Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

Nasi Goreng is the favorite Indonesian fried rice that's traditionally served with a fried egg. I really like the distinctive dark brownish, caramelised color of this rice! It is a very simple recipe, so you will not have to search down any odd ingredients, and it is among my favorite black foods -- and I am betting you'll enjoy it as well.

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

Nasi Goreng

Anybody that has been to Bali will be familiarized with Nasi Goreng and likely had it nearly every day since it's everywhere and damn delicious!

So for people who have attempted and love Nasi Goreng, then you'll be astonished how simple this is to create on your own house.

And for people who have not attempted it, then I hope you're doing!

What's Nasi Goreng?

The literal translation of Nasi Goreng is"fried rice" in Malaysian and Indonesian -- and that is just what it is! It is mostly rice with only a small bit of beef and only onion for those vegetables. The thing which distinguishes it from other Fried Rice dishes is that the sauce that's produced out of kecap manis, a sweet soy sauce which spots the rice dark brown and caramelises the rice as it cooks.

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

Typically it is served with a sunny side up egg (adore the way the yolk runs to the rice) Along with a side of fresh tomato and cucumber (no dressing) to earn a meal of it.

Shrimp Paste is optional!

Like almost every dish, there are lots of variations of Nasi Goreng. Some are more complex than many others, calling for using dried beans (belacan) that, surprisingly, is sold in massive supermarkets in Australia in addition to Asian stores.

I make it and that I make it . It is yummy even without dried beans -- and in actuality, when I initially shared with this Nasi Goreng recipe at 2016, I picked the version with no shrimp paste due to this reason.

However, it is more and much more real using dried shrimp.

So I have compromised and accepted the easy path with fish glue instead of dried shrimp that requires more effort from the preparation procedure (crumble and toast before using).

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)

A distinguishing characteristic of Nasi Goreng is that the dark brown color of this rice in the kecap manis / ketjap manis that's an Indonesian sweet soy sauce. It is sweeter and thicker than ordinary soy sauce, with a consistency like syrup.

Do not go running to the hills believing it is a hard-to-find-ingredient! Here in Australia, kecap manis is offered in major supermarkets (watch here for Woolworths).

And in the event that you can not locate it in your grocery store, do not worry! It's so simple to make -- only cut off soy sauce and brown sugar. Seriously. I have included instructions in the recipe to you.

Cold, afternoon rice isn't optional!

While fish glue is discretionary, the COLD cooked rice known as isn't!

It is not really feasible to create any grilled rice with warm, freshly cooked rice it gets type of stickier when stir fried in sauce.

On the flip side, day old cold rice is harder and drier, so the rice can also be stir fried in the sauce in a means which makes it turn into caramelised that gives Nasi Goreng the touch flavour and colour.

Quick alternative: Cook the rice, then distribute on tray afterward FREEZE for 1 -- two weeks, or refrigerate for 3 -- 4 hours. It is not more or less cooling the rice, but it is also about creating the top layer of the rice dry outside.

Super fast 20 minute recipe

The manufacturing part is quite simple, no different than normal grilled rice recipes. Garlic, chilli and onion , then chicken, then rice, kecap manis and shrimp paste, if using.

Cook for a few minutes before the rice grains begin to caramelise. Trust me you will know when it is ready, it smells amazing!

The way to function Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng is traditionally served with a fried egg and a side of fresh veggies (usually plain succulent wedges of tomato and pineapple ).

These two side choices are extremely common in a variety of parts of Asia to include protein and vegetables to a plate to flip something carb-heavy to a meal.

Nasi Goreng is also a fantastic Asian side dish choice, something a bit different that packs a small flavour punch! Try it on the side of:

  • Indonesian or Thai Chicken Satay Skewers
  • Asian Marinated Chicken
  • Asian Chilli Garlic Shrimp/Prawns -- big meaty tastes, tastes such as Thai Chilli jam!
  • Marinated Thai Chicken (Gai Yang)
  • Chinese Barbecue Pork (Char Siu)
  • Or have a browse of my Asian recipes set for more thoughts!

