Nasi goreng (Indonesian / Malay fried rice)

Nasi goreng (Indonesian / Malay fried rice)

Back in college, there was a restaurant in the Diliman area called Rasa Singapura. That was where I had my first taste of nasi goreng. It is tempting to categorize this entry under “Singaporean recipes” but nasi goreng more properly belongs to Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines. It is fried rice cooked in much the same way as any Chinese-style fried rice except that the most popular versions of this dish include a little bit of shrimp paste — belacan (sometimes, belachan) to Malaysians; bagoong to us Filipinos. The desire to cook nasi goreng was a good excuse to buy a bottle of bagoong, something I don’t touch because of an allergy to crustaceans. But my allergy is no reason why my husband and kids cannot enjoy this wonderful Southeast Asian dish.

You will find many, many variations of nasi goreng. It is, after all, a dish that often makes use of leftover rice, meat, seafood and vegetables. The following recipe was adapted from Homestyle Malay Cooking, a part of the Periplus Mini Cookbooks series.

Recipe: Nasi Goreng


  • 4 cups of cooked rice (room temperature or chilled)
  • 12 medium-sized shrimps, shelled and veins removed
  • 3 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 12 to 15 string beans (I used baguio beans)
  • half a head of garlic
  • 2 finger chilis
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass (light portion only)
  • 1/2 tsp. of shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp. of salt (or to taste)
  • freshly ground pepper (optional but recommended for added aroma)
  • 4-6 tbsps. of cooking oil


  1. Slit the chilis lengthwise and scrape off the seeds. Chop.
  2. Crush the garlic and discard the skins. Peel and chop the onion. Peel the outer layers of the lemongrass, discard then thinly slice the tender portion.
  3. Trim the ends and edges of the beans and cut into half-inch lengths.
  4. Transfer the chilis, lemongrass, garlic and onion to a mortar, add a little oil, and grind with a pestle.
  5. Alternatively, place in a blender, pour in the oil and pulse several times to form a paste.
  6. Transfer the paste to a wok (or frying pan) and cook over medium heat until the oil separates from the semi-solids (or saute the paste in oil if you ground it in a mortar). Turn the heat to high, add the cubed chicken and cook, stirring, for about five minutes. Add the shrimps and cook for another minute. Add the beans. Season with salt, pepper and bagoong. Cook for an additional minute.
  7. Add the rice, stir well, and cook until heated through. Nasi goreng (Indonesian / Malay fried rice)

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 3

Connie Veneracion

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

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7 Responses

  1. noemi says:

    they even have nasi goreng seasoning here in the state.

  2. i remember my nasi goreng days in singapore. perfect breakfast of rice cooked in coconut, dilis toppings, hot sauce, fried egg, chicken wing and SPAM.

    the secret is in the hot sauce and the coconut flavored rice. people in singapore line up for up to an hour to buy a S$2 nasi goreng packet that they will eat in 5 minutes.

  3. Rose says:

    BatJay, I think what you’re describing is nasi lemak, not nasi goreng :)

  4. Connie says:

    Noemi, that’s convenient hehehe

    May coconut? Wow, will do that next time and ditch the bagoong hahahaha Whatever its name is LOL

  5. The key of Indonesian Nasi Goreng is sambal terasi (dried shrimp paste sambal)

  6. emilia says:

    I like nasi goreng so much!!! My mom used to make nasi goreng as our breakfast when i was in a primary school.. Miss mom’s cook nasi goreng so much!!

  7. budji says:

    I like my nasi goreng with tomato sauce or kicking hot chili sauce (sambal) like the way Indonesians cook it, hot hot, especially in Bali. Yum yum

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