Nasi goreng (Indonesian vegetable fried rice) recipe

  • Recipes
  • Popular collections
  • Everyday cooking
  • Leftovers

This recipe comes from my grandmother, who travelled a lot and remembered this dish from Indonesia. It is great for finishing up leftovers.

Be the first to make this!

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 120g long grain white rice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 240g tinned peas and carrots
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and ground black pepper

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the vegetable stock cube and the rice, and cook until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a small bowl with the tarragon and a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat, and cook and stir the onion until golden, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, pour in the eggs and cook, stirring constantly, until the eggs are set; remove from heat.
  5. Stir the cooked rice, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the five spice powder, soy sauce and peas and carrots into the large frying pan with the onion. Stir in the scrambled eggs, and cook and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the butter on top just before serving.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(0)

Reviews in English (0)

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) Recipe

Why It Works

  • Using either freshly cooked or day-old rice results in fried rice that separates nicely into individual grains, without clumping up.
  • Indonesian shrimp paste adds a potent dose of umami.
  • The sweetness of kecap manis balances out the dish's many salty and savory elements.

Nasi goreng is essentially Indonesia's take on fried rice. In addition to kecap manis, the country's ubiquitous sweet soy sauce, terasi (Indonesian shrimp paste) is what sets nasi goreng apart from other fried-rice variations you'll see in other countries.

Terasi is an umami bomb that pervades both your kitchen and your senses. If you can't find it easily, feel free to substitute another Southeast Asian shrimp paste, or omit it—you’ll be making what my mom calls nasi goreng cina, or Chinese fried rice, which is the version she made for us when I was growing up.

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

If every country has a national dish, Nasi Goreng, hands down, is Indonesia’s. It’s by far the most recognized Indonesian food in the world.

Ask anyone who’s been there, I bet they know what it is because it’s served at just about every hotel breakfast around the country, both a la carte and buffet. I know it sounds weird: rice, spice, and chicken for breakfast?

But add a sunny side up on top and you get a perfectly satisfying breakfast that will keep your belly happy until lunch time. There are so many different variations with two of my all-time favorites:

  • Nasi gorengkomplit – spicy fried rice served with a sunny side up on top, chicken satay and fried chicken on the side along with kerupuk udang (shrimp crackers) and acar(Indonesian pickles).
  • Tripe and stinky bean fried rice – yes, it’s the kind of bean you should not eat before going on a first date.


I think of nasi goreng as an “anything but the kitchen sink” kind of dish. Practically anything in the fridge, including any leftovers, can be included in this dish .

  • If you have steak and roasted veggies from last night dinner, go right ahead and dump them in.
  • If you have sambal terasi, sambal oelek or sriracha, add those too and make it spicy.

As long as you follow the general rule of pan-frying rice in spices, with or without some vegetable and/or protein, and add a couple of tablespoons of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) for flavoring, you’ve accomplished creating your own fried rice .

The addition of kecap manis is what differentiates Indonesian fried rice from all other fried rice. Our soy sauce is sweeter, earthier, and richer with a darker color.


Candlenut is a commonly used ingredient for Indonesian nasi goreng

In Indonesia it’s called kemiri however it’s the kukui nut in Hawaii. The tree that produces candlenuts is widely cultivated in Polynesia and southeast Asian islands .

We use this nut in a variety of dishes from nasi goreng to soups and sauces such as soto ayam (chicken soup) and peanut sauce. It is used to thicken sauces and add richness to any dish .

It looks somewhat similar to macadamia nuts in color but slightly rougher in texture and almost twice the size. Raw candlenut is mildly toxic, but it wears off once roasted or cooked.

The other day I decided to take a bite just to see what it tasted like without knowing about the toxins in a raw candlenut. I’m hoping it had been pre-roasted since I am still alive and feeling fine! Since I was still curious for another taste, I roasted a few candlenut in an oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and took a bite .

The flavor was earthy and nutty, a little bland with a hint of bitterness. The texture is similar to other nuts. In ancient Hawaii, the raw nut was used in traditional candle making. Because of the high fat content, it would burn like a candle, hence the name candlenut.

Authentic Nasi Goreng Recipe: So Distinctive

The unique ingredient in nasi goreng recipes, and something that makes it stand apart from similar fried rice dishes, is the kecap manis, or sweet soy sauce. You can get it in Oriental food stores.

What is kecap manis? Well, it is spicier, thicker and stronger than regular soy sauce but otherwise similar. You can use regular soy sauce if you can’t find kecap manis.

An authentic nasi goreng recipe is often served wtih fried onions, fried shallots and/or crispy prawn crackers to offer a texture contrast.

In addition to the above-mentioned ingredients many nasi goreng recipes feature shrimp paste, black pepper, eggs, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, nutmeg, green onions, salt, and/or fish sauce, depending on what the cook likes and/or has on hand.

Vegetarian Nasi Goreng – Indonesian Fried Rice

Nasi Goreng is a quick and spicy Indonesian Fried Rice easily made with leftover rice and a few vegetables for a healthy quick bite! Add meat, chicken or seafood along with cooked eggs for a non vegetarian version.

During days when you have just no time to slave over a hot stove to make dinner or lunch, quick fried rice is my go-to dish. Most of the times, my favorite is Pulao in a Jiffy or even Mushroom Fried Rice.

Nasi goreng means “fried rice” in Indonesia and sometimes is called the “National Dish of Indonesia”. It is normally served during breakfast with a fried egg on top and this versatile and fiery quick rice has been on my to-do list for a long time. Although I have never been to Indonesia, the flavors of that country as well as Malaysia or even Singapore and of course China have always fascinated me.

