How to make: Nasi Goreng


Before you read any further, let me say this:

There is no single recipe for nasi goreng.

Taken literally, nasi goreng is fried rice…Indonesian style. It’s also a breakfast dish comprising mostly leftovers from the previous day- leftover rice, leftover meat, leftover vegies. With spice and sauce.

So, without further ado, nasi goreng, my way…in 5 steps.

This should serve 4- generously- for dinner. If you’re gluten free, use tamari instead of soy sauce and check your kecap manis (if using).

1. Leftover rice

If you’re preparing your rice fresh, cook 2 cups of rice (I use basmati) using the absorption method- the instructions should be on the packet. I like to soak it for about 30mins first and then rinse to get rid of the extra starchy stuff.

Once cooked, spread it out on baking trays until cooled.


2. Take some Bumbu

Essentially bumbu is mix of spices and seasonings and is what lifts this from leftovers into Bali on a plate. Again this varies, but this is what I use.

4 shallots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons sambal oelek (chilli paste)

1 heaped teaspoon belacan, crumbled. Don’t know what belacan is? Check out this post.

I heaped teaspoon grated ginger

Smash this up in a mortar and pestle or a small whoosher blender thing.


Gently cook the paste in about 1 tablespoon of oil (if you’re being really authentic, use peanut oil), for about 3 minutes. You’ll smell it.

3. Add the meat and onion

…or not.  Tofu works nicely too.

Most versions will use a combination of chickens, prawns and bacon. For this amount of rice, you’ll need about 400-500g in total of meat. I used 2 chicken thighs sliced finely and 200g diced bacon. You might want to throw in 200g small (cleaned) prawns instead of the bacon…or as well as!

Use a brown onion or a leek or some shallots, or some spring onions- remember, this is leftovers, so don’t be too precious.

Stir fry it all for a few minutes in the bumbu.

4. Put it all together

If you’re using leftover vegies- maybe some capsicum, sliced cabbage, carrot, celery- throw it in now. Add the rice and stir it all together. If you want to add a little soy sauce and kecap manis, you can do it now.

5. The garnishes

You’ll need:

Some tomatoes, sliced

Cucumber, sliced

Fried shallots- you can buy these in most supermarkets

Crushed roasted peanuts

Soy sauce with sliced hot chilli (unseeded)…use with care!

One fried egg per person- sunny side up

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

12 thoughts

  1. I LOVE LOOOOOVE Nasi Goreng. Thank you for this step by step ‘narrative’ sort of recipe. I find these kinds of recipes really help me find my way. Now I’ve gotta track down some bumbu and some belacan… x

  2. Oh god, I’m embarrassed about the mess I throw together and call it Nasi Goreng. (Had to check out the links though like Maxabella!).

  3. Oh me too! LOVE nasi goreng! When I was in Bali and five months pregnant, I ate it every day – with extra hard boiled egg 😉 An amazing food. Thanks so much for this great recipe!

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