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Nasi Goreng

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Nasi goreng is a fried rice dish like no other!

I’m hooked on nasi Goreng which is an Indonesian fried rice dish that is also popular at the food stalls in Malaysia and Singapore. There are countless versions. Some with chicken, others with prawns… Some completely vegetarian with additional vegetables thrown in.

This chicken nasi goreng is my favourite. Nasi goreng is usually topped with an Asian style fried egg and in some places is served with a host of other tasty things. In my opinion, sambal oelek, a simple red chilli sauce, is a must.

Nasi goreng

Served with or without egg. Nasi goreng is comfort food at its best.

Nasi Goreng…

I can’t wait to get back to Bali where one of the first street food dishes I’ll be ordering is nasi goreng. I haven’t been there in years but all going well, I’ll be there in September. 

Nasi goreng is a delicious but very simple fried rice recipe. You can get some amazing nasi goreng served to you there but it is also really easy to make and duplicate at home.


The sweet flavour of kapis manis which caramelises as its cooked into the rice just one of the things that make nasi goreng so good.

What exactly is nasi goreng?

In Malaysian and Indonesian, ‘nasi’ means rice and ‘goreng’ means fried. But this is not just any fried rice dish!

As I mentioned above, one of the key ingredients in nasi goreng as well as its noodle equivalent mee goreng is the kecap manis.

If you haven’t heard of kecap manis before, it is a sweet and thick soy sauce. It’s available at Asian shops and online. I have included a recipe if you would like to make it yourself below.

This dish is usually served with a spicy sambal, veggies and often topped with a sunny top up egg. I only had one egg and messed up. 🙂

Want to make your own kecap manis?

If you are unable to source kecap manis where you live, it can easily be made at home. 

Simply take 70ml (1/4 cup) light soy sauce and combine it with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Place in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring regularly. 

The sugar will dissolve into the soy sauce. Cook this down until you have a thick syrup and take off the heat. This kecap manis can be stored in the fridge indefinitely for future nasi goreng meals. 

Use cold rice or else!

Whenever you prepare a fried rice recipe such as nasi goreng, you need to use cold rice from the fridge.

Don’t cut corners here or you will be disappointed. You need to add cold rice as freshly cooked or warm rice will break up and become mushy. 

Step by step photos…

Ingredients for nasi goreng

Get all of your ingredients together before starting cooking. It’s much easier that way.

Making the sambal

Place all of the sambal ingredients in a spice grinder or food processor.

Sambal for nasi goreng

Blend until smooth.

Frying egg

Fry the egg first. It will stay hot while you cook this quick nasi goreng recipe.

Adding aromatic ingredients to the wok

Marinate the chicken with soy sauce and kecap manis. Set aside and then Then fry the shallots. garlic, chillies and shrimp paste. 

Adding chicken to the wok

Stir in the marinated chicken. You can marinate the chicken longer if you like for more intense flavour.

Adding cold rice to the wok

Add the cold rice and stir it into the other ingredients. Add the kecap manis and soy sauce.

kecap manis

All stirred up, it should look like this. You can serve this topped with egg or without.

Nasi goreng

Top with fried onions and serve with the sambal, tomatoes and cucumber. Dig in!


If you like this nasi goreng recipe, you might also like to try some of these.

Indonesian Chicken Sate
Indonesian Fried Chicken
Sambal Oelek – Indonesian hot sauce
Chicken with Sambal Matah
Babi Kecap
Spicy Green Beans Indonesian Style
Indonesian Bakso
Ikan Bakar – Indonesian Fried Fish
Soto Ayam
Mee Goreng
Sambal La La – Spicy Clams
Indonesian Blackened Fish
Seafood Laksa
Chicken Rendang
Beef Rendang
Butter Egg Floss Prawns
Malaysian Chicken Curry
Malaysian Devil Curry
Ayam Masak Merah – Malaysian Red Chicken Curry
Chicken Kapitan
Homemade Kecap Manis

Have you tried this nasi goreng recipe?

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Yield: 4

Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 120g red bird’s eye or jalepeño chillies
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • 450g (1 lb) chicken thighs, cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp kecap manis
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) or peanut oil (plus more if required)
  • 4 shallots (or half red onion), finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 green bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped, (more or less to taste)
  • ½ tsp shrimp paste
  • (4 cups) cooked, chilled Basmati or Jasmine rice
  • ½ tsp white pepper or to taste
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced
  • 4 medium tomatoes, quartered
  • Sambal Oelek
  • Crispy fried shallots or onions, homemade or shop bought is fine
  • 4 eggs, (optional)


  1. Start by blending the sambal oelek ingredients together into a smooth sauce. Taste and adjust the flavours and set aside.
  2. Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and top with 1 tbsp of kecap manis and 1 tsp soy sauce. Mix it all up with your hands so that the chicken is equally coated with the sauces. Set aside.
  3. Now on to the rice. Combine the kecap manis and soy sauce in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  4. Heat the oil over a medium high heat in a wok and when visibly hot, add the chopped shallots and fry for a minute or so before stirring in the garlic, chillies and shrimp paste.
  5. Give this all a good stir and the push it all to the side of your wok leaving room in the centre for the chicken.
  6. Pour the chicken in and cook it all for five minutes or until lightly browned and then stir the vegetables and meat together. If your wok is looking dry, add another tablespoon of oil but if not, leave it as is and add the cold cooked rice.
  7. Give it a couple good but delicate stirs to combine and then add the kecap manis and soy sauce mixture and continue stirring and frying until the rice is equally coated with the sauces and a beautiful golden brown colour. Sprinkle with the white pepper.
  8. Divide the fried rice between 4 serving plates. If serving with fried egg, wipe the wok clean and add about 4 tbsp of oil. Turn the heat up to high and add one egg. The egg will splatter and bubble up on contact. Cook to your liking and repeat with the remaining eggs. Top each rice bowl with a fried egg. Serve with the cucumber, tomatoes, sambal oelek and fried shallots or onions.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 538Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 249mgSodium: 2153mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 5gSugar: 19gProtein: 28g

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