Nasi Goreng: How To Make Indonesian Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng, which literally means “fried rice” in both the Indonesian and Malay languages, is an Indonesian rice dish with added pieces of meat and vegetables.

It can only refer to fried pre-cooked rice, a meal of stir-fried rice in a small quantity of cooking oil or margarine, usually spiced with kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), shallot, garlic, ground shrimp paste, tamarind and chili, and pepper.

Nasi Goreng has been named Indonesia’s national dish, although there are several other competitors. It can be enjoyed from a tin plate at a food stall on the roadside in basic versions, eaten on porcelain in restaurants, or picked from Jakarta dinner parties’ buffet tables.

Indonesian Nasi Goreng

  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Main Dish / Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Indonesian

Nasi Goreng had the same origins as other fried rice versions, as a way of preventing rice wasting. Frying the rice may prevent the spread of dangerous microbes, particularly in Indonesia’s pre-refrigeration technology, and also avoids the need to dispose of valuable food.

The whole preparation and cooking time is 50 minutes. This recipe is suitable to make at least four servings. 

nasi goreng

Today, there are many versions of the recipe for Nasi Goreng. However, the basic elements included for the recipe are still there. Photo credits to: @shestudiesandeat_.

Indonesian Nasi Goreng Ingredients

  • 400g long-grain rice
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 150g fine green beans, cut in half
  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into small even chunks
  • 200g pack of large raw peeled prawns, cut in half
  • 200g shallots, thinly sliced
  • 20g garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 medium-hot red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 red bird’s-eye chillis, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 quantity Balinese spice paste
  • 1 tbsp kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 9 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 5 tbsp crispy fried onions
  • prawn cracker

Indonesian Nasi Goreng Instructions

Step 1: Place the rice in a heavy-based casserole and add 520ml of water. Bring quickly to a boil, stir once, and cover with a tight lid. Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff up, and spread over a tray with a fork. Set aside to refresh.

Step 2: In the meantime, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Pour in the beaten egg and use a spatula as it starts to cook to bring large flakes of cooked egg into the centre of the omelette. Continue cooking like this for a few minutes, then leave the rest of the egg in place. Move the omelette to a plate to cool before cutting it into long, thin shreds.

Step 3: Place the beans in a saucepan of salted water and cook for 4 minutes. Drain, clean, and set aside under cold water.

Step 4: Heat the remaining oil to almost smoke in a wok or big, deep frying pan. Stir-fry the chicken and prawns for 1 minute. Tip the shallots, garlic, chillies, and carrots, and stir-fry until the carrot is tender for another 2 minutes.

Step 5: Add the paste of spices and stir-fry for another 1 minute. Stir-fry over high heat for 2 minutes, add the tomato purée, kecap manis, cooked rice, and green beans. Add the soy sauce, onions from the spring, shredded omelette, and toss.

Step 6: On warmed plates, spoon the Nasi Goreng. On the side of each tray, cover the cucumber and tomato, scatter over the fried crispy onions and serve with crackers.

Indonesian Nasi Goreng Additional Information

  • Per serving has 638 calories, 86 g of carbohydrates, 25 g of fat, 16 g of protein. 
  • Nasi Goreng is often described as the twist on fried rice in Indonesia. And it has been suggested, as with other fried rice recipes in Asia, that it can trace its roots to fried rice from Southern China.
  • This recipe takes approximately 50 minutes to prepare.
  • Serves four.

About Indonesian Nasi Goreng Recipe

Nasi Goreng is distinguished from other Asian fried rice recipes by its aromatic, earthy and smoky flavour, owing to the generous quantity of caramel kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and ground powdered terasi (shrimp paste). The taste is stronger and spicier than the Chinese fried rice.

To offer a crisper texture, Nasi Goreng also includes krupuk and bawang goreng (fried shallots) or (fried onions).


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Featured Image: @song8848 / Instagram