Make Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) when you have leftover rice! Add shrimp, chicken or make it a vegetarian meal and toss in some fresh vegetables instead.
Nasi Goreng is simply fried rice. It’s considered the national dish of Indonesia. In a country where nothing is wasted, leftover rice from the previous day’s dinner is often turned into this flavourful dish the following day. It’s mixed with seasonings, freshly caught prawns or shrimp and chicken, and then garnished with cooked egg, green onions, and cilantro.
It’s fragrantly spiced comfort food that is easy to make at home.
There are lots of different variations of this dish, depending on the region and available ingredients. This one is mine. It’s easy to adapt to your own tastes and make it yours! You’ll love this 30-minute meal!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make Nasi Goreng
- Jasmine rice: leftover is best. Cook it the day before and chill it overnight.
- broth: chicken or vegetable, homemade or store-bought
- eggs: You’ll make an omelette and cut it into strips to garnish the dish
- sesame oil
- protein: chicken, shrimp/prawns or both
- shallots: use onion if you don’t have shallots
- ginger: fresh ginger root
- Sambal Oelek: hot chili paste
- fish sauce: or oyster sauce
- ketjap manis: dark soy sauce
- green onions
- salt and pepper
Rice cooked the previous day has a better texture for fried rice, as freshly cooked rice is too moist and soft. In a Southeast Asian climate of intense heat and high humidity, labouring in a hot kitchen would be unbearable. This dish is cooked very quickly over high heat. It is often served with prawn crackers.
Nasi Goreng, or Indonesian Fried Rice, was our favourite dish when we traveled in Bali in Indonesia. If you’ve been to Bali, you probably ate it there, too! It is available anywhere, anytime, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s served in high-end restaurants, in small cafés, or by street vendors.
Later in our trip, we became more adventurous in trying different dishes, but at the beginning, my sensitive stomach told me to play it safe. I chose it from menus because it was one of the few things that was familiar to me. I knew it had been cooked over a high heat that would kill anything my sensitive Canadian digestive system wasn’t used to.
This Indonesian Fried Rice dish comes together quickly.
- Cook the rice at least 2 hours in advance, preferably the night before. Spread it out to cool and refrigerate if storing overnight.
- Make two small omelets by whisking together eggs with sesame oil and salt. Set aside, as you’ll use these as garnish to top the finished dish.
- Next, sauté shallots, ginger, garlic and pepper. Add the chicken and/or shrimp and stir-fry for a few minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside.
- Add the cooked shrimp and stir fry for a few minutes.
- Next, add the seasonings: Samabal Oelek, fish sauce and ketjap manis. Stir until well combined.
- Turn out on to a large platter and garnish with strips of omelet, green onions and cilantro leaves.
Here’s a quick 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.
- All are usually available in the International food section of your supermarket.
This Nasi Goreng is even better the second day!
The rice absorbs all those wonderful Indonesian seasonings. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and gently reheat the following day. Enjoy this 30-minute meal!
Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)
- 2 cups Thai Jasmine Rice
- 4 cups water (or 2 cups water and 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth)
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1or 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless, cut in 1/2 inch strips
- 24 large prawns (fresh or frozen) or shrimp, peeled
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped
- 2 tsp fresh ginger root finely grated
- 1 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 2-3 tsp Sambal Oelek (hot chili paste)
- 1 tbsp fish sauce or oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp ketjap manis (dark soy sauce)
- 3 tbsp green onions finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- Boil rice in water or broth or water-broth combination until cooked. Rinse, drain and spread out on a baking sheet to cool. Prepare the rice at least 2 hours ahead, or preferably the day before, chilling in the refrigerator overnight.
- Whisk eggs with sesame oil and salt in a small bowl. In a small skillet, make 2 thin omelettes and cut into strips. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the grapeseed oil and heat until it ripples.
- Add the shallot, ginger, garlic, and pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Then add the chicken and shrimp and stir-fry for a further 2-3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Add the cooked rice and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the sambal oelek, oyster or fish sauce and ketjap manis and continue to heat, stirring for 2 minutes.
- Turn onto large serving platter and garnish with the omelette strips, green onions and fresh cilantro. Serve hot.
If you like this dish, you may also like:
- Easy Thai Baked Chicken
- Never-Fail Thai Coconut Rice
- Thai Shrimp Salad with Grapefruit and Mint
- Spicy Thai Cocktail Meatballs with Dipping Sauce
- Thai Chili Sheet Pan Salmon
- Healthy Open-Face Thai Chicken Burgers
- Super Crunchy Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce
- Spicy Thai Mussels
This recipe was originally published in 2017. I’ve updated it with new information.
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