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Indonesian Nasi Goreng Recipe: A Flavorful Culinary Adventure

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Nasi Goreng, or Indonesian Fried Rice, is a delicious and easy-to-make dish packed with flavors from kecap manis, shrimp paste, and chicken. Whether you’re looking for a quick meal or a tasty side dish, Nasi Goreng has got you covered.

This classic recipe is perfect for using up leftover rice and adding a twist with a fried egg and fresh vegetables. You can enhance the flavor with fried shallots and serve it alongside cucumber and tomato slices to make it a complete meal.

It’s a versatile dish where you can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. Want some extra crunch? Add a few shrimp crackers. Like it spicy? Throw in some chili. The possibilities are endless, making Nasi Goreng a favorite go-to option for any meal of the day.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Nasi Goreng is made with simple and easy-to-find ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cooked Rice: Use leftover rice if you have it. Freshly cooked rice can be a bit sticky.
  • Chicken: You can use shrimp or tofu as a substitute.


  • Onion: A small-sized onion, chopped.
  • Garlic: 1-2 cloves, minced.
  • Chili: Optional for spiciness. You can use chili sauce or chili oil instead.

Sauces and Seasonings:

  • Kecap Manis: This is a sweet soy sauce. If you can’t find it, you can mix soy sauce with brown sugar.
  • Fish Sauce: Adds a deep umami flavor. If unavailable, soy sauce will work as well.
  • Soy Sauce: Both light and dark soy sauce can be used. Adjust to your taste.
  • Shrimp Paste (optional): Brings a rich flavor, but can be omitted if you prefer.


  • Eggs: Fried eggs are common. You can also scramble them.
  • Shallots/Fried Shallots: Provides texture and flavor. Can be bought or made at home.
  • Tomatoes and Cucumber: Used for garnish.


  • Salt and White Pepper: To taste.

These ingredients create the classic flavors of Nasi Goreng. Adjust based on your taste and availability.


Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat and add cooking oil.

Add chopped chili and garlic. Stir for 10 seconds.

Throw in diced onions and cook for about 1 minute.

Add chicken pieces. Cook until they start to turn white.

Pour 1 tablespoon of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) over the chicken. Cook for another minute until the chicken is almost done.

Add your rice to the skillet. Stir everything together so the rice gets coated with the sauce.

Season the rice with additional kecap manis and soy sauce. Mix well.

Fry an egg (well-done) in a separate pan and set it aside.

Serve the rice on a plate or bowl. Place cucumber slices and tomato wedges on the side.

Top your nasi goreng with the fried egg and sprinkle with fried shallots.

Optional: Add shrimp crackers for extra crunch.

Enjoy your delicious Nasi Goreng!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Use Cold Rice: For the best results, use cold, day-old rice. Freshly cooked rice can be too soft and sticky.

Heat Your Pan Properly: Always heat your wok or skillet before adding the oil. This will help prevent sticking and give a nice crisp to the ingredients.

Kecap Manis: This sweet soy sauce is key. If you can’t find it, make a mix of soy sauce and a bit of brown sugar.

Add Veggies: Throw in some vegetables like peas, carrots, or bell peppers for extra color and nutrition.

Fried Shallots: Sprinkle fried shallots or onions on top for added crunch and flavor.

Shrimp Paste: Adding shrimp paste can give the dish a deeper umami flavor. Use sparingly, as it has a strong taste.

Storing Nasi Goreng:

  • Refrigerate: Store leftover Nasi Goreng in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  • Freezing: You can also freeze it. Portion into freezer-safe containers or bags, and it will last for up to 3 months.


  • Microwave: Reheat in the microwave, covered, for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • Stovetop: Alternatively, reheat it on the stovetop in a hot pan, adding a little oil if needed. Stir occasionally until heated through.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

There are many ways to make Nasi Goreng your own. You can change the main ingredients to suit your taste or what you have in your kitchen.

Common Variations

  • Protein Choices: Use chicken, shrimp, or even tofu. Each adds a different flavor.
  • Spice Levels: Adjust the amount of red chiles or chili paste to make it more or less spicy.
  • Vegetables: Add frozen peas, carrots, or bell peppers for extra color and nutrients.

Serving Suggestions

  • Egg: Top each plate with a fried egg. The runny yolk adds richness to the dish.
  • Garnishes: Sprinkle fried shallots or fried onions on top for a crunchy texture.
  • Sides: Serve with cucumber and tomato slices to balance the spiciness.

Tasty Add-ons

  • Kecap Manis: Sweet soy sauce that gives the rice a caramelized flavor.
  • Shrimp Paste: Adds a deep umami taste, but it’s optional.
  • Soy Sauce: For a salty kick, use regular or dark soy sauce.

These tips help customize your Nasi Goreng, making it a versatile and enjoyable meal. Experiment and find your favorite combination!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.