To celebrate the new Chinese year of the Ox, and to mourn the demise after 80 years of the Singaporean restaurant where Hainanese chicken rice was first launched on the world, I present two versions of my interpretation of this classic South-East Asian Chinese dish.
Rice is one of the defining elements of Indonesian cuisine—and of course most Asian cuisines. If you’d like to know a bit more about it, please do read the background section after the cooking tips.
I cook a lot of rice! Because of my catering business I calculate I’ve cooked over a tonne just in the last ten years. You probably have your own method. This is mine. It certainly seems to be reliable. It needs to be!
This is probably the best known Indonesian dish of all. Nasi goreng, like some of Italy’s tastiest dishes, was originally a way of using up cooked rice. Food is not wasted in Indonesia—particularly semi-sacred rice. Traditionally it would be served for breakfast, using what was left over from the previous day’s dinner. It is a dish that perfectly symbolises these times of scarcity and belt-tightening. As befits a dish designed to use up leftovers for breakfast, it is dead easy to make. Essentially, fry chopped ingredients in a pan, add the rice, stir, and serve. Ingredient quantities are not critical.