Fast and fresh nasi goreng in just 10 minutes? Yes please! Dive into this aromatic Indonesian fried rice and bring the iconic street food to life in your kitchen.
In This Post You’ll Learn
Why We Love This
Create your own Indonesian street food feast at home with this amazing nasi goreng recipe! This sweet, savoury and spicy fried rice is super satisfying and a complete meal on its own with protein and fresh veggies cooked right in.
Homemade fried rice is always so much better than takeaway, and it’s also a great way to use up leftover ingredients.
Amp it up with classic Indonesian seasonings, or adapt the recipe to suit your taste or what’s available in your area.
What is Nasi Goreng?
Nasi (rice) goreng (fried) literally means fried rice in Indonesian language. It’s considered a national dish of Indonesia and is a super popular street food dish in other Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore.
It’s usually made from previously cooked rice that is then stir fried with vegetables, sambal (chilli paste) and sweet soy sauce. But there are no hard and fast rules, with lots of regional variations in the use of ingredients and seasonings in the dish. That means you can really make it your own at home!
In Indonesia nasi goreng is usually eaten for breakfast, often served up with a fried egg, krupuk (prawn crackers) and fresh tomato and cucumber slices. But over time it has become a popular option for lunch and dinner as well.
It’s similar to another dish known as nasi gila (Indonesian crazy rice) except in nasi gila, the rice is served alongside the stir fried meat and vegetables rather than fried along with them.
What You’ll Need
- Cooked Rice – The star of the dish! We tend to use Jasmine rice the most but you can use any kind of day old rice, as long as it was refrigerated properly overnight.
- Egg – Fried rice is always so much better with a little scrambled egg cooked right in! Or you might prefer to serve it with a fried egg (sunny side up) on top.
- Chicken – Our cheeky shortcut for this recipe is to use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken (known as BBQ chicken in Australia) from the store, but you can also use leftover or cook up a chicken breast or thighs, and shred to use in this recipe. Sub with (or add extra) prawns or firm tofu to make it go even further.
Veggies – Cabbage, shallots and garlic are popular base ingredients used by Indonesian street vendors. At home feel free to use up any of your favourite veggies from the fridge. Capsicum / bell pepper, peas, corn, carrots, onion etc would all work perfectly here!
- Chilli Sambal – This paste is made from a base of red chilli peppers, vinegar and salt. There are hundreds of types of sambal in Southeast Asian cooking, so you can use different varieties to tweak it each time. Look for it at Asian grocery stores or in the International aisle at well stocked chain supermarkets. Sub with sriracha if required.
- Kecap Manis – This sweetened and thickened soy sauce is one of our all time favourite condiments! It’s becoming quite widely available these days, but if you can’t find it you can easily make kecap manis at home with brown sugar and soy sauce.
- Belacan / Terasi – Also known as dried shrimp paste, this is another classic Indonesian and Malaysian condiment. Despite its strong smell, when used in the right ratio it adds funky umami flavour without too much fishiness in the finished dish. It’s available in a dried and pressed block (our preferred option) or in a smooth paste form. Sub with fish sauce or leave it out if you prefer.
How to Make Indonesian Fried Rice
First, gather your ingredients: See recipe card below for measurements.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large wok or frying pan over high heat. Add shredded chicken and sambal chilli and fry for a minute or so. Remove from pan.
- Add in your shallots, garlic, belacan (or fish sauce) and salt, frying for 30 seconds or so. Then finally, drizzle in your kecap manis.
- Add the sambal chicken back into the wok, along with the cabbage and cooked rice. Mix until combined with the sauce.
- Bring heat down to low-medium. Make a hole in the middle of rice and crack an egg. Scramble it with spatula and allow to cook mostly through for around a minute, then chop it up and mix it through the rice.
- Switch off your heat and serve with garnishes such as a fried egg, tomato, cucumber or krupuk.
- Squeeze extra kecap manis or sriracha over the dish for extra flavour and top with optional chopped spring onion.
- Garnish – Nasi goreng is traditionally served with krupuk udang (Indonesian prawn crackers) which add a delicious crunchy bite! You could also add sliced spring onion / green onion, crispy fried shallots, toasted sesame seeds, rayu chilli oil, sriracha or extra kecap manis to add even more flavour.
- Storage – Store leftover nasi goreng in an airtight container in the fridge and use it up within 2-3 days, or freeze for around 2-3 months.
The quickest and easiest way is to reheat it in the microwave, but you can also pop it back onto the stove and stir fry again for a minute or two on medium heat until warmed through.
1 – The texture of leftover rice is much better for stir frying. Freshly cooked rice is usually too moist and tender, so it’s more likely to break up and become mushy while frying. But if that’s your only option, just go for it – it’ll still be delicious.
2 – If you already have leftover rice, it’s a great way to use it up and avoid food waste.
- Seasonings – Instead of cooking the chicken in chilli sambal, try it with our all purpose gochujang sauce or bibimbap sauce instead. Other substitutes for kecap manis are unagi sauce (Japanese eel sauce) or teriyaki sauce if you need.
- Balinese Spice Paste – Instead of frying the shallots and garlic, swap them out for homemade Balinese spice paste (also known as bumbu or base genep).
- Omurice – Use your freshly cooked nasi goreng as the rice filler in omurice (Japanese omelette rice).
- Add Spice – Try it with kimchi (or just kimchi juice) similar to kimchi fried rice.
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- 3 cups cooked rice yesterday’s rice is best
- 1 egg for scrambling
- 100 g rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken, shredded
- 1 cup napa cabbage chopped
- 1 tsp chilli sambal sub sriracha
For the rice seasoning
- Heat vegetable oil in a large wok or frying pan over high heat.2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Add shredded chicken and sambal chilli and fry for a minute or so. Remove from pan.100 g rotisserie chicken, 1 tsp chilli sambal
- Add in your shallots, garlic, belacan (or fish sauce) and salt, frying for 30 seconds or so. Then finally, drizzle in your kecap manis.3 shallots, 2 garlic, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp belacan, 2 tbsp kecap manis / sweet soy sauce
- Add the sambal chicken back into the wok, along with the cabbage and cooked rice. Mix until combined with the sauce.1 cup napa cabbage, 3 cups cooked rice
- Bring heat down to low-medium. Make a hole in the middle of rice and crack an egg. Scramble it with spatula and allow to cook mostly through for around a minute, then chop it up and mix it through the rice.1 egg
- Switch off your heat and serve with garnishes such as a fried egg, tomato, cucumber or krupuk.fried egg, cucumber, tomato, krupuk udang
- Squeeze extra kecap manis or sriracha over the dish for extra flavour and top with optional chopped spring onion.kecap manis / sweet soy sauce, spring onion