Nasi goreng, literally “fried rice”, is one of the most popular Indonesian dishes out there. Indeed, when I ask my non-Indonesian acquaintances what they know about Indonesian food, most of them will inevitably cite the famous nasi goreng. Satay, gado-gado, rendang and fried noodles will round off the top 5.
This isn’t really surprising, because it seems like every tourist destination serves up these fast, easy dishes. Unfortunately, this gives the impression – especially for first-timers to Indonesia – that the entirety of Indonesian cuisine is limited to this repertoire. Indonesia has a rich variety of less well-known dishes from its many regions!
There are many ways to make nasi goreng. You can even create your own version using whatever’s in your kitchen or your local supermarket. My recipe here is the classic one, using shallots, garlic and sweet soy sauce as the main spices. This is the version most widely available as street food in Indonesia. Most restaurants or street food vendors will serve nasi goreng with kerupuk (fish/prawn crackers), and either an omelette or a sunny side-up egg.
Nasi goreng is a great way to use your leftover rice. You can always add other ingredients too. Be adventurous! Use your creativity to make your nasi goreng special!Print
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
- 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.
- Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, blend the chopped shallot, garlic, chillies, dried shrimp paste and salt into a rough paste.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat, then sautee the paste until fragrant, around 2 minutes.
- Add the rice.
- Add the sweet soy sauce.
- Mix all the ingredients thoroughly, and separate the clumpy bits of rice until all the grains are completely separated.
- Continue frying until all the moisture has evaporated and the rice grains are well-caramelised and shiny, around 10 minutes.
- Transfer the rice to a plate. Garnish it with tomato, cucumber, and the sliced omelette.
- Always use old cooked rice to make nasi goreng (one-day old and refrigerated is the best). Freshly-cooked rice contains a lot of moisture which will become sticky when fried with the blended spices, making the dish soft and soggy. Old rice is, on the other hand, drier and harder. When stir-fried with blended spices, the grains do not become clumpy and remain distinct, even towards the end of the cooking. It will be nicely caramelised, resulting in a perfect, translucent, mouth watering fried rice.
Keywords: Quick & Easy, Spicy