Meal Idea: Chicken and Prawn Nasi Goreng

This is a really quick and simple meal to cook – minimal preparation and only ten minutes stood at the cooker. It’s a nice and spicy dish, and you can easily vary the spiciness.

‘Nasi goreng’ simply means fried rice in Indonesian and Malay, so rice is obviously the main ingredient to the dish, and it’s traditionally a left-overs dish. There’s aren’t many ingredients, but it’s pretty healthy and tasty too – and there’s an alternative to the recipe that I use discussed below, depending on just how easy you want this to be.

It’s a really tasty dish, with lots of protein, carbs and around 2 of your 5-a-day.

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 mug of rice – long grain or basmati
  • 1 white onion – diced
  • 2 spring onions, chopped (optional, but adds a bit more to the taste and texture)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed (either uncooked or cooked)
  • 14 prawns – enough for 7 each, depending on how hungry you are
  • 1 pepper – chopped as fine as you like, use yellow or red if green peppers are a bit too bitter for you
  • 1 desert spoon of red chilli paste from a jar

Or, make your own paste. A good mix for a sauce with a bit of kick and depth is:

  • 2 level tsp pre-chopped chilli paste from a jar
  • 1 tsp chopped lemon grass from a jar
  • 1 desert spoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 desert spoon of fish sauce
  • 1 good squirt of garlic puree (2 or 3 inches worth)
  • 1 heaped tsp of chilli and shrimp powder (local supermarkets in ethnically diverse areas are your best bet for this)

Mix the above together for your sauce and don’t be afraid to dip your finger in to taste-test… but wash your fingers afterwards. You don’t want to get accidental chilli eyes.

Also, the rice will absorb some of the spiciness, so having it a little too spicy at this point is not necessarily a bad thing.

Cooking:

  • Rice: Pop the rice in a saucepan and put a lot of hot water in – this isn’t like cooking rice for a curry. In that situation you’d want 2 parts water for 1 part rice, then cover and simmer; this allows all the starch that covers the rice to sink to the bottom of the pan as the rice is cooking, and you don’t end up with stiky rice. For fried rice, however, just fill up the pan and cook for around 13-15 minutes.
  • When the rice is cooked, drain using a strainer, then sit the strainer on top of the pan for stability and leave under a running cold tap as you prep the veg. This will rinse the starch from the rice. Empty the saucepan of water every minute or so if you like, this will speed up the rinsing.
  • Leave the rice, drained, to one side until you’re ready for it.
  • Heat up a little oil in the bottom of a large frying pan; the rice is going in there eventually, so you need to make sure your pan is big enough.
  • Fry off the onions until they’re soft, then add the chopped pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until the pepper softens.
  • Add the sauce and mix it the contents of the pan together; give it 30 – 60 seconds to cook through.
  • Un-cooked chicken – add this now and cook till it looks done. The chicken is cubed, so won’t take long to cook. It will continue to cook as you add the other ingredients, but if you want to make sure just cut open a piece in the pan and see if it’s cooked through.
  • Add the prawns and cook till both sides look pink.
  • Pre-cooked chicken – add this as soon as the prawns look pink. You’re only reheating the chicken if it’s pre-cooked, and you don’t want to over cook the prawns.
  • Add the drained rice and stir through till the rice is hot.
  • Serve!
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