I really do hope you attempt this. Super yummy, it is most likely among the most flavour packaged Asian fried rice dishes! 

A traditional Indonesian fried rice recipe which is often served with a fried egg for a protein boost to make it a meal, but I usually serve it as a side dish. The magic ingredient in this is kecap manis, a sweet soy sauce which is available in large supermarkets and of course in Asian stores. Feel free to swap out the chicken for other proteins! Shrimp/prawns, tofu, beef and pork are all great alternatives.


1 tbsp oil
5 oz / 150g chicken breast , thinly sliced (or other protein)
1 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce, Note 1)

1.5 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
1 tsp red chilli , finely chopped (Note 2)
1 onion , small, diced
3 cups cooked white rice , day old, cold (Note 3)
2 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce, Note 1)
2 tsp shrimp paste , optional (Note 4)

4 eggs , fried to taste
1 green onion , sliced
Tomatos and cucumbers, cut into wedges/chunks
Fried shallots , store bought (optional) (Note 3)
Lime wedges


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.
  2. Add chilli and garlic, stir for 10 seconds.
  3. Add onion, cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken, cook until it mostly turns white, then add 1 tbsp kecap manis and cook for a further 1 minute or until chicken is mostly cooked through and a bit caramelised.
  5. Add rice, 2 tbsp kecap manis and shrimp paste, if using. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes until sauce reduces down and rice grains start to caramelise (key for flavour!).
  6. Serve, garnished with garnishes of choice (green onions, red chilli, fried shallots).

Serve as a side for Asian main dishes or as part of a large spread, Asian or not! See in post for suggestions.
Make it a meal - traditional Indonesian style!: Serve with a fried egg sunny side up (runny yolk!), tomato wedges and slices of cucumber on the side.

Recipe Notes:
1. Kecap Manis (sometimes called Ketjap Manis) is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce that is thicker than other soy sauces. Sometimes just labelled as "sweet soy sauce". Consistency resembles maple syrup, available in most supermarkets in Australia ( Coles, Harris Farms).
Also easy to make your own! Just combine 1/4 cup ordinary soy sauce (I use Kikkoman) and 1/4 cup brown sugar over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce until it becomes a maple syrup consistency. It will thicken more when it cools.
2. Chilli - I use 2 birds eye or Thai red chillies, adds a mild warmth, doesn't make it spicy. Adjust to taste. Chilli paste can also be used instead - add it when you add the rice.
3. Day old cooked rice - All types of fried rice are best made using day old cooked rice that has been refrigerated overnight. It dries it out, making it easier to stir fry to evenly coat the grains with the flavourings. TIP: Keep bags of cooked rice in the freezer! Fabulous for fried rice, or even using plain.
4. Shrimp paste - Adds depth of flavour and complexity, but is optional. Traditional dish uses belacan which is dried shrimp blocks, requires crumbling then toasting prior to use. Same flavour achieved with any shrimp paste which you can just dollop in. Any shrimp paste brand/type is fine.
Still tasty WITHOUT shrimp paste. SUB with more kecap mans OR 1 tbsp fish sauce!
5. Fried shallots are slices shallots that have been fried until crunchy. They are a great garnish and add a pop of texture to the dish but are optional because it's not traditional! Fried shallots can be purchased at most supermarkets in Australia
6. Make this GLUTEN FREE by making your own kecap manis (Note 1) using Tamari.
7. Storage - as with all fried rice, it keeps great for a day or two in the fridge then I find it gets a bit dry. Salvage it with a sprinkle of water then microwave it - makes it all steamy and moist again! Do the same if you freeze it.
8. Nutrition per serving including egg.

Serving: 187gCalories: 453kcal (23%)Carbohydrates: 58.6g (20%)Protein: 23.7g (47%)Fat: 13g (20%)Saturated Fat: 2.4g (15%)Cholesterol: 196mg (65%)Sodium: 898mg (39%)Potassium: 290mg (8%)Fiber: 1.3g (5%)Sugar: 1.2g (1%)Vitamin A: 200IU (4%)Vitamin C: 1.7mg (2%)Calcium: 60mg (6%)Iron: 4.7mg (26%)

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