William Wongso

Javanese Sambal Bajak
Rating: Unrated
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Sambal is a spicy condiment found across Indonesia (and Malaysia and Singapore), with countless regional, cultural, and personal variations. This Javanese sweet and spicy sambal from Indonesian chef and TV personality William Wongso is tamed slightly by cooking the Thai chiles, toning down their bite. Fermented shrimp paste adds a savory intensity. Try it with Wongso's Nasi Goreng Jawa, his East Java–style Indonesian fried rice. Read More: The Fiery, Fascinating World of Sambal
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Nasi goreng is a classic Indonesian fried rice. Whether you make it at home or you pick it up from a street cart, it makes for a fantastic breakfast (or late-night snack) that uses up leftovers. "Nasi goreng is a comfort food," says Indonesian chef and TV personality William Wongso, who is very particular about that comfort. He makes his version in small batches, in a hot wok, with cold rice, and with distinct colors—yellow from scrambled egg, red from sambal bajak (a sweet and spicy condiment), and green from a scattering of scallions. This, Wongso's favorite style, is one he grew up eating in Surabaya, a city in East Java. Bumbu, the spice paste that flavors this rice, is richly savory, aromatic, and only mildly spicy. Toasting shrimp paste mellows out its pungent flavors and adds silky richness to the fried rice.