How to make this deliciously addictive, spicy, umami-bomb Malaysian-style fried rice.
Nasi Goreng Kampung is one of the first few dishes that I posted on this blog. It’s a signature Malay/Malaysian dish! My first recipe is an ultra basic one, and I’ve since improved on it even more with this one.
This is really Nasi Goreng Kampung roughly translated as Villager’s Fried Rice. It’s one of the more traditional fried rice dishes that Malays would be familiar with! Nasi Goreng Kampung is a spicy fried rice, with Ikan Bilis or Dried Anchovies as part of its flavour profile.
The Dried Anchovies add such a unique umami flavour to the rice, and combined with the spicy kick of the bird’s eye chillies, makes this one addictive plate of fried rice.
Key Ingredients for Nasi Goreng Kampung
The two key ingredients are:
Ikan Bilis / Dried Anchovies
Ikan Bilis or Dried Anchovies is a pantry staple for Asian households! These salted dried fish add a lot of umami flavour to dishes.
There are three levels of Ikan Bilis flavour in the Nasi Goreng Kampung here:
- The pulverised ikan bilis in the base paste.
- The fried dried anchovies.
- The infused oil the ikan bilis is fried in.
The result is an umami-bomb of a fried rice!
Ikan Bilis is very easily available here in Southeast Asia, and cheaply too. An alternative is Korean dried anchovies, which should be more readily available in Asian grocers in the west. Korean dried anchovies tend to be bigger than its Southeast Asian counterparts.
You can also use any dried seafood that is more easily available to you. This can include dried fish, dried shrimps or dried scallops. Personally I’ve only tried this with dried shrimps, and the resulting flavour was insanely delicious! Dried shrimps is a lot more expensive though, so I’ll stick to the dried anchovies to curb my cravings.
Bird’s Eye Chillies
Another component is the spicy kick from the use of bird’s eye chillies. I used just red bird’s eye chillies, but if you can find green and red chillies, that would be even better! Nasi Goreng Kampung is supposed to be spicy, but if you want a non-spicy version, then feel free to skip. You will still be able to enjoy that ikan bilis umami!
How to Level Up Nasi Goreng Kampung?
Always – and I mean ALWAYS – add an extra seasoning component! Do not just settle for salt and pepper. In this case I used Maggi Seasoning Sauce. Other ingredients you can use in place of it include light soy sauce, fish sauce, belachan or dried shrimp paste, crushed chicken stock cubes, mushroom seasoning powder, golden mountain sauce… to name just a few! When you add an additional seasoning agent, it lifts the entire dish and gives it an extra layer of that magical umami flavour. Try it!
I also love adding a pinch of sugar to my fried rice. This is optional, but I like the extra layer of flavour it adds to the dish.
Watch the recipe here:
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If you love this easy fried rice, you might enjoy these too:
Nasi Goreng KampungCourse: Uncategorized
- Fried Ikan Bilis / Dried Anchovies
2 tbsps of Dried Anchovies or Ikan Bilis
2-3 tbsps of neutral-tasting Oil
- Base Paste
1 Onion or 2 Shallots
2 cloves of Garlic
2 stalks of Thai Bird’s Eye Chillies or Cili Padis
1 tbsp Ikan Bilis
- The rest of the ingredients:
2 Servings of Cooked Rice (overnight preferable)
100g Chicken, cubed (or protein of choice)
A handful of leafy vegetables (Spinach or Bok Choy)
1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp Pepper, or to taste
1 tsp of Maggi Seasoning Sauce
1/4 tsp Sugar (optional)
- Making the Base Paste
- Mash the onions, garlic, chillies and dried anchovies to a rough paste. Give the dried anchovies a quick rinse before using. You can use a pestle and mortar, or food processor. Roughly chop up ingredients for easier blending.
- Frying the Ikan Bilis
- In a pan with oil, fry the dried anchovies over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally to not burn the ikan bilis. Once ikan bilis crisp up and gets golden brown, remove from the oil and keep it to one side.
- Making Nasi Goreng Kampung
- In now dried-anchovy-flavoured oil, fry the blended base paste over medium heat.
- Once fragrant, add in chicken or protein of choice. Stir fry to combine with the base paste and cook. eggs. If you are using proteins, add that before the egg and let it cook first.
- Add eggs next, and scramble to cook. Let the eggs almost cook so that you don’t end up with soggy rice.
- Add in cooked rice, and season with salt, pepper, sugar and a dash of the seasoning sauce. Toss to combine.
- Once incorporated, toss in leafy vegetables. Toss to combine.
- Once vegetables wilt, the nasi goreng is done! Garnish with the fried anchovies before serving.