Thursday, 9 September 2010

Nasi goreng kambing (fried rice with lamb)

Nasi goreng (nasi = rice, goreng = fried) is another one of those dishes with almost infinite variations - every Indonesian cook has their own way of doing things, and Mrs K is no exception. It can be anything from a quick plain dish with a dollop of chilli sauce to hoover up leftover rice, or a star attraction on its own, with fried chicken or sate accompaniments.

Here's a typical quick recipe that Mrs K uses when she doesn't have too much time to faff about. It should only take about 10 minutes once you've prepared the ingredients. Although this uses lamb (kambing is actually Indonesian for goat but that's pretty rare in Western supermarkets!), if you hate that you can use minced beef or chicken.


  • Cooked rice (about 250g uncooked weight serves 3 easily, but it's an easy dish to store if you make too much)
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 large spring onions
  • 4 leaves pak choi (1 small head)
  • 4 pods of mangetout peas
  • Red chillies to taste (we had none so we used a dollop of sambal goreng tomat
  • 3 lamb meatballs (or a big handful of lamb mince)
  • 2 dessert spoons peas (fresh, frozen, tinned, synthesised...)
  • Sunflower oil (or chilli oil from the sambal goreng tomat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dessert spoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 dessert spoon sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • (Optional) Half teaspoon shrimp paste (terasi, belachan)
  • 1 fresh egg per person
  • (Optional) Sliced tomato

Before we start, we'll explain the new 'exotic' ingredients, terasi, kecap manis, dark soy sauce and pak choi.

 Terasi is widely available from oriental stores, and even some supermarkets. The Thais and Malaysians both make and use it, so it has many names - Thai tends to be labelled 'shrimp paste', Malay is 'belachan'. Be warned, it's evil-smelling stuff and you really don't want to know how it's made. But it's used a lot in Mrs K's kitchen. The dish tastes fine without it if you don't fancy it.

Kecap manis is sweet soy sauce, and is sold in our local Tesco and Sainsburys in the 'world foods' section - Conimex is a common Dutch brand, ABC is a popular Indonesian brand. Dark soy sauce is a staple ingredient - don't use the thin Kikkoman-type stuff for cooking.

Pak choi (© David Monniaux)
Pak choi is a variety of brassica, also sometimes called Chinese cabbage, that is now inexpensive and often available in ordinary supermarkets. Mrs K uses it a lot in stir-fry cooking. Mr K actually even grew some once before he started messing around with PCs.


Chop the spring onions, shallots and pak choi coarsely, plus the fresh chillies if you're using them. Chop the garlic fairly finely. Mrs K is using lamb meatballs, for reasons best know to herself, but lamb mince or even leftover roast lamb is just as good. Break the meatballs up a bit, so that everyone gets some.

Heat a small amount of oil in a saucepan or wok on a medium-low heat. Fry the shallots and garlic (plus the fresh chillies if you're using them) for a couple of minutes until they're soft. Put in the lamb and let it brown gently for a couple of minutes. 

Put in the terasi, peas and mangetout, mix them in and continue to cook for a couple more minutes. Now put in the dark soy sauce and stir it in well for 30 seconds before mixing in the sambal goreng tomat. The meat should now be taking on the dark colour of the soy sauce. 

Put in the salt, spring onions and pak choi then after after a few seconds start spooning in the cooked rice. Mix this in well, and then put in the kecap manis. Keep mixing the rice until it's all warmed through and an even pale brown colour - if the rice is freshly cooked, this won't take very long, but if it's cold rice it will be longer.

Now serve on a plate, put a fried egg on top if you wish (see the video for Mrs K's method), and cut a few slices of tomato and/or cucumber as a garnish. You might even want to top it with another dollop of sambal goreng tomat.

To store any excess, just use an airtight container or a freezer bag and stick it in the fridge or freezer. To heat it up, a few minutes in the microwave should do the trick - it's a good dish to keep for lazy evenings. Or even breakfast. Or lunch.

And now we even have HD videos! (apologies for the focus, my Kodak Zi8 seems to be allergic to fried shallots...)

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I love your recipe & video! I'd love to feature them on my newly launched website, Can we correspond via email? You can reach me at fahm(at)asiadish(dot)com. Thanks!