Quick And Easy Nasi Goreng: A Recipe Using Paste For Weeknight Dinners

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Nasi Goreng: A Delicious Indonesian Fried Rice Recipe

Nasi goreng, literally translating to “fried rice” in Indonesian, is a beloved Indonesian dish that’s enjoyed worldwide. This savory and versatile dish is a cornerstone of Indonesian cuisine, and for good reason! Made with fragrant cooked rice, vegetables, protein, and a flavorful spice paste, nasi goreng is a quick, easy, and endlessly customizable meal.

Nasi Goreng Recipe
Nasi Goreng Recipe

Whether you’re looking for a satisfying breakfast, a light lunch, or a comforting dinner, nasi goreng is a perfect choice. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to use up leftover cooked rice, making it a budget-friendly and convenient meal option.

This recipe will guide you through creating a classic Indonesian nasi goreng, but feel free to experiment with different ingredients to personalize it to your taste.


3 cups cooked white rice (cold or at room temperature is preferable for best texture)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced (adjust for spice preference)
  • 100g (about 3.5oz) protein of your choice (cut into bite-sized pieces) – chicken, shrimp, tofu, tempeh, or a combination all work well
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables, chopped (such as carrots, peas, green beans, or corn)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste (optional, for added depth of flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Fried shallots (optional, for garnish)
  • Cucumber slices (optional, for garnish)
  • Kerupuk (fried crackers, optional, for garnish)
  • Sambal oelek (chili paste, optional, for garnish)

  • Directions:

    1. Prepare the Spice Paste: If you don’t have store-bought kecap manis, you can make a simple spice paste by combining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste, and a pinch of ground cloves in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside.

    2. Heat the Oil: In a large wok or skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.

    3. Sauté the Aromatics: Add the diced onion and garlic to the hot oil. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

    4. Add the Chili Pepper: Next, add the sliced chili pepper and cook for another minute, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Be mindful of the spice level and adjust the amount of chili pepper to your preference.

    5. Cook the Protein: Add your chosen protein (chicken, shrimp, tofu, tempeh, etc.) to the pan and cook until browned and heated through.

    6. Incorporate the Vegetables: Stir in the chopped vegetables and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until tender-crisp.

    7. Scramble the Eggs: Push the cooked ingredients to the side of the pan and create a well in the center. Crack the eggs into the well and scramble them until cooked through.

    8. Season and Combine: Add the cooked rice to the pan and break up any clumps with a spatula. Season with kecap manis, soy sauce, shrimp paste (if using), turmeric, coriander, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir-fry everything together for a few minutes, or until the rice is heated through and evenly coated with the flavorful sauce.

    Nutritional Facts (per serving):

    Calories: Approximately 450-550 (depending on the protein and vegetables used)

  • Fat: 20-30g
  • Carbohydrates: 50-60g
  • Protein: 20-30g

  • Please note: This is just an approximate nutritional breakdown. The actual values may vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.


    Nasi goreng is a delicious and satisfying dish that’s perfect for any occasion. It’s easy to make, customizable to your taste, and a great way to use up leftover ingredients. With its combination of savory flavors, textures, and vibrant colors, nasi goreng is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen. So next time you’re looking for a quick and easy meal that’s packed with flavor, give nasi goreng a try!