I believe I can "fly"... & the Ikan Bilis Nasi Goreng recipe

Monday, August 19, 2013


You are back from work. It is dinner time.

It is bad enough if you are the diner. But you are suppose to be the cook.

You open your fridge. Nothing there. You did not have the time to do any marketing over the weekend.

"We will eat out tonight...", you promptly declared. You hear some moaning in the background. "Not another long dinner outing, Mummy."

Your girl has the PSLE coming.

A sense of frustration begins to take hold. You are already late from work.

6.30 pm is early by S'porean standards but there is just not enough time to do some serious cooking.

Food does not magically appear on the table. Not unless you are Peter Pan.

You open your fridge again. This time, you scan it more thoroughly. As the cold mist hits your face, you notice a tupperware of leftover rice.

"What can I do with this?", you wonder and hope for some inspiration. Add ketchup?

Then you hear it.

Just at that moment, someone spotifies this song in the background.

"I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky..."

I believe I can fly...I believe I can fly...hmmm...

Yes, Flied Rice!

You do a quick check.

Garlic? Check.
Ikan Bilis? Of course. There is always some lying around.
Egg? Yes.
Veg? There is a bunch of spring onions and coriander leaves in the fridge drawer.

Protein? Carbo? Fibre? Check. Check. Check.

You do a quick mise en place and fire up the wok.

Who said you cannot do delicious "wok-hei" flied rice at home? Simple science, cook one plate at a time.

You add some oil. Then a handful of ikan bilis. They flied up in no time (20-30 secs). Then the diced garlic. Some sambal chilli which you do have. You pick up the cold leftover rice, separating them with your fingers as you drop them into the wok. Remember, one plate at a time. Full blast the fire. Sprinkle in some soy sauce (and fish sauce if you wish). Some water to moisten the rice as it is being wokked. Work quickly with your wok chan (spatula). Fly quickly.

You can still hear the song - I believe I can fly...

Yes, yes. I can fly. I can fly.

Now it is time to add the egg. Push some rice aside. Add a bit of oil. Crack in one egg. Stir it and chop up the egg with your spatula. Then mix with the rice. Fly, fly, fly. Lower fire. Dish out. Garnish with some chopped spring onions and/or coriander leaves. Sprinkle some white pepper.

"Dinner's ready!" You shout victoriously as your hungry girl rushes to the dining table.

The song is still going on in the background...I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky...

Amazing. It took you less than 5 minutes from the moment of inspiration to wok this up. The dish is done before the inspirational song is over. Yes, I can fly.

Your girl is obviously enjoying her plate. Who wouldn't? Umami favours, hot rice, crunchy ikan bills, egg bits and with some crunchy fresh veg too.

Your girl says in delight, "Yummy, Mummy. FRied rice!"

Then it struck you. As the song comes to a close with the refrain again, I believe I can fly...

Aiyoh. You have been a Singaporean for too long.

Never mind the language-lah. A quick delicious dinner was inspired.

Nothing in your fridge? Have faith. Look again. With a bit of flying, a dinner can be had.

Note: This article is inspired by the words of a packaging I saw last night at Takashimaya :). I have done a detailed recipe post on flied fried rice here


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