Recipe: Nyonya Fried Rice

This dish is very different from a Chinese style fried rice because of the distinctly Nyonya flavour combination of dried shrimp, shallots, garlic and dried chillies.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 3/4 cup dried shrimp soaked in boiling water, drained, blitzed in a food processor to a crumbly consistency
  • 160 g peeled prawn flesh, deveined and diced
  • 1 cup raw jasmine rice, washed, cooked* and refrigerated*
  • 2 Tbs light soy
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten lightly
  • white pepper
  • 1 medium continental cucumber quartered lengthways, seeds sliced off and discarded, sliced diagonally 2-3mm thickness


Rempah (wet spice paste)

  • 8 dried long red chillies deseeded*, soaked in boiling water until soft, drained and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced
  • 4-5 small red eschallots OR 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Dried chillies – There are several types of dried chillies. Please choose the type that are about finger sized. The smaller ones are very hot and the broader, larger ones mild. Also please never replace dried chillies with fresh ones as they don’t impart the smokiness of flavour and depth of colour required for this dish.

Deseeding dried chillies – To deseed dried chillies with ease my Great Aunty Kim always cuts them into quarter segments with scissors, into a colander with largish holes and then shakes the seeds out.

The trick to cooking great fried rice is refrigerating the cooked rice first! It makes the grains keep separate and the dish from getting stodgy. Leftover rice which has been immediately refrigerated is perfect.

To cook perfect rice, wash 2-3 times, drain then add 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Bring to the boil, cook on medium heat with the lid ajar for 10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated and there are big pits on the surface of the rice. Cover rice and cook for another 10 minutes on very low heat, then allow to rest for another 10. Fluff rice up with chopsticks or a fork.


To prepare the rempah, blend rempah ingredients to a course paste.

Heat a wok or large non-stick frypan on a medium heat. Add rempah and, stirring continuously, saute the paste for about 7-10 minutes until fragrant and caramelised. You will know the paste is ready when very little steam rises from the wok and the colour will have deepened. Add pounded dried shrimp and stir fry for about a minute or until fragrant and slightly toasted.

Add prawns and stir fry until just cooked. Immediately add rice, soy, white pepper and sugar. Cook until rice has separated, and is tender. Make a well in the middle of the wok pushing rice to the sides. Tip the egg in and let it sit for a while so the bottom has a while to develop some colour. With the spatula flip egg to cook the other side, then chop it up to ensure all the egg is cooked. Add the cucumber and give it all a final toss so ingredients are evenly combined.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

For more information on how to experience the best of Malaysia down under visit:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *