My partner has a fondness for Indonesia, her culture, her people and her food. As we were sitting in a gorgeous restaurant in Mayfair, he lamented wistfully about the times he and I sat in a waroeng opposite RS Gandaria eating nasi goreng and ayam penyet, waiting for the rain to stop. And then again in another waroeng in Jl Jenderal Sudirman or someone or other. Hello, we are sitting in Scott’s for candlelit dinner, sitting in the moonlight, watching the summer rain.
So I decided to make him nasi goreng. First problem: ingredients. Soy sauce (or kicap manis for nasi goreng) is dodgy, with many brands being found to contain carcinogenic material. So I made mine from distilling down Bragg’s amnios with some palm sugar. As chills are expensive in the UK, I had to forego the sambal (chilli jam). And of course, I did not use monosodium glutamate, which gives the dish its signature taste.
Article about carcinogenic soy sauce here and elsewhere.
Here’s my healthy nasi goreng, without the suspect ingredients, though it is more of a rice salad:
- 6 shallots, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Olive oil
- Udo oil
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 cup colourful vegetables – peas, tomatoes, carrots, chillis
- Chopped spring onion to garnish
- Liquid Amnios or Brags + 1 teaspoon palm sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Saute the shallots and garlic in olive oil until fragrant.
Add the vegetables and cook until slightly softened. Add the cooked rice and Brags until properly mixed.
Top with spring onions and a swirl of UDO oil. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.
Note: From Susan Orchid Bansin:
You can omit the soy sauce, replace with dried anchovies or fish sauce. Or use Tamari sauce. Use white pepper instead of black pepper. Use chilli flakes to give some heat if you don’t have Birdseye chilli. Sauté sliced garlic and shallots as first step of cooking to give it the distinct aroma.