One of my close friends used to live in Malaysia and she used to always talk about Nasi Goreng she was a pure vegetarian, so her version was without any eggs, meat, shrimp paste etc. which the traditional nasi goreng has. Every time she mentioned that being on her menu for the day, I meant to ask her for the recipe, but never got around to it.

Unfortunately, I lost her suddenly last year and her recipe will always be inaccessible to me! My version of this amazing Indonesian fried rice is dedicated to her.

After scouting around for an authentic recipe, I gave up. There are so many variations mostly with egg, shrimp etc. My husband being a pure vegetarian, I decided to make my version with lots of fresh vegetables and a spicy sambal oelek bottle (Red chilli paste) that I had bought on my recent trip to USA.

If you do not have that, you can use any sweet hot chilli sauce or even soak some dry red chillies in hot water for some time and then blend it with salt and a bit vinegar to make the fiery paste needed for this fried rice.

I always have a bottle of my chili-garlic sauce in my refrigerator which I would have loved to use, but being just back, decided to make do with the sambal oelek instead.

Soy sauce is added but with a sweet touch. So, in went some jaggery or brown sugar in the sauce and for the sour element, stirred in some tamarind extract. Personally, I would have loved to have a crunchy topping of peanuts, but I had none in my pantry next time maybe!

Traditionally and ideally, you need cold, cooked long grain rice with each grain separate. So leftover rice is best for making this fried rice my lunch was going to be nasi goreng with carrot and coriander soup(will post recipe soon). So I made a fresh batch of Basmati rice and spread it out in a pan to cool.

With the healthy crunch of fresh green beans, cabbage and carrots, colorful, flavorful Nasi goreng was ready in a jiffy ready in 20 minutes!

Do try my version of this simple but vibrant and flavorful Indonesian fried rice and let me know in the comment box below or post a picture of your dish on my Facebook page.

Nasi Goreng: Indonesian Fried Rice

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1 x
  • Category: Rice & Noodles
  • Method: Stir-Fry
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Nasi goreng, or fried rice, is one of Indonesia’s most famous dishes and is prominent in Indonesian street food. Our recipe is the classic nasi goreng served with egg and crackers.


  • 1 cup old cooked white rice
  • 3 shallots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 2 big chillies (optional)
  • ¼ tsp dried shrimp paste (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil ( 3 tbsp for fried rice and 2 tbsp for omelette)
  • 1 egg for omelette


  1. To make the omelette, whisk the egg with a pinch of salt and then heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok. Cook the egg for around 5 minutes. Wait until it’s not too hot, then roll the egg and slice it.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, blend the chopped shallot, garlic, chillies, dried shrimp paste and salt into a rough paste.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat, then sautee the paste until fragrant, around 2 minutes.
  4. Add the rice.
  5. Add the sweet soy sauce.
  6. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly, and separate the clumpy bits of rice until all the grains are completely separated.
  7. Continue frying until all the moisture has evaporated and the rice grains are well-caramelised and shiny, around 10 minutes.


Nasi goreng is also referred to as Indonesian fried rice. It is particularly popular in South East Asia as many people living here like spicy food. Its popularity is also due to its unique flavor strikingly different from any form of Chinese fried rice.

If you are fond of eating fried rice, you may also want to try the famous Chinese fried rice &ndash Yang Chow fried rice.

If you like Indonesian food, you should not miss the Indonesian rendang Minang.

How to Make Nasi Goreng

Slice the green onion, shallot, chilli and crush the garlic.

Into a pestle and mortar (or food processor) put the shallot, chili garlic along with the shrimp paste if you have decided to use it. Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil also and grind it up to a thick paste consistency.

Add the vegetable oil to your wok and heat over medium to high heat. Add the paste and cook it out - for about 3-4 minutes - you will smell the release of aroma from the paste and that will tell you it is cooked.

Add the cooked rice to the wok, and stir around to get the paste all through the rice. If you have taken the rice from the fridge, you may need to use a spatula to break it up so that the rice is free-flowing.

Add the vegetables to the dish and stir fry while all the time mixing the rice and vegetables. do this for 3-4 minutes.

Add the kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and the regular soy sauce and stir well. If you are adding the cashews for extra texture - now is the time.

Make a space in the wok and put in a little oil and pour in the eggs - allow them to cook for 1 minute before mixing them back into the rice mixture - see our video on how we do this.

Now you are ready to plate up. Now you can also use a non stick frying pan instead of a wok.

Portion the fried rice amongst 4 bowls. Garnish with a generous helping of really anything you like and if you like you could do a quick squeeze of lime juice on the dish before eating.

A Guide to Indonesian seasonings used in Nasi Goreng

Sambal Oelek is a hot chili paste.

Ketjap Manis is a thick, dark syrupy Indonesian soy sauce.

Fish Sauce is a fermented product made from fish (often anchovies) and salt. It has a strong smell that can be off-putting, but it adds an amazing layer of flavour to this fried rice. You won't notice the odor in the finished dish.

All these seasonings commonly used in Indonesian or Thai cuisine are usually available in the International Food section of your supermarket.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • ⅓ cup minced shallots (about 3)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced serrano chile
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (chile paste with garlic)
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
  • 2 cups diced cooked shrimp (about 12 ounces)
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • ½ cup diced cucumber
  • ½ cup diced tomato

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and chile to pan sauté 2 minutes or until the shallots are lightly browned. Add chile paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, salt, and garlic to the pan cook for 1 minute or until the sauce becomes fragrant. Add diced chicken, shrimp, and rice to the pan, stirring to coat with sauce. Cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Place about 1 1/2 cups rice on each of 4 plates, and sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons cucumber and 2 tablespoons tomato.

Watch the video: Nasi goreng. my healthier version of indonesian fried rice. with malunggay powder. (December 2021).