Sometimes you want to spend all day in the kitchen cooking up a storm; and sometimes you just want a quick and easy meal using what’s on hand. Either way it has to taste great, right? For the quick and easy times, I love good pantry staples. I always seem to have leftover steamed rice, so Ayam’s nasi goreng paste is one of my favourite standbys. I add whatever’s on hand (within reason), so feel free to use the ingredients below as more of a guide than a recipe and add whatever you have and feel like, including some chicken, meat or seafood instead of the choy sum and egg if you want. The paste does pack a bit of a chilli punch, so add more rice or less paste if you aren’t a fan of big chilli heat. And in the glass, I love the way Montalto riesling from the Mornington Peninsula dances with that chilli!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for pan-frying
- 1 red onion, halved and cut into eighths
- Salt flakes, to taste
- 1 bunch choy sum
- 185g Ayam nasi goreng paste
- 3 cups cooked rice (see note)
- 4 eggs
- 4 lettuce leaves
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced
- 200g grape tomatoes, halved
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons deep-fried shallots
Note: Leftover cooked rice is best for this dish as it’s dried out a little. If you’re cooking fresh rice, do it ahead of time if possible and leave it uncovered to cool.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add onion and a good sprinkle of salt and cook covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until starting to colour. Meanwhile, slice the choy sum, keeping the leaves and stems separate. Stir choy sum stems and nasi goreng paste into the onion. Add rice, stir until well combined and cook for 3 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Meanwhile, fry eggs in a little vegetable oil. Arrange lettuce leaves on plates with cucumber and tomato on the side. Stir choy sum leaves and green onion through rice and cook for a further minute or so, until leaves are just wilted. Spoon rice onto lettuce leaves, top with egg, sprinkle with deep-fried shallots and serve.
Roberta Muir is a food, wine and travel consultant, writer and cookbook author. Visit her website for more recipes and insights.
Do you have a favourite ‘extra’ ingredient for a dish such as this? Do you like a chilli hit?
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