Nasi Goreng Kambing: Mutton or Lamb Fried Rice

A rich, tasty variant of the classic Indonesian fried rice, cooked with lamb and spices, that's perfect for a no-fuss one-pot meal.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Nasi goreng (literally fried rice), for sure, is one of Indonesia’s most well-known national dishes. This scrumptious rice dish has won over many hearts, not just amongst locals, but also amongst foreigners who have visited the country. In fact, I have it on good authority that nasi goreng is one of tourists’ most memorable food experiences of Indonesia.

Based on a poll conducted by CNN, rendang (also an Indonesian dish!) was crowned No. 1 in CNN’s World 50 Best food, with nasi goreng as the runner up. This poll was conducted on Facebook, garnering more than 35,000 votes, and the result was published in July 2017, confirming nasi goreng as one of the most beloved dishes in the world.

As a regular on the local food scenes, nasi goreng is ubiquitous. It can be found in almost every 5-star hotel’s posh restaurant, is offered by street vendors in push carts / stalls, and is lovingly cooked by mothers and grandmothers in countless households. 

And the varieties are endless! We’ve already shared the recipe for the most basic nasi goreng, and today, we’ll cook something more complex and extremely popular – nasi goreng kambing, or mutton/lamb fried rice.

As the name suggests, this delicious fried rice dish is prepared using mutton or lamb. It’s influenced by Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines, so turmeric, cumin, cardamom and cloves are added along with the regular chillies, garlic and shallots. Kecap manis or sweet soy sauce is also added as a final touch, to give it a much needed (slightly) sweet Indonesian taste. Compared to regular fried rice, nasi goreng kambing has much more complex flavours and is altogether heavier. 

This delicious dish should be served right from the stove. It’s best to enjoy it while it’s still piping hot. For the accompaniment, get some acar and kerupuk (savory Indonesian cracks) ready. A glass of es jeruk will help wash down all the grease and complete the experience!

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Nasi Goreng Kambing: Mutton or Lamb Fried Rice

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Rice & Noodles
  • Method: Stir-frying
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal

Description

Nasi goreng kambing is Indonesian fried rice cooked with small cubes of either mutton or lamb. Influenced by Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine, this version of fried rice has full of spices and is extremely popular in Indonesia.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 250 gr lamb, cut into small cubes
  • 4 shallots, peeled, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 3 cm turmeric, peeled, chopped
  • 2 red chillies, chopped
  • 3 bird’s eye chillies (optional)
  • 0.25 tsp cumin
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 0.25 tsp white pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 bowl overnight rice
  • 1 stalk spring onions, washed and sliced, for garnish
  • Fried shallots for garnish

Instructions

  1. Blend into a fine paste: shallots, garlic, turmeric and chillies.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok over medium flame, and saute the blended spices, cumin, cardamom and cloves for around 3 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add white pepper powder and salt.
  4. Add the lamb cubes, stir until everything is well mixed.
  5. Pour the water, stir and when it boils, lower the heat to medium and cook the meat until tender around 15-20 minutes.
  6. When the sauce thickens and most of the mixtures have evaporated, add the cooked rice.
  7. Fluff the rice, and then add the soy sauce.
  8. Mix everything together, and cook it further until the liquids are absorbed, the rice is well separated and beautifully glazed (around 10 minutes).
  9. Transfer the fried rice onto a serving plate and garnish with fried shallots and spring onions.
  10. Serve with kerupuk and acar.

Notes

  • When preparing nasi goreng kambing, always make sure to cook the meat until tender, before adding the rice. Mutton will take a longer time to cook than lamb, and has stronger flavour, but both meats are suitable for this fried rice.
  • Adjust the amount of kecap manis according to your preference.
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