surplus sunday: beginner’s fried rice

A quick glance over at the cooking department on this site will surely leave one wondering where the actual cooking is, what with most of the cooking featuring stove-cooked desserts and side dishes cooked in the oven. For when it comes to true cooking, you could pretty much smell my fear shrouding the air like burnt garlic plastered at the bottom of a new I-thought-it-was-nonstick pan. Of course, my favourite and perhaps overused excuse reason behind this non-culinary trait of mine would be the fact that I live in the same household as an undeniably great cook, who, much to my dismay, never follows any recipes nor uses any strict measurements, and rocks it old-school with her method ofΒ  ‘a pinch of this, a dollop of that’, which, if I may add, never fails to confuse me to no end, for the pinch almost always leads to more than what I had imagined a pinch to be. At this point, I can almost see a couple of heads nodding in agreement, attesting to the aforementioned style of seasoned cooks, as I would call them; along with some of you catching yourselves laughing silently, perforated with a tad of guilt at my ineptness around the kitchen and my accurate description of your cooking style.

To those of you belonging to the former camp, I feel you; to the latter, know that I have an unabashed envy of you.

And as life were to play itself out, I found myself alone in the kitchen one day, itching to give a try at what I perceived to be a simple foray into the cooking world. The resulting dish was a quick mash up of anything I could find around the kitchen, and while it most certainly lacked a certain je ne sais quoi that my mother’s fried rice always charmed us with, I guess it’s not such a bad start to break out of the cooking fear. And even though my dishes will never match up to my mother’s;– funny how the same dish can look totally different;– and the techniques and seasonings I use may offend the traditionalist in her, I will safely stick to recipes that actually have the words ‘teaspoons’ and ‘cups’ in them, and steer far far away from ‘pinch’ and ‘to taste’, thank you very much.

Beginner’s Fried Rice

2 cups of day-old rice (preferably cold)
about 2 tbsp cooking oil
1 clove of garlic, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
1 chilli, sliced
1 tbsp kicap manis (sweet soy sauce)
2-3 tbsp sambal belacan paste
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 egg (optional)
ground black pepper, chopped parsley, chopped spring onions (garnishing)

  1. On a moderate heat in a pan, stir fry the garlic, shallot and chilli in the oil until the shallot has softened, and the garlic has browned.
  2. Add in the kicap manis, sambal belacan paste and oyster sauce, and stir for about 2mins.
  3. Add in the rice, and stir cook for about 3-4 mins, or until the rice is evenly coated with the sauce.
  4. Serve warm, topped with a fried egg, and sprinkled with your choice of garnishing.

26 thoughts on “surplus sunday: beginner’s fried rice

  1. the mister

    Ah, food photography at its best!

    And when I’m famished no less!

    I find that prawns and diced chicken meat are the best seasoning to any ‘nasi goreng’! πŸ˜€

    (and telur mata lembu of course, the runny, gooey yummy kind!) πŸ˜€

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Nay nay, no runny yolks! And I love me some prawns in nasi goreng! As long as they’re already shelled, so less hassle πŸ˜› Of course that means nothing to you, ye shell-eating person you!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Thank you, sweetie! I actually used a mould for the egg, thinking that a nicely-round egg would provide a good distracting back-up in case the fried rice didn’t taste good! πŸ˜›

  2. lenny

    When I first tried to cook nasi goreng, I cheated and used instant mix powder, added scrambled egg and enoki mushroom and called it Nasi Goreng Pemalas. Nobody in the household wanted to finish it up but I was so proud of my first dish haha! Since I’m no good in the kitchen, maybe I should surprise my mother by taking down this recipe and give it a go.

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      As flattered as I am, you shouldn’t be trusting the recipe of a first-time cook! Haha. And btw, nasi goreng pemalas sounds pretty good to me. I love the addition of enoki!

  3. Velvet

    It looks mouthwatering! My grandma uses the same ” a pinch of…” system, and I feel so insecure with it as you tell us you do with your mom’s one. I think that we just have to try, experience is deciding! (and some kind of gene I’m not pretty sure I have haha. Just joking.)

    I love your blog.

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Awww thanks Velvet! Oh man, if it’s some sort of gene thing, I’m pretty sure I missed out on that one! Must’ve gone to my sis instead ~gRRRR πŸ˜›

  4. Nik Nik

    This is my hands-down favorite breakfast food, and I’ve never been brave enough to make it. Not sure if I can find belacan paste here in my small town, but I’m going to try, and then I’ll hide it from the family so they don’t open it, pull faces and insist I throw it out! I’m saving this to instapaper so I can make it soon! Thanks for the inspiration – and I can’t believe you’re a beginner cook?!?

  5. nad

    i too believe in (or rather, need) precise measurement for all my cooking. i’m still a noob cook (despite having set up my own household more than 7 years ago). because of this need for precision, i have yet to have a bowl of decent sambal tumis. when you have The Perfect sambal tumis recipe (right down to how many grams of salt/sugar), please share it!

  6. Pingback: From the Mailbox: 5 tips on packing lunchbox (recipe: smoked paprika chicken with mushrooms burger) « :: epicurean escapism ::

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