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Anna N

Nasi Goreng

34 posts in this topic

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. 

 

Yes, you are correct.  I see now on re-reading my post I had included the word "sambal" when describing the equivalence of "trassi belacan" in M'sia/S'pore.  I suppose I was already thinking of the equivalence between "sambal terasi" and "sambal belacan" when I wrote that.  Here's the Indonesian Wiki article on terasi and the Malay Wiki article on belacan.  One difference is that Indonesian terasi could be made from fish or shrimp whereas belacan is usually made from shrimp.


Edited by huiray (log)
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I'm fascinated by how this discussion has evolved since my last post. (Enjoyable reading, too.)

 

In some of my recent reading, an author said (to paraphrase), "Food is folk culture." I thought that was a wonderful way to explain the endless variations in cooking, whether we're talking about a single dish or the treatment of a single ingredient. Like a good folk story, there is a common theme, but infinite variations on that theme. The same with a popular dish like nasi goreng. Cooks vary the basic idea of nasi goreng depending on their preferences and the ingredients they have on hand.

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I'm fascinated by how this discussion has evolved since my last post. (Enjoyable reading, too.)

 

In some of my recent reading, an author said (to paraphrase), "Food is folk culture." I thought that was a wonderful way to explain the endless variations in cooking, whether we're talking about a single dish or the treatment of a single ingredient. Like a good folk story, there is a common theme, but infinite variations on that theme. The same with a popular dish like nasi goreng. Cooks vary the basic idea of nasi goreng depending on their preferences and the ingredients they have on hand.

 

Have you seen this old thread?

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/144472-fried-rice-chinese-type-in-china-or-restaurants-here/

:-) 

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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.

 

Well, yes and no regarding Nasi Goreng being whatever one calls it and no differences between Chinese fried rice & Nasi Goreng and whatever. (including "Chaufa" from Peru) There are certainly all sorts of large expanses of grey areas but Potter Stewart's observation (thanks due to his clerk at the time) about the definition of obscenity comes to mind.  There's something about the overall dish one is looking at and tasting that may make one think more of one genre rather than another.  The overall taste, the mix of ingredients, etc etc.**  Personally, when I have a plate of Yeung Chow fried rice in front of me I wouldn't think of Nasi Goreng, no... and some iteration of fried rice with kecap manis and galangal and a couple of fried eggs on it served w/ sambal ikan bilis on the side - I wouldn't have in mind some version of Hong Kong-style "Chow Fan" either.  And so it goes.

 

** But yes, in some cases two dishes might be cooked independently by two different cooks from two different culinary traditions/cuisines and called by separate/different names yet when presented to a third party would be seen as virtually indistinguishable.  :-) 


Edited by huiray (log)

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The best Nasi Goreng I've had has been eaten at breakfast in Indonesia, hence my retreat to Indonesia for the best examples and recipes.

 

Our experiences govern what we consider to be the prototype of the dish and judging from the great discussion here we have varying experiences with this particular fried rice dish. 

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Thanks ElsieD en Huiray for the info, nice read!

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Glad you found some things worth a read, CeeCee.

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Nasi means 'rice' and goreng means 'fried' in both Indonesian and Malay language. I work in a restaurant in Malaysia and would like to share with you what ingredients we use here.

The influence of Chinese cooking method is quite significant here.  Therefore, soy sauce, white pepper powder, oyster sauce are the primary seasoning. However, we add sambal (chili paste) during frying in order to give the signature flavor of nasi goreng. We also use the local vegetable called kangkong (water spinach) and ikan bilis (anchovy), which is indispensable in the recipe. Finally, cut two cili padi (bird's eye chili) to fry the rice to enhance the spiciness.

 

So the key different of nasi goreng versus Chinese fried rice is:

1. Sambal

2. Bird's eye chili

3. Kangkong

4. Anchovy.


Hope this help.

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My name is KP Kwan. I am a pharmacist turned restaurateur who lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I have worked in my restaurant more than ten years and since year 2012.

 

I am also a food blogger.  You can read my blog at http://tasteasianfood.com/

I am looking forward to learning and contributing topics about culinary skills in this forum.

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Nasi means 'rice' and goreng means 'fried' in both Indonesian and Malay language. I work in a restaurant in Malaysia and would like to share with you what ingredients we use here.

The influence of Chinese cooking method is quite significant here.  Therefore, soy sauce, white pepper powder, oyster sauce are the primary seasoning. However, we add sambal (chili paste) during frying in order to give the signature flavor of nasi goreng. We also use the local vegetable called kangkong (water spinach) and ikan bilis (anchovy), which is indispensable in the recipe. Finally, cut two cili padi (bird's eye chili) to fry the rice to enhance the spiciness.

 

So the key different of nasi goreng versus Chinese fried rice is:

1. Sambal

2. Bird's eye chili

3. Kangkong

4. Anchovy.

Hope this help.

Welcome. Thank you for sharing this with us.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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