Nasi Goreng is an Indonesian Fried Rice loaded with moist chicken and sweet, spicy, and savory flavors you’ll love. Ready in minutes and cooks in one pan, it’s the perfect use for leftover rice and makes an amazing weeknight meal.
Hello, everyone! It’s been awhile. I am sorry if I haven’t been posting new recipes as regularly as I used to these past few months. I’ve been knee-deep in getting my Onion Rings and Things off the ground and I am just so overwhelmed with all the nitty gritty stuff involved with growing a blog.
Unfortunately, it has always been the case that when I focus on one blog, the other suffers. Maybe one day I’ll find that elusive balance and will be able to manage BOTH my blogs effectively.
For now, let me make up for my absence with this amazing rice dish, Nasi Goreng.
Nasi Goreng is an Indonesian-style fried rice typically flavored with shrimp paste, chili, tamarind, and kecap manis. It is commonly served with a fried egg and a generous sprinkling of fried shallots on top along with prawn crackers and pickled cucumbers as accompaniments.
Like most Chinese stir-fried rice dishes, this Indonesian fried rice is an easy and economical way to revamp day-old rice and leftover ingredients into another delicious meal.
A nasi goreng recipe may vary from one household to the next and may include whatever meat, seafood, and/or vegetables on hand.
As boneless chicken breast was what I had on hand, I decided on Nasi Goreng Ayam (with chicken) for our recipe today but you can easily swap the chicken with prawns, beef, pork or omit altogether for a vegetarian version.
I had a hefty serving of Filipino-style scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast so I didn’t add eggs to my fried rice but feel free to add eggs by either scrambling and mixing in with the fried rice or by frying sunny side up style and topping the rice when ready to serve. You can also use soft or hard boiled eggs if you prefer.
Indonesian nasi goreng traditionally uses ground shrimp paste as one of its seasoning agents which I substituted with our very own ginisang alamang (sauteed shrimp paste) to make the dish more Pinoy-kitchen friendly.
This fragrant rice dish also relies heavily on kecap manis, a sweet soy sauce condiment, for its flavor profile. You can order this Indonesian sweetened soy sauce (this is an affiliate link) on Amazon if you don’t have access to an Asian supermarket or make your own by reducing equal parts of soy sauce and brown or palm sugar over medium heat until thickened to a consistency of maple syrup.
Commercial kecap manis has a bit more complex flavors as it does include other spices such as cinnamon, star anise, cloves, coriander, and black pepper but our homemade hack should work in a pinch and deliver the sweet and savory tastes you’ll expect in nasi goreng.
A few tips on how to make Nasi Goreng:
- Cold, day-old rice is best as leaving the rice in the fridge rid the grains of excess moisture and allows them to firm up. If you have only freshly-cooked rice, spread out in a thin layer on a baking sheet and refrigerate for a few hours to dry out and completely cool.
- This is a very quick process so have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go for the brief stir-frying.
- Use a wok or a wide pan with high sides to allow a good distribution of the ingredients without spilling and to give the rice enough space to nicely toast. Stir-fry on high heat to prevent the rice from sticking to the surface and to give it a nice, toasty flavor.
- I highly recommend SAUTEED shrimp paste for the recipe but if you’re going to use RAW shrimp paste I suggest sauteing it in the pan a little longer to brown and to temper the strong “fish” taste and smell.
Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon sauteed shrimp paste
- 1 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 cups cold cooked rice
- 2 tablespoons kecap manis
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 sunny side up eggs
- fried shallots
- sliced cucumbers
- In a bowl, break cold cooked rice with hands to separate grains.
- Heat wok or wide pan over high heat. When the pan is very hot, add oil and swirl around the bottom of the pan. Heat until shimmering
- Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add shrimp paste and chili paste, stirring regularly.
- Add chicken and cook, stirring regularly, until it begins to change color.
- Add rice and cook, spreading the rice on the entire cooking surface of the pan, for about 45 seconds or until grains start to sizzle and then toss to redistribute. Repeat a few times until rice is heated through.
- Add kecap manis and toss rice gently until to fully coated with sauce and evenly colored.
- Season with salt to taste. Transfer to serving plate and top with fried egg, fried shallots, and sliced cucumbers. Serve hot.