I’ve been living life as a student for the past few years and financially things have been rather tight.  Suffice it to say that there have been no truffle-covered pizzas in my near past, but limited financial means did not mean tightening my belt.  Indeed, my wife and I have managed to save a TON of cash by investing heavily in vegetable- and rice-based dishes.  “Boring” you say?  Well, try out this fabulous Indonesian fried rice dish (Nashi Goreng) before jumping to judge.  This dish is adapted from the excellent Creative Cooking Library’s Taste of Asia, written by Steven Wheeler.  It’s tough to get a hold of but its gem and well worth hunting down.

Here’s what you’ll need for this delightful (yet unphotogenic!) recipe that serves 2 people.  Before making this or any other Asian dish I put the emphasis on the “meeze” to borrow a phrase from Tony Bourdain – I make sure everything is prepared before firing up the wok.  I’ve divided the ingredients up into batches so that you can toss each ingredient into a bowl and then add the contents of the bowls as you move through the recipe.  Nashi Goreng


1 egg

A bit of salt


Batch 1:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

6 shallots or 1 medium onion


Batch 2:

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger

1 chili, chopped

Batch 3:

1 tablespoon of tamarind sauce

½ teaspoon of tumeric

4 teaspoons of coconut cream

1 lime’s worth of juice

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 pinch of salt


Batch 4:

Chopped chicken breast (skinned) or pork, or shrimp


Batch 5:

Veggies like broccoli and mushrooms


Garnish:  Green onions

First off, make a thin omelette.  Pre-heat a non-stick pan and season it with a thin layer of oil.  Once the oil is “hazy” (not smoking) Whisk the egg and spread it in the pan.  It should set in a minute or so.  Remove it from the pan, roll it up and then cut it into thin slices.

Once that’s done, get your rice going and put your oven on to about 200 Farenheit.Then, heat up your wok with 1 tablespoon of oil at medium heat.  When your wok is nice and hot, toss in Batch 1 and brown the onions.  Once browned, remove the onions and keep them warm in that oven you heated up not so long ago.

Now it’s time to make your kitchen smell fantastic.  Keep the burner at medium heat and put in the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and throw in the contents of Batch 2 and soften then up.  Note that you might want to reduce the heat of your wok before this to avoid burning and browning. 

Next, toss in Batch 3 to heat up the sauce.After that, it’s on to Batch 4.  Throw in your meat/seafood and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Then, put in Batch 5 and cover the wok to steam the broccoli and cook the mushroom properly – about 3-4 minutes. 

Throw in the rice and keep on stirring (so the rice doesn’t burn) for 5-7 minutes.  Then, place the contents of the wok on a plate and garnish with the onions, omelette and some green onions.  Mmmmm…delicious.