Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tante Uwie's Nasi Goreng Woku

A couple of days ago, Tante Uwie, who is currently staying at my house, cooked me a big bowl of Nasi Goreng Woku, or Woku Fried Rice. Woku is a kind of seasoning that is often used by Indonesian to cook. Other than the fact the preparation to make the spice mixture is very quick and simple, it tasted great as well. Imagine, more than five ingredients are mixed into one just to make one dish. It has the flavor-range of a rainbow!

Nasi Goreng Woku
(This dish serves 3)

- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 cloves of shallot
- Half-a-thumb of turmeric
- 2 sticks of lemongrass
- 1 big green chili pepper
- 2 small red chilli pepper
- 10 citrus leaf (or more, depends on your preference for the leafs are used to make the dish smells good)
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp pepper
- 1 can of tuna
- 2 eggs
- cooking oil
- 3 portions of rice (or, if you happen to be American, 1.5 portion will suffice) 

Do take notes that the humidity of the rice affects the outcome of the dish, and that y
ou can buy most of the ingredients listed here at a wet market, or traditional market.

Cooking Utensil:
- stone mortar and pestle
- knife
- wok frying pan
- spatula
- spoon (to scoop the canned tuna)

How to Make:
- prepare the spices 

And by preparing, I meant: Peal the skin of the cloves and turmeric. Cut out the middle-to-top part of the lemongrass and get rid of the dirty part. Wash them thoroughly.

- place the shallot, garlic, and turmeric into the mortar. 

- add salt and pepper

- mash them up, using the pestle, until it looks like a purée

- when you are done, gather them up to one side of the mortar. 
Then, use the other side to smash the lemongrass. 

- next, get your wok frying pan to fry some eggs. 

- turn on the fire to medium heat

- pour 2 tbsp of cooking oil into the wok

- put in the eggs 

- fry yourself some scrambled eggs

When you are done, place the scrambled eggs on a plate. We are going to use the wok again afterwards. 

- pour 3 tbsp of cooking oil into the wok

- put in the spices purée and stir quickly until they slightly turn color

- put in the smashed lemongrass and continue stiring

- add the citrus leafs and red chili pepper into the wok, continue stirring

You can stir and taste the mixture at the same time. If you think the dish is lacking of salt, or pepper, you can add some more. As you stir and stir and stir, the mixture will gradually change color. 

- add 2 tbsp of canned tuna and continue stirring

- put in the scrambled eggs and green chili pepper

- put in the rice, keep stirring until the rice and the spices are well-mixed, and you're done!

And there you have it, folks, a big bowl of Woku Fried Rice! The outcome of Tante Uwie's cooking is a very aromatic and flavorful dish. Citrus leafs and lemongrass were the reason why this fried rice had such mouth-watering aroma, while the yellow color that made the fried rice stand out came from the turmeric. Both kinds of chili pepper made the fried rice slightly hot and peppery. If you like peppery food, you can actually add some more chili. 

Tante Uwie's Nasi Goreng Woku tasted superb! It was very flavorful - savory, sweet, onion-like, peppery, and fresh. Every ingredients used in the making of the fried rice is edible, including the citrus leafs and lemongrass - but they have a rather rough texture, so you might just want to chew them and spit them out afterwards. 

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