Traditional Nasi Goreng Recipe

Nasi goreng

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Check out this traditional nasi goreng recipe with chicken, topped with super crispy fried eggs and punchy hot sauce. This simple Indonesian recipe makes a comforting weekend recipe to feed the whole family

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Our cookery writer, Adam Bush, shares the personal inspirations behind some of his favourite – and most requested – recipes…

“Nasi goreng is the Indonesian equivalent of a fry-up, and in its home country you’ll find it pretty much everywhere, from early morning through to early afternoon. Some people might balk at eating rice with a hefty kick of chilli for breakfast, but many cultures start their day with something vibrant and spicy – from Indian roti (here’s our expert recipe) and Vietnamese pho (click here for our easy recipe) to Mexican huevos rancheros.

Meaning ‘fried rice’ in Indonesian, nasi goreng is a dish made with a pungent spice paste and always served with fried eggs, sliced cucumber and tomato, no matter where you eat it. As is typical in Southeast Asia, nothing is wasted and the dish most likely evolved as a way to use up left-over rice from a previous meal. Pouches of ready-steamed rice are great for this as they are cool and dry to begin with – essential for a good nasi goreng. If you are using your own cooked left-over rice, be sure to cool it completely in the fridge first.

The star of nasi goreng is kecap manis, an Indonesian sweet soy sauce. Sweetened with palm sugar and mixed with aromatics such as galangal, ginger and sometimes curry leaves, it is reduced until syrupy. This gives a deeply sweet/salty flavour, as well as that satisfying hit of umami.

The other key ingredient is shrimp paste (made from salted and fermented shrimps). Don’t be put off by the strong smell on opening the pack, it will diminish during cooking, leaving a background note of salty savouriness. Along with the spice paste it makes the dish hot, heady and fragrant. Forget bog-standard egg-fried rice with a few peas scattered in – this is glorious, moreish fried rice on turbo drive.”

Ingredients

  • vegetable oil 3 tbsp
  • skinless chicken breasts 2, cut into large pieces
  • ready-cooked basmati rice 2 x 250g pouches
  • eggs 2, beaten
  • kecap manis 2 tbsp, (see notes below)
  • fish sauce 1 tbsp
  • limes 2, 1 juiced, 1 wedged to serve

NASI GORENG PASTE

  • shallots 2, chopped
  • lemongrass 1, finely chopped
  • ginger a thumb-sized piece, chopped
  • garlic 2 cloves, chopped
  • shrimp paste 2 tsp, (see notes below)
  • tomato purée 2 tsp
  • bird's-eye chillies 2-3, depending on how hot you like it
  • brown sugar 1 tbsp
  • salted roasted peanuts 25g

TO SERVE

  • spring onions 2, shredded
  • crispy fried shallots (see notes below)
  • eggs 4, fried to your liking
  • cucumber ½, sliced
  • tomato 1 large, sliced
  • sambal or sriracha hot sauce

Method

  • Step 1

    To make the paste, put all the ingredients into a food processor with 1 tbsp of cold water and blend until smooth.

  • Step 2

    Heat 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan until hot and fry the chicken pieces until well browned, then scoop out onto a plate and season. Once cool, shred into chunky pieces.

  • Step 3

    Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining tbsp of oil and tip in the paste. Cook gently for 10 minutes until fragrant. Tip in the rice, turn up the heat and cook for 3 minutes. Push the rice up the sides of the pan and pour the beaten egg into the middle. Once the egg has set, chop into pieces in the pan and mix through the rice.

  • Step 4

    Add the kecap manis, fish sauce, lime juice and shredded chicken, and a little seasoning, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until piping hot.

  • Step 5

    To serve, scatter over the spring onions and crispy shallots, and serve with a fried egg, sliced cucumber and tomato on the side, dressed with a little lime juice and good squeeze of sambal or hot sauce over the rice.

Check out more of our stir-fry recipes here...

Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe

You can find kecap manis and shrimp paste in the Asian aisle of larger supermarkets. You can make the crispy fried shallots yourself by thinly slicing two shallots and cooking in 1cm of vegetable oil in a frying pan, heated to 160C or until a cube of bread browns in 1 minute. Fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Alternatively you can buy pre-made crispy shallots from larger supermarkets.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 464
  • Fat 16.9g
  • Saturates 2.6g
  • Carbs 49g
  • Sugars 10g
  • Fibre 2.1g
  • Protein 28g
  • Salt 2.1g
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