Sadly it seems most Australian tourists traveling to Bali are content to dine on western food and dabble into the local cuisine only with the occasional satay and ubiquitous Nasi Goreng. I find it quite a travesty when there is so many wonderful traditional dishes to try.
That said, there is nothing wrong with Balinese satay or Nasi Goreng !!! On my last trip to Bali a few weeks ago, we dined at the fabulous Indonesian restaurant, Chandi in Seminyak. It was a beautiful restaurant and a wonderful showcase of how good modern Indonesian food can be and the foodie highlight of our holiday was Chandi’s version of Nasi Goreng.
The photo doesn’t quite do the dish justice … but it was so good we went back twice just for this dish. They used a combination of red rice (which I’ve blogged about) and black rice which I’ve never seen before. When I saw black rice on the menu I assumed it would be wild rice, but it isn’t the same at all. Note to self, investigate ‘black’ rice.
Another food highlight of our trip was staying in an amazing villa in Canggu on the outskirts of Seminyak. Each morning in our villa, our Balinese chef prepared a beautiful breakfast for us. We had freshly brewed Balinese coffee, fresh fruit juice, a big bowl of tropical fruit, yoghurt and eggs.
One day, we asked our chef, Kadek if we could have a traditional Indonesian breakfast and she suggested Nasi Goreng. We asked if that was too much trouble and she said with a big beautiful Balinese smile, “no easy for me”.
The next morning, Kadek came to our villa and prepared all the ingredients. Her chopping skills were something to be admired - such a tiny dice !
Within a few minutes of cooking we had in front of us a delicious work of art !
My recipe here is inspired by the way Kadek lovingly made it for us. I’ve substituted the traditional Indonesian sweet soy sauce, Kecap Manis with gluten-free soy sauce and coconut palm sugar. I’ve yet to see a gluten-free version of Kecap Manis, but my substitute worked well. You can also change the chicken for bacon and/or some small cooked prawns if you like – or omit the meat altogether if you prefer vegetarian.
I used finely chopped broccolini for the greens, however you could use a Chinese broccoli leaves or Asian type greens or spinach. I increased the quantity of greens as I thought it made it a little healthier with the extra broccolini.
If you like it spicy, add in a some finely chopped red chilli.
1 tblspn oil (I use macadamia or coconut oil)
Half of one chicken breast, cut into small 1 cm dice
1 tblspn finely chopped garlic
1 tblspn finely chopped ginger
1 tblspn finely chopped purple shallot or Spanish onion
1 tblspn finely chopped parsley (or coriander, or celery leaves)
1 tblspn finely chopped red capsicum (or 1 long red chilli)
1 tblspn finely chopped green capscium
2 stalks of finely chopped broccolini (or 2 tblspn coarsley chopped spinach)
1 cup firmly packed cooked Basmati rice
1 tsp coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tsp gluten free soy sauce
1 tsp tomato sauce
1. Heat 1 tblspn oil and fry the diced chicken until cooked and starting to brown and remove from heat and set aside. Wipe out the pan.
2. Heat 1 tsp of oil, beat 1 egg and put into the pan to make an omelet, swirling the egg around the pan so it is nice and thin. Once cooked, remove and set aside.
3. Heat remaining 3 tsp of oil and add garlic, ginger and onion. Stir fry for a minute or two until fragrant and starting to soften. Break the remaining egg into the pan and using a wooden spoon mix the egg through the garlic/onion mix. Continue stirring the egg through the mix for a minute until cooked.
4. Add the capsicum, broccolini (or spinach) to pan. Cook through for a couple of minutes until the vegetables are soften and almost cooked.
5. Add the rice, cooked chicken (prawns if using) and parsley. Stir through and break up and distribute the rice evenly as you stir.
6. Add the soy, tomato sauce and sugar. Stir through for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly until all the flavours have been incorporated. Check for seasoning, it may need a little sprinkle of salt.
7. Press down spoonfuls of the cooked Nasi Goreng into a small bowl. Turn over and present on the plate.
8. Top the Nasi Goreng with strips of the omelet and a little chilli sauce (optional) or chopped fresh chilli.