Indonesian Fried Rice Breakfast

Indonesian Fried Rice Breakfast
Indonesian Fried Rice Breakfast

When I lived on the island of Java in Indonesia, I ate this basic fried rice for breakfast many mornings a week. My Ibu (or mother) would heat the wok on her on of the two burners powered by a large blue propane tank, swirl a glug of peanut oil into the pan, and toss in large spoonful of the sambal she had hand ground that morning from chillis, shallots, and garlic. The sambal fried in the oil, releasing a thick cloud of spice that wafted over to me, sitting at the table in our open courtyard. Once the sambal and fried, she toss on spoons of yesterdays rice – cold and perfect for frying. A swift toss of the wok, and rice was crisping. Meanwhile, on the other burner, a shallow wok of oil bubbled away. Ibu broke eggs directly into the oil, and pulled them out barely a minute later, fried crispy. A bowl of fried rice, topped with an egg, sprinkled with fried shallots, and some lightly salted cucumber on the side, and it was the perfect breakfast. Still is. After indulging in some Sunday evening take-out, I used the leftover white rice Tuesday morning and made myself a bowl of Indonesian fried rice breakfast. I didn’t grind my own sambal in a mortar and pestle, but a shopped shallot and a healthy tablespoon of sambal olek (gold label, with both crushed chillis and garlic) worked just fine. And I didn’t deep fry my egg, so the edges could never be as crispy and perfect, but I loved my little breakfast, and wasn’t hungry until lunch.

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