From America's Test Kitchen Season 12: Southeast Asian Favorites
Chinese takeout versions of fried rice are satisfying, to be sure, but frequently leave little to the imagination. We wanted to create a less heavy version of fried rice featuring the pungent, complex flavors of Indonesia—without heading to specialty markets for all of our ingredients. The primary source of this dish’s flavor is chili paste, and we were happy to discover that the ingredients for this paste are readily available at the average supermarket. To replicate the flavor of shrimp paste—another key but hard-to-find ingredient—we used a combination of fish sauce and chopped shrimp, which we added to the skillet with the chili paste. This dish requires chilled, firm rice, but most of us don’t have leftover rice sitting in our fridge. For rice with the proper consistency, we cooked it in less water and then spread it out on a baking sheet to allow it to chill quickly in the fridge.
Replicating the complex flavors of this Southeast Asian staple took some thoughtful shopping. But the real challenge was producing firm grains of rice without the usual overnight chill.Watch the Video
Serves 4 to 6
If Thai chiles are unavailable, substitute two serranos or two medium jalapeños. Reduce the spiciness of this dish by removing the ribs and seeds from the chiles. This dish progresses very quickly at step 4; it’s imperative that your ingredients are in place by then and ready to go. If desired, serve the rice with sliced cucumbers and tomato wedges.