Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng) (Berlin, April 14, 2012)

This Saturday I am reminiscing fondly about last weekend, now a blur of martinis, nineties-night at Schwuz and, thanks to my friend Simon, a complete French Easter dinner including deviled eggs with crab, roast lamb, and chocolate mousse with crème anglaise. In comparison, the past week has been marked by an almost protestant frugality and restraint, not brought on out of a feeling of remorse, mind you, but rather out of sheer necessity. Berlin is cheap, but on my budget even a couple of nights of living it up means a few days of lentils and rice to follow.

Fortunately, I happen to love rice dishes. I’ve posted one or two here before and I’m hoping soon to make jambalaya- a favorite dish -if I can manage to find the right kind of sausage in Berlin. This week, a recipe for Indonesian-style fried rice (nasi goreng) conveniently appeared on one of my favorite blogs, [ Indochine Kitchen ], and I decided to give it a shot.

This recipe is highly recommended, and I changed very little so I am just going to post the link at the bottom of the page and encourage you to try it for yourself. The best thing about this dish is that it is a great way to use up leftovers. I had a piece of chicken in the fridge, which I shredded and added to the rice. I’d imagine it would work just as well with any other kind of roast meat you happen to have on hand. The recipe also calls for kecap manis, a sweet soy sauce native to Indonesia (kecap, you might have guessed, is also where we get our word “ketchup”). I didn’t have this condiment and didn’t want to buy it, so I substituted using a mix of [ regular soy sauce and brown sugar ]. I also substituted a rib of regular celery for the “chinese celery” she calls for, which is a genetically-related, stronger-tasting version of the celery common to North America and Europe.

In the end, all I had to buy were shallots and spring onions (now, of course, in season) and a few red chili peppers. This amounted to a couple of euros at the local produce market for a very satisfying meal. It’s a bit insubstantial on it’s own, but with a nice salad it is a perfect spring dinner. The link follows:

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