The most stereotypical Indonesian dish is Nasi Goreng, which literally translates to fried rice. I'm not sure if it if possible to find the original recipe even if you land in Indonesia and search all over. Indonesia is an archipelago made up of tens of thousands of islands and is a multi ethnic society. My mother has her own recipe as do my nanny, my aunts, my cousins and restaurants from those that reside within hotels to street side hawkers. Multiply that by the number of islands and you'll roughly get the number of variation available.
Nasi goreng is one of those great yet simple and nurturing food that employs, in its least elaborate form, humble ingredients such as rice, soy sauce and eggs. I made a version tonight using the jar of laksa paste (bumbu laksa) in my cupboard, some black bean anchovies (ikan teri bumbu tauco hitam), fresh eggs and steamed rice, still freshy steaming from my rice cooker. The great thing about this is that it's vegetarian and it calls for ingredients that you can very easily find in your pantry. If not, you could always take up my phillosophy in cooking: Improvise!
To make my Nasi Goreng Laksa, you'll need
- 2 fresh eggs
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of laksa paste (I used Asia at home which you could easily find in any Australian supermarket)
- a soup bowl of rice
- 2 teaspoons of jarred Asian anchovies/ikan teri/ikan bilis (but if you don't have this, don't worry, just use a small can of tuna in oil or springwater).