From Mexico to Israel to Galapago Islands, Rita goes the way least traveled, always preferring to stay as a boarder with natives. And sometimes, going to places not even locals will go, places so secluded yet beautiful that Rita's description takes your breath away, urges you to become a nomad yourself.
Yet even nomads sometimes find their roots. Rita found hers in Bali where she spent eight years. Starting as a boarder with a prince, she eventually became a part of the family. I instantly knew I wanted to cook something Indonesian. I picked Nasi Goreng, the Indonesian fried rice.
There are as many recipes for Nasi Goreng as there are cooks. Some use tomatoes, others tamarind. Almost all use shrimp paste and kecap manis, the sweet soy sauce from Indonesia. I had neither so I decided to go with the adapted recipe from BBC. I adapted it a bit further to go with what I had in my fridge. And to make nasi goreng, you should first have cooked rice in your fridge. The recipe is traditionally made with cold rice, so I cooked mine the night before for today's lunch.
First thing today, I made a spice paste by blending together 2 cloves of garlic, 2 peeled shallots, a tbsp of sunflower seeds, a tbsp of sesame seeds, 1 tsp salt, 2 bird's eye chillies that I deseeded, 2 tbsp soy sauce, a tbsp of brown sugar and a tbsp of vegetable oil.
Then, I finely chopped a handful of beans and 2-3 babycorns. Added a couple of tbsp of water and microwaved them for a minute. Separately, i chopped a spring onion.
In a pan, I heated a tbsp of vegetable oil. Added 2 tbsp of spice paste and the cooked rice, then stirred for a couple of minutes to mix well. The I added the steamed vegetables and stirred it all for 2-3 minutes. Finally stirred in the spring onions, mixed well and took the rice off the heat.
At the same time, I put the frying pan on to make my fried egg to serve with my nasi goreng. Topped the fried egg with a drizzle of spice paste and some chopped coriander.
Next month, This Book Makes Me Cook travels to the Channel Islands. We are reading one of my all time favorites - the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. If you would like to read with us, please leave a comment here and I will get back to you with details.