Asian Foods Ep.2


by Thomas M. Tillman
Nasi Goreng, in a nutshell, is Indonesian Fried Rice. It’s simple food, typically made with leftover ingredients, and varies quite a bit depending on where you are. While we were there in the hot south, it almost always was served with something crunchy, cool and fresh on the side. This version is loaded up with healthy veggies. You can add a protein of your choice- typically chicken or shrimp or fried eggs, or keep it vegan with crispy tofu.
Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) loaded up with fresh veggies! Add egg or keep it vegan! Easy Tasty recipe! #nasigoreng Authentic Nasi Goreng is seasoned with a little Terasi shrimp powder and Kecap Manis – a dark sweet & syrupy soy sauce infused with a hint of star anise. Here I’ve kept it simple, vegan-adaptable and made with more accessible ingredients. If you want to go the more traditional route, please read the recipe notes. This recipe calls for 5 cups of chopped veggies and 3 cups of leftover rice. Here I’ve used carrots, bell pepper, fresh shucked peas ( from Trader Joes) and mushrooms. Feel free to change this up. For faster cooking, make sure to chop tougher veggies like carrots, extra small!!! Instead of shrimp or chicken today, I’m pan-searing some Crispy tofu, coated in turmeric. The recipe is flexible – add your favorite cooked protein. Here is a post on how to make crispy tofu. I’m also adding a couple eggs.  You can leave these out for a vegan version – or serve them sunny side up over top of the Nasi Goreng.  Brian prefers scrambled so I cooked them up first and chopped into pieces. Once the veggies are tender, oil the pan and make room for the rice. I’m using leftover brown basmati rice. You want to make sure the rice is extra dry. Wet or moist rice will not work well here. So basically, I left the rice uncovered in the fridge overnight, to dry it out. After you fry the rice, combine, adding the soy sauce and maple syrup. Add chili flakes if you like. Toss in the optional eggs, chicken, shrimp or tofu. Or leave the tofu on the side like you see in the photos below. Then plate the Nasi Goreng up, along with fresh crunchy veggies like cucumber, radish, tomatoes when in season, fresh herbs, sprouts, fresh chili peppers, and a lime wedge. Vegetarian Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) loaded up with fresh veggies! Add egg or keep it vegan! Easy Tasty recipe! #nasigoreng Shredded cabbage would also be nice here! This recipe makes enough for 2-3 portions. Leftovers taste great, just reheat. Vegetarian Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) loaded up with fresh veggies! Add egg or keep it vegan! Easy Tasty recipe! #nasigoreng Serve with limes and Sambal Olek.  You get the idea! Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) loaded up with fresh veggies! Add egg or keep it vegan! Easy Tasty recipe! #nasigorengOn the homefront: I have a fondness for Bali. It was there, in that time of sunshine and slow-living that my husband Brian, hatched a plan to free us out of our “build a catering empire” conundrum. You see up until then, I was of the mindset that you had to be the best, work more & work harder to get to go to places like Bali to relax. I was of the mindset that more was more. More catering gigs would equal more stuff (to ensure the safety and security of our future) and more vacations. He literally drew me a diagram, in order for my head to get around his idea of “simplifying”. It was a foreign concept. But while being in that beautiful simple countryside, where people were joyful, content with very little, the idea sunk in, and a little seedling sprouted in my soul. At first, it was simply imagining the life I wanted.  I wanted life to be easier, with less stress, more freedom… and to be near the ocean. Those of you who have been here a while may remember how we sold our house a couple of months after that trip, got rid of 2/3rds of our stuff, paid off our debt, moved into a little house and then was able to cater fewer events because we had a much smaller wheel to turn.  And as we were catering less, I got more time to spend time doing the stuff that brought me joy. Like this blog.  😉 Eventually, we were able to stop catering all together, which was a godsend.  Ten years of catering, and ten years of having a restaurant before that, though rewarding on many levels, was a type of stress I didn’t want to carry anymore. So Bali, lead me down a path of being open and trusting my husband’s ideas (which were very different than mine at the time) and then to trust the path itself… even though we really had no certainty about where it would lead. To me, it felt like jumping into a rushing river -freeing, unsettling, exhilarating, crazy.  AND Wonderful. So what does this have to do with Nasi Goreng? Nothing much, except, Bali is where it all began…