Nasi Goreng: The Ultimate Indonesian Fried Rice Experience

Easy and Authentic Nasi Goreng: Traditional Indonesian Fried Rice Recipe

Discover the mouthwatering flavors of nasi goreng, Indonesia’s beloved fried rice dish. This delectable creation combines the sweet-savory magic of kecap manis with the intense umami punch of shrimp paste, resulting in a truly unforgettable meal.

Nasi goreng isn’t just another fried rice recipe – it’s a culinary journey through Indonesian cuisine. The secret lies in two key ingredients: kecap manis (Indonesia’s iconic sweet soy sauce) and terasi (Indonesian shrimp paste). These flavor powerhouses elevate this dish to new heights, setting it apart from other Asian fried rice variations.

Don’t fret if you can’t find terasi – we’ve got you covered! Feel free to use any Southeast Asian shrimp paste as a substitute, or omit it entirely for a delicious “nasi goreng cina” (Chinese-style fried rice). This versatile dish adapts to your preferences while maintaining its irresistible charm.

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)


For the Spice Paste:

  • 2 small shallots (2 ounces; 55g), roughly chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 large fresh chile, such as Fresno or Holland, stemmed and seeded, or 1 teaspoon sambal oelek, such as Huy Fong (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon terasi (Indonesian shrimp paste), optional (see note)

For the Nasi Goreng:

  • 4 cups cold cooked jasmine rice (21 ounces; 600g) or other medium- to long-grain rice (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) neutral oil, such as canola or sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) kecap manis (see note), plus more for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) soy sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground white pepper

To Serve:

  • 2 large fried eggs, cooked sunny-side up or over easy
  • Sliced cucumbers (optional)
  • Sliced tomatoes (optional)
  • Fried shallots (optional)


  1. Create the Aromatic Spice Paste: In a mortar, grind half the shallots into a coarse purée. Gradually add the remaining shallots, garlic, chile, and terasi (if using), grinding each ingredient before adding the next. Aim for a thick oatmeal-like consistency. Short on time? Blitz all ingredients in a small food processor until paste-like.
  2. Prepare the Rice: Using day-old rice? Break it up in a bowl to separate the grains. This ensures even cooking and prevents clumping.
  3. Unleash the Flavors: Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat until it shimmers. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom to prevent burning. Your kitchen will fill with an intoxicating aroma as the paste darkens, about 2-3 minutes. If it’s browning too quickly, reduce heat to medium.
  4. Transform the Rice: Add rice to the wok, coating it with the fragrant spice paste. Pour in kecap manis and soy sauce. Stir-fry until the rice is evenly colored and piping hot. Season to perfection with salt and white pepper.
  5. Serve with Style: Divide the aromatic rice between two plates. Crown each serving with a perfectly fried egg. For extra flair, add cucumber and tomato slices, and sprinkle with crispy fried shallots. Serve immediately, with extra kecap manis on the side for drizzling.


Terasi: This Indonesian shrimp paste is available in well-stocked Asian markets or online. Pro tip: Look for convenient single-serving packets. Can’t find terasi? Substitute with belacan (Malaysian or Singaporean shrimp paste) or Thai shrimp paste. No shrimp paste? No problem – the dish is still delicious without it!

Sambal oelek: This fiery Indonesian chile paste traditionally contains just hot red chiles and salt. Find it in Asian markets or international aisles of some supermarkets.

Kecap manis: The sweet soy sauce that gives nasi goreng its distinctive flavor. We recommend Cap Bango brand, but ABC and Conimex are also good options. Look for them online or in Asian markets. Want to learn more? Check out our kecap manis explainer.

Rice tip: For best results, use rice that’s been refrigerated for 12 hours to 3 days. If using freshly cooked rice, spread it on a tray and let it cool for 5 minutes before using.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
692 Calories
22g Fat
105g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 692
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 184mg 61%
Sodium 1212mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 105g 38%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 36mg 180%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 451mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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