This famous – and gorgeous – Indonesian fried rice makes use of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and shrimp paste. It’s often served with a sunny-side-up egg, which is a good excuse to make it for breakfast. Shrimp paste (sometimes labeled “shrimp sauce” and not to be confused with the stuff I spread on toast) is packed with pungent umami. It’s used in many Southeast Asian recipes and is easily found in Southeast Asian groceries, as well as larger Chinese groceries and online. – Chef Jon Kung
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 3 garlic cloves grated
- 1-2 bird’s-eye chilies or other hot red chilies thinly sliced
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts about 12 oz total, cut into ¼-inch-thick strips
- 4 tbsp kecap manis
- kosher salt
- 1 medium white or yellow onion diced
- 2 tsp shrimp paste preferably Thai shrimp paste; I use the Twin Chickens brand
- 4 cups day-old rice
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp MSG
- fried eggs, thinly sliced scallions, diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, fried garlic, fried shallots, lime wedges to garnish (optional)
- Heat a wok over high heat, then pour in 1 tbsp of the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and chilies and quickly stir-fry. Add the chicken and toss to coat, then add 1 tbsp of the kecap manis plus a pinch or two of salt. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until the chicken is almost completely cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and return the wok to the heat.
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil and the onion and stir, scraping the bottom and sides of the wok to pull up any sticky bits from cooking the chicken. Add the shrimp paste and the remaining 3 tbsp kecap manis. Stir well and add the rice, tossing to break up any lumps. Stir-fry until the rice is warmed through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Taste the rice and season with salt and MSG, then return the chicken to the wok and cook for 1 minute more, or until the chicken is fully cooked through. Place the fried rice on a serving platter, garnish with the optional toppings of your choice, and serve.