How to make Nasi Goreng, or Indonesian Fried Rice. Fried rice with kicap manis and served with a fried egg – this is the ultimate, easy comfort food.
This Nasi Goreng or Indonesian Fried Rice is one of my go-to recipes! I wouldn’t even call this Indonesian fried rice, because I – and many Malay households in Singapore and Malaysia – consider this our home staple dishes! We would call this Nasi Goreng Kicap Manis, or Fried Rice with Dark Sweet Soy Sauce.
The use of key Indonesian ingredients, Kicap Manis or Dark Sweet Soy Sauce and Belachan, or fermented shrimp paste, categorises this fried rice for us. Anyway, this is super easy to whip up, and a fab option for a quick lunch!
Key Ingredient: Kicap Manis for Indonesian Nasi Goreng
There is ONLY one ingredient needed for Indonesian Nasi Goreng: Kicap Manis! Or Dark Sweet Soy Sauce. Kicap Manis adds sweetness, salt, as well as a gorgeous dark colour to the dish. Other seasoning ingredients are optional, although they do level up the flavours of the fried rice.
Belachan (Terasi / Fermented Dried Shrimp Paste): I love adding this, since this adds that all-important umami to the fried rice! You would notice I do not need salt in this recipe too since belachan is already salted. If you have a bit more time, dry toast the belachan until fragrant before adding to the rice! This will intensify the flavours even more. This toasting is optional – in my opinion, purists would say otherwise!
If you are not using belachan, then do replace with another salting agent, such as light soy sauce, fish sauce or even just straight up salt! While you can use just the Kicap Manis as a seasoning agent, it is sweet. The additional salt will season the rice without it being too sweet.
Shallots, Garlic and Chillies: The base ingredients here would be shallots and garlic. Indonesians need some spice, so of course we have to add the Thai Bird’s Eye Chillies! Omit if you want a non-spicy dish. In this recipe, I blended these three ingredients together, along with the belachan. You can also use a pestle and mortar to mash the ingredients together. More commonly, I would simple chop the ingredients finely, since I’m too lazy to wash the extra equipment :p.
Type of Rice for Nasi Goreng
The best rice to use would be overnight rice. This will help to dry out the rice so that you get separated rice grains instead of chunky rice.
That said, I’ve made many iterations of this with freshly cooked rice, and I still enjoyed it. It will be slightly soggy, but I don’t mind it!
Optional Proteins and Vegetables for Indonesian Nasi Goreng
In this recipe, I used shrimps and some Chye Sim or Asian greens, but you can use whatever proteins you like! I love shrimps and thinly sliced beef because they cook so quick.
You can use a myriad of proteins, such as chicken slices, fish cakes, sausages… or whatever you have in the fridge to clear.
Vegetables are rarely added in food stalls, but of course, I love adding extra nutrients anytime I can! I used Chye Sim here and you can add Bok Choy, cabbages and tomatoes too.
If there is an important protein… it would a fried egg! Make your fried egg to your preference, but I love making mine with crispy edges! To do this, I like to add the egg to my pan with the oil – cold. Which just means you heat the pan with the egg already on it. This gets me crispy, brown edges, but with a yolk that’s not fully set.
But again, make it anyway you like!
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Indonesian Nasi GorengCourse: Eats, Recipes
1 serving of cooked rice
1 tbsp Dark Sweet Soy Sauce or Kicap Manis
Protein of Choice: Shrimps
Vegetable of Choice: Chye Sim
1 tsp White Pepper
Oil for frying
Cilantro for garnishing
- Blended Base Paste
1 Red Chili
1 Thai Bird’s Eye Chilli
1-2 shallots 1/2 an Onion
1-2 Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Belachan or Fermented Shrimp Paste*
- Blend base paste first in a food processor or use a pestle and mortar. Alternatively, finely mince the ingredients with a knife.
- In a pan with hot oil, stir-fry the blended base paste.
- Once it’s fragrant, add in proteins.
- Once proteins cook, add cooked rice. Drizzle kicap manis in. Stir through and let the spice paste and kicap manis incorporate.
- Add veggies and white pepper. Stir through.
- Done once veggies wilt. Garnish with parsley.
- Serve with fried egg.