Indonesian Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng) is a simple yet versatile dish that takes just a few simple ingredients and a few minutes to put together. Sweet and savory fried rice with juicy shrimp is topped with a fried egg.
Nasi Goreng is a simple but delicious fried rice dish from Indonesia. It takes just a few simple ingredients and a few minutes to put together, yet versatile enough to take on more vegetables and proteins you may wish to add.
Indonesian Fried Rice is typically served with a fried egg on top. The creamy, runny yolk pairs beautifully with the flavorful rice. I love serving this Nasi Goreng with shrimp crackers (kerupuk udang) for some extra flavor and crunch.
Kecap manis is the star ingredient of this dish, giving the fried rice a sweet and savory profile. The cooking oil is infused with shallots and garlic, giving the dish a nice umami flavor.
Preparing Cooked Rice for Indonesian Nasi Goreng
With any type of fried rice, it is always best to use cooked rice that has been sitting in the fridge for 1 to 5 days. The refrigerator dries the rice out just a little bit. This allows the individual grains of rice to separate to get properly seasoned in the wok or pan.
Take the rice out of the fridge about half an hour before you stir-fry it. This gets the rice closer to room temperature prior to cooking. You don’t want to cool the wok down too much once you add the rice to it.
After taking the rice out of the fridge, wash your hands, then use your wet fingers to break apart any clumps so that each grain of rice gets properly seasoned. Using wet fingers and hands to break up the rice prevents the rice from sticking to your hands.
Want to have fried rice tonight but no leftover rice in your fridge? No problem! Cook the rice with about one cup less water than you would normally use. After the rice has cooked, fluff up the rice using a pair of chopsticks or a fork. Allow it to sit uncovered until it cools and you are ready to fry it. Be careful not to let it dry out too much, though. After the rice has cooled down, cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out too much and hardening.
(Note: 2 cups of uncooked rice will give you about 6 cups of cooked rice, which is the amount that this recipe calls for)
How to Cook Indonesian Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng)
Heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
Add 3 cloves of garlic (minced) and 3 small shallots (sliced very thinly) to the oil as it heats up. I like to add the minced garlic and sliced shallots to the oil while the oil is still cool so that it can infuse its flavors.
When the garlic starts to turn slightly brown, add 1 fresh red chili (sliced) to the wok.
Add 10 – 12 medium-sized shrimp (peeled and deveined; tail on or off is your choice) to the wok, then stir-fry the shrimp till slightly opaque.
Note: In place of shrimp, you can also use cubed chicken breast or thigh; or a combination of both shrimp and chicken.
Add 6 cups of cooked rice to the wok, then pour 3 tablespoons of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) over the rice.
If you do not have kecap manis, you can mix 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
Stir in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.
Stir well to distribute the sauce evenly in the rice.
Add a couple of dashes of ground white pepper, then give it a good stir to combine all the ingredients.
Transfer the rice to a serving dish.
In a small non-stick frying pan, fry an egg in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil just before serving.
You’ll need one egg for each serving. This recipe makes about 4 servings.
Serving and Presentation
The serving and the presentation of your Indonesian Fried Rice is completely up to you, but here is how I do it:
We’re going to use a small bowl as a mold. Pour about a tablespoon of chopped scallions to a small bowl, then fill it to the brim with the fried rice. Place your serving plate on top of the bowl, then invert it so that your bowl is now on the top of your plate. Carefully remove the small bowl.
Place the fried egg on top of the rice. I like to add just a touch of freshly cracked black pepper on top of the egg just for a bit of flavor. You can also use ground white pepper if you prefer.
Garnish with several slices of cucumber and tomato.
I love serving this dish with shrimp crackers (kerupuk udang) but this is optional. I think it adds a really nice flavor and crunch to the dish.
Storing Your Leftover Indonesian Fried Rice
Keep any leftover fried rice in an air-tight container, and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Fried rice can also be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. You can store them in Ziploc bags so that they take up less room in your freezer.
To re-heat refrigerated fried rice, add about a tablespoon of water to the rice and microwave it for about 1 minute. The water will allow the rice to soften up a bit.
If the rice had been in the freezer, allow it to thaw, then microwave it. Alternatively, you can fire up your wok and stir-fry the rice.
Indonesian Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng)
- 5 tablespoons cooking oil divided
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 small shallots sliced thinly
- 1 fresh red chili sliced
- 10 - 12 medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 6 cups cooked rice see notes
- 3 tablesooons kecap manis (sweet soy sauce see notes for substitute
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Dash black pepper or white pepper
- 4 eggs
- Chopped scallions garnish
- Sliced cucumber garnish
- Sliced tomato garnish
- Shrimp crackers / Kerupuk udang optional
- Heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and shallots to the oil as it heats up.
- When the garlic and shallots start to turn slightly brown, add sliced red chili to the wok.
- Add shrimp, then stir-fry till just slightly opaque.
- Pour the rice into the wok, followed by kecap manis and soy sauce.
- Stir well to distribute the sauce evenly in the rice.
- Add a couple of dashes of white pepper or black pepper, then stir to combine all the ingredients. Transfer to a serving dish.
- Just before serving, in a separate small frying pan, fry each egg individually using the remaining cooking oil.
- Pour about 1 tablespoon of chopped scallions in a small bowl then fill it to the brim with the fried rice. Place your serving plate on top of the bowl, then invert it so that your bowl is now on the top of your plate. Carefully remove the small bowl.
- Place fried egg over the rice. Garnish with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and shrimp crackers (if using)
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