi goreng, whether IN the frying of the rice or as an adjunct.  Well, sambal ikan bilis (at least in many Malay circles) would use belacan in it - i.e. "trassi".  ;-) 


Edited by huiray (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick comment here - "trassi belacan" is also known as "sambal belacan" in Malaysia and Singapore.  "Sambal Terasi" (terasi being a more commonly seen spelling outside of Dutch-influenced areas, I think) is simply the Indonesian version of "Sambal Belacan" (new spelling; old spelling = Sambal Belachan) in Malaysia and environs.  I'm not sure if sambal belacan or even just belacan is commonly added to nasi goreng in Malaysia or Singapore but if it is then it would be no different from adding "trassi" to Indonesian nasi goreng.  :-) 

 

ETA:  I think some folks use sambal ikan bilis in Malaysia or Singapore in their nasi goreng, whether IN the frying of the rice or as an adjunct.  Well, sambal ikan bilis (at least in many Malay circles) would use belacan in it - i.e. "trassi".  ;-) 

Thank you for your explanation!

Slightly confusing though as in my world terasi belacan is the fermented shrimp paste exclusively, while the sambal refers to a condiment or sauce containing said fermented shrimp paste. Perhaps this is because around here we have very little obvious Malay influence. Mostly is Indonesian in name and somewhat or more adjusted to Dutch-Indonesian or Dutch. Terasi is a stand out ingredient which to many people around here just screams Indonesian. It doesn't mean something without terasi can't be Indonesian or is not Indonesian to me and that no other cuisine uses this ingredient.

The second part of the sentence you cut short was referring to just that, it being a personal reference.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×