On my recent trip back to Malaysia, I got a present from a very important woman who has been in my life from the moment that I was born – Makmah. She gave me a recipe book that is about rice. Makmah is like an aunt to me – she has been a part of our family for a very very long time. She makes the best Nasi Goreng Kampung (Village-style Fried Rice) that I have ever had, and I learnt most of my cooking skills and secrets from her, having spent a lot of time with her in my grandmother’s kitchen while she makes Rendang or curries.
I promised Makmah that I will make a number, if not all, of the recipes in this book. So, here is the first of ‘Makmah’s Present’ series!
So, what should attempt next from the recipe book? I was thinking of either the Village-style Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng Kampung) or Spiced Tomato Rice (Nasi Tomato). What do you say?
Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 portions of cooked rice, cold, preferably from the night before
1 small pineapple, the ‘meat’ removed and keep the shell. (Scoop out and dice the fruit.) Or use pineapple from a can, drained.
1 chicken breast, diced into small pieces.
A handful of mushrooms, diced.
A big handful of fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped.
1 red pepper, chopped into chunks
3 small red shallots, sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp of fish sauce
1 tbsp of light soy sauce
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste.
1 tbsp crushed peanuts
1 sprig of thinly sliced spring onions
1. Heat up the wok or frying pan, and add the olive oil.
2. Once hot enough, sauté the shallots until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to stir.
3. Once fragrant, add the mushrooms. Cook until it is slightly soft, then add the chicken pieces. Stir until the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
4. Add in the spinach and the chopped red peppers and cook until the spinach has wilted into the mix.
5. Make a well in the centre of the cooked meat and vegetables. Beat the egg with the sesame oil and season it lightly with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the mixture into the centre of the well and leave it to cook for a bit and then toss to scramble the egg.
6. Add the rice and pineapple chunks and stir to mix. Scatter the soy sauce and fish sauce around the rice mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
7. Remove from the heat and serve in the hollowed out pineapple shell – or on a plate if you used canned pineapples. Garnish with the chopped peanuts and spring onions. Have a side dish of sambal or chilli sauce if you want to have a spice kick!