Nasi Goreng Paprik reminds me of my days in med school, when my friends and I would get together on a weekend and make the trek to a Malay seafood restaurant by the beach. Aside from the great food, it was a chance for us to catch up as we were usually split into different subgroups while going through our rotations in different departments.
And while it was something that I would order religiously back then, it has kind of faded to the back of my memory. And while I have had it since, I have yet to find another restaurant that makes it quite the same way.
While this dish is considered part of Malay cuisine, paprik actually comes from the word pad prik which means chilli stir fry in Thai and is something we have adopted and made our own (I say this again – perks of sharing a border with Thailand!).
The only issue with trying to replicate the dish, especially during lockdown is getting my hands on ingredients. Lemongrass, baby corn and lime leaves have been hard to come by, but of course once I decided to give up and just make it work somehow, literally the very next day at the grocery store – they had the one thing that had evaded me for weeks -lemongrass!
Regardless, I shall never be held victim to the lack of lemongrass ever again because I have come up with my own version of Nasi Goreng Paprik (sans those ingredients) that I feel is pretty yummy and does the dish justice.
This recipe can be served with white rice, but I think making the tom yum fried rice is worth the extra effort.
350grams cooked white rice
1 tbsp Tom Yum Paste (I use Mae Ploy!)
1 whole white onion chopped
5 cloves of garlic diced
1 inch of garlic diced
Zest of 1/2 a lemon (or 1 stalk lemongrass halved and crushed)
Zest of 1/2 a lime
1 tbsp of lime juice
1 bay leave
2 tbsp chilli boh
2 birds eye chillies
50gm carrot julienned
50gm snow peas
Note : Lime juice, lime zest and bay leaf is to substitute for the lack of kaffir lime leaves. If you have them, use them instead – use 6.
For the Chilli Boh
1. Either a handful of dry red chillies or fresh red chillies (you can make more so you have some on hand at all times!)
Top tip – For dry chillies, the longer and more shrivelled = less spicy!
2. Remove seeds and bring chillies a to a boil.
3. Drain water from chillies
4. Blend to a thin paste with oil until you get a smooth paste (I don’t use water because I hate when it splutters everywhere when cooking)
5. Stores in fridge for up to 1 month or freeze for 3 months
For the Fried Rice/Nasi Goreng
1. Saute half the onions and 1 teaspoon of the diced garlic (about 1 large clove) in oil until onions start to sweat.
2. Add 1 tbsp chilli boh (chill paste) and stir
3. Add Tom Yum Paste, 50ml of water and fry until fragrant.
4. Then add rice and mix till covered. Then set aside.
For the Paprik
1. Fry remaining garlic, ginger and then add chicken.
2. Once chicken half cooked add 1 tbsp chilli boh and fry.
3. Add 1 bay leaf, 1 tbsp Thai Fish Sauce, 1 tbsp Oyster sauce and onions.
4. Add carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms and birds eye chillies (optional)
5. Then add 1 tbsp tomato sauce, 1 tbsp lime juice, lime and lemon zest.
6. Add 2 tbsp water, tomatoes and snow peas. Fry for 3 minutes and serve.
Serve with a sunny side up egg/fried egg! Enjoy!