Category Archives: Rice

Nasi Goreng – Indonesian Fried Rice

Nasi Goreng is ubiquitous in Southeast Asia. Sometimes it’s enjoyed for breakfast too. Wherever you have it – a hawker stall in Singapore or a posh café in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – the essentials of a good fried rice dish are there. I’ve had so many versions of this, I’ve lost count.

The list of ingredients is open to a myriad of interpretations. I added bean sprouts, which gave it a nice crunch. Nasi goreng can be served with stews, curries or stir-fries, or in this version, served simply yet deliciously topped with a fried egg.

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

(adapted from Rasa Malaysia)

serves 1


1 shallot or small onion
1 garlic clove
1-2 red chillies
1/2 teaspoon belacan (I used nyonya belancan)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon kecap manis
1 cup overnight rice

½ cup bean sprouts
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil


Fluff the rice using a fork. Mince shallot/onion, garlic and chili.

In a wok, fry the egg in a little oil, sunny side up. Set aside.

Add more oil to the wok. Fry the minced shallot, garlic and chili. Add belacan paste. Fry until the oil separates.

Add the rice and bean sprouts into the wok and toss everything well. Add kecap manis and sugar and continue to stir-fry, making sure that they are well mixed with the rice.

Dish out, top the nasi goreng with the fried egg and serve immediately.



Filed under Rice

Green Bean Omelette

I am unashamedly a rice girl. This delicious omelette is perfect with rice and is a staple in my family. My grandma whips this up pretty often because it’s just one of those super quick and easy dishes.

I think I love this more now than when I was growing up because I really appreciate the simplicity of the dish. To me, comfort food is anything my grandma cooks. She is my inspiration in the kitchen and the reason I have such a love for food. ‘Comfort food’ may be a clichéd description, but this is really what this dish means to me, especially when I start to miss home.

My grandma starts by heating oil in a hot wok. Then she adds chopped garlic, green beans and preserved turnip, keeping the wok moving constantly. She beats eggs in a bowl with some salt, and pours it into the hot wok, like you would any omelette. When browned on one side, the omelette is flipped and seconds later, dished out.

This simple egg-dish should be in every cook’s repertoire. I replicated exactly how my grandma cooks it. It was really good, but never as good as when she does it.

p.s. Apologies for the lousy photograph at the end. It was past 6pm and daylight was disappearing fast.

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Filed under Rice, Vegetarian

Japanese Chashu

My family gathers for meals every week. My grandma toils for hours in a hot kitchen to produce a banquet for all of us (think Eat Drink Man Woman. Really). When I was much younger, my grandma would always tell me to eat all the rice in my bowl. She said that for every grain left, my future husband would have that same amount of pimples/scars on his face. This meant if I didn’t finish the 5 grains in my rice bowl, my future husband would have 5 pimples/scars on his face. I suppose the rice bowl represented his face.

Fast forward 15-20 years: Wednesday night dinner – Chashu on rice. This is not to be mistaken for Chinese Char Siu. Chashu is often enjoyed atop a steaming hot bowl of ramen. Chashu may be the Japanese version of Char Siu (Chinese barbecued pork) but the two could not be less alike – the ingredients and cooking technique are worlds apart.

Essentially, Chashu is pork that is braised over low heat for no less than an hour, so that the meat becomes incredibly tender. I used this recipe because I had all the ingredients on-hand and the method seemed simple enough.

My only variation was that I added a stalk of spring onion (green onion) to the braising liquid. 5 minutes into braising and the wonderful aromas of the ginger, garlic, spring onion and mirin wafted through my apartment. There was no way this was not going to taste good. I was right.

Chinese are full of superstitions. Whenever I eat rice, I still feel like that little girl, and tonight, I gobbled every last grain in my bowl.

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Filed under Meat, Rice

Fried Rice Paradise

That’s a song by the way, I kid you not – fried rice paradise, also known as, my dinner tonight. I know I know, what the hell is the big deal about fried rice? Anyone can make it, but tonight that anyone is me. This is just a typical meal for me. I just used whatever I had lying around. Okay so you’re thinking, you have Chinese sausage lying around? Yes, I do. I’m Chinese, shoot me whyduncha. I love that stuff. It’s so dang tasty and oily.

There isn’t a recipe for this. With cooking I rarely use recipes. With baking it’s a whole ‘nother ball game (another story for another day). When I cook, I like looking at a recipe, then doing my own thing. I like to think that I have enough experience with cooking that I can cook by feel. So tonight, this is fried rice with lap cheong (Chinese sausage). I used frozen mixed vegetables. I only use these for fried rice because they’re really perfect for it. I like that all the ingredients in this dish are one uniform size – the corn is the same size as the carrots, as the peas, as the rice grains, as the lap cheong… You catch my drift. Plus, I love the flavour of corn, carrots and peas and lightly sauteing them means their colours stay vibrant.

The photo ain’t great, but I didn’t want to do any photoshop touch-up. I took it by the window, as daylight was escaping. I’m for the natural look, if you know what I mean. I’m a no-frills kinda gal.

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