Sometimes, all you really want is something with the sort of filthy and delicious taste that I used to think only a good takeaway could provide – until I accidentally recreated it while writing this recipe. It’s fried rice, but not as you know it: smothered in unami-ific sauces and topped with shredded, marinated sprouts for crunch and zing. All the joy of a takeaway, but without the wait or delivery charge.
Notes: Kecap manis is a sweet Malaysian soy sauce that can be found in larger supermarkets, online and in South East Asian food shops. You can deseed the chillies if you prefer the less heat. I cut the sprouts by hand, but you could use the fine slicing attachment on a food processer.
Recipe from ‘East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing’ by Meera Sodha (Fig Tree, £20).
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4 (as a main course)
350 g jasmine rice
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 bird’s-eye chillies *very finely chopped
750 g Brussels sprouts *very finely sliced
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp kecap manis*
1 tsp salt, plus extra to taste
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp caster sugar
Place the rice in a sieve and rinse under a cold tap until the water runs clear. Tip the rice into a pan, add 600 ml of freshly boiled water and bring to the boil. Place the lid on, then turn the heat down to a whisper and cook for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to steam with the lid on.
To cook the nasi goreng base, heat the rapeseed oil in a large frying pan on a medium flame and fry the onion, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and two-thirds of the chopped chillies, cook for 2 minutes more, then add all but two large handfuls (or about 150g) of the sprouts. Fry for 8 minutes, leaving them undisturbed for a couple of minutes at a time, so they get some colour on them. Then stir in the tomato puree, kecap manis, salt and a tablespoon each of soy sauce and vinegar. Cook for another 5 minutes, then take off the heat.
To make the marinated sprouts, put the remaining raw sliced sprouts into a bowl with the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, the sesame oil, sugar and the remaining chopped chillies. Mix very well and set aside.
To finish the nasi goreng, put the sprout and onion pan on a medium heat and gently scoop in the steamed rice, folding it in until well mixed. Heat through, stirring gently, for 5 minutes, until the rice is nice and hot, and season with salt to taste. Transfer to a big platter, scatter the marinated sprouts over the top, and serve.