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Indonesian Nasi Goreng (Stir-Fried Rice) Recipe

Indonesian Nasi Goreng (Stir-Fried Rice) Recipe

Nasi Goreng is a traditional Indonesian fried rice dish and other optional ingredients such as meat and vegetables, usually topped with a fried egg. It is considered to be the national dish of Indonesia.

Nasi Goreng differs from the rest of the Asian fried rice dishes by its smoky aroma and caramelised yet savory flavor. There are many different variations of this dish depending on the ingredients used and the recipe followed.

Generally accompanied by a sunny-side-up egg and a side of fresh cucumber and tomato, nasi goreng is a staple dish of Indonesian cuisine. It is also popular in other countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Suriname and the Netherlands.

Origin & Cultural Significance

Nasi Goreng translates simply as “fried rice” in English and it has its roots in the Southern Chinese dish of fried rice, most likely created in order to avoid wasting rice.

Although the method of preparation is Chinese, the ingredients used to make nasi goreng are entirely Indonesian. It is said that before the Indonesians were introduced to the concept of re-cooking leftovers, they would sun-dry the excess rice into rice crackers and then grind them into rice flour.

Nasi Goreng

Indonesian Nasi Goreng Recipe

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


For the Spice Paste:

  • Small shallots (roughly chopped) - 2
  • Medium cloves garlic - 3
  • Large fresh green chili (Fresno or Holland) - 1
  • Terasi (Indonesian shrimp paste), optional - 1/2 tsp

For the Nasi Goreng:

  • Cold cooked jasmine rice - 4 cups
  • Neutral oil (canola or sunflower oil) - 2 tbsp.
  • Kecap manis - 2 tbsp
  • Soy sauce - 2 tsp
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground white pepper

To Serve:

  • Fried eggs (cooked sunny-side up) - 2
  • Sliced cucumbers (optional)
  • Sliced tomatoes (optional)
  • Fried shallots (optional)


For the Spice Paste:

  1. Begin by taking half the shallots and adding them to a mortar. Grind using the pestle until you achieve a coarse purée.
  2. Add the remaining shallots, garlic, chili, and terasi (if preferred). Make sure all the ingredients are perfectly ground before adding more. The end product should be similar in texture to thick oatmeal. Alternatively, you can also take all the ingredients used to make spice paste and add them to a small food processor and process until they convert to a paste.

For the Nasi Goreng:

  1. Remember to place the rice in a bowl and separate the grains with your hands into individual grains, if you’re using day-old rice.
  2. Now, take a large wok or skillet and add oil to it. Heat the oil over a high flame until it starts to shimmer.
  3. Add the freshly prepared spice paste and allow it to cook. Remember to keep stirring continuously. Also, make sure to scrape the bottom of the wok to avoid the paste from burning. You’ll know that the paste is perfectly cooked once it starts to give out a pungent smell and its colour starts to turn a few shades darker. It should probably take 2 to 3 minutes for it to be completely cooked.
  4. Lower the flame to medium the moment the paste seems to be browning too fast.
  5. Transfer the rice to the wok and mix everything in such a way that the rice is completely covered with the spice paste. Add kecap manis and soy sauce. Mix until the rice is uniformly coloured. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
  6. Serve the rice on two plates and place a fried egg on each plate on top of the rice. Add some cucumber and tomato slices and throw some fried shallots on top (if preferred). Serve instantly along with kecap manis.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 752Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 184mgSodium: 1219mgCarbohydrates: 118gFiber: 5gSugar: 18gProtein: 19g

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