This classic nasi goreng recipe makes Indonesia’s delicious fried rice with soft fried eggs and stir-fried prawns. Eaten anytime, it’s typically served with leftover satay or fried chicken, refreshing cucumber and tomato, and zingy mixed vegetable pickles. We top our rice with fried eggs with runny yolks and stir-fried prawns, and sprinkle on sliced scallions, roasted peanuts and crispy fried shallots.
Nasi goreng simply means ‘fried rice’ and specifically Indonesian fried rice and our nasi goreng with stir-fried prawns and soft fried eggs is this week’s Weekend Eggs recipe. If you’ve been to Bali or Yogyakarta or travelled anywhere in Indonesia – or Malaysia or Singapore for that matter – you’ve undoubtedly tucked into a plate of nasi goreng at your hotel, a restaurant or a warung, a little shack, shop or kiosk serving local street food.
If you haven’t, but you’re a fried rice lover (more fried rice recipes here) then you’re going to love this classic nasi goreng recipe with fried eggs and stir-fried prawns for Indonesia’s beloved fried rice served with tasty accompaniments and garnishes. We top our Indonesian fried rice with fried eggs with runny yolks and stir-fried prawns, and sprinkle on sliced scallions, roasted peanuts and crispy fried shallots.
You’re especially going to enjoy it if you’re idea of a comforting meal is fried rice topped with a fried egg with soft runny yolks – such as last week’s kimchi fried rice recipe for kimchi bokkeumbap stir-fried with Korea’s famously fiery fermented cabbage kimchi and spicy chilli paste gochujang, topped with soft fried egg.
Those fried eggs are why nasi goreng is this week’s edition of Weekend Eggs, our series of recipes on quintessential egg dishes from around the world, which we launched with Grantourismo way back in 2010 with our year-long global grand tour focused on slow, local and experiential travel.
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Nasi Goreng Recipe for Indonesian Fried Rice with Fried Eggs and and Stir-Fried Prawns
Our easy nasi goreng recipe will make you Indonesia’s famous fried rice stir-fried with prawns and topped with fried eggs with runny yolks. We serve it with satay sticks, a side of refreshing cucumber and tomato, mixed vegetable pickles, sliced scallions, roasted peanuts and crispy fried shallots.
So what sets a nasi goreng recipe apart from the countless other fried rice recipes from around the world? Four things. Firstly, Indonesian fried rice recipes call for two essential ingredients: kecap manis, Indonesia’s beloved soy sauce, which is sweeter and more syrupy than other Asian soy sauces; and terasi, dried shrimp paste, also known by its Malay name belachan.
Then there are the toppings, garnishes and sides: a fried egg on top is taken for granted, but there’s a combination of accompaniments that distinguish nasi goreng, even if they vary from plate to plate. They might include a shower of finely sliced scallions, small piles of roasted peanuts and crispy fried shallots, and mounds of mixed pickles, tomato and cucumber, or shrimp crackers.
Another difference is that the steamed rice isn’t the only day-old ingredient in nasi goreng. Obviously if you order Indonesia’s famous fried rice at a restaurant or warung you’re not going to get yesterday’s satay sticks on the side. But home cooks might stir-fry any leftover chicken with the rice or distribute leftover portions of beef satay, fried chicken, fish cakes, or tempeh between the plates.
I only have a few tips to making this nasi goreng recipe as it’s super easy and comes together before you know it.
Tips to Making this Classic Nasi Goreng Recipe for Indonesian Fried Rice with Fried Egg
Just a few important tips to making this nasi goreng recipe for Indonesian fried rice with fried eggs, starting with the rice. Fried rice was invented so leftover rice didn’t go to waste, so while fried rice is best made with day-old steamed rice that’s preferably been refrigerated overnight, that doesn’t mean you can’t make this nasi goreng recipe if you don’t have rice in the fridge.
Steam some jasmine rice in a rice cooker. I use two cups of rice, rinsed in a fine mesh colander until the water runs clear, which makes enough for two people. That should make two big plates of fried rice, and you’ll probably have leftovers. If you’re feeding three or four people, add another cup of rice to be safe.
Once the rice is ready, whatever you do, don’t throw it straight into the wok, or it will go mushy. When the rice is done, scoop it out and loosely spread it out over a large cold baking tray and set it aside to cool. I’ve done this countless times and the rice stir-fries beautifully.
When it comes to stir-frying fried rice, I like to use our round flat bottomed wok, which is light-weight and non-stick. If you don’t have one, you really should get one, otherwise, you could use your favourite fry pan or skillet.
This nasi goreng recipe calls for two ingredients that are essential for making an authentic Indonesian fried rice – kecap manis, Indonesian soy sauce, and terasi, a dry-roasted shrimp paste, also known as belachan, its Malay name.
You will find both of these products in a good supermarket or market in Southeast Asia. Outside the region, look for supermarkets that have a good range of Asian ingredients or a specialised Asian supermarket or grocery store or make a beeline for your nearest Indonesian community or Chinatown. Otherwise, look online.
If you can’t find kecap manis, heat up some dark soy sauce and palm sugar or brown sugar in a small pot and stir until the sugar dissolves. Can’t source terasi or belachan? Use another Southeast Asian shrimp paste from Thailand, Cambodia or Myanmar called kapi or gapi. Good supermarkets in Australia usually have a Thai brand that comes in a small glass with a yellow plastic lid and yellow and red label.
If you’re not a fan of the funky flavour of shrimp paste, you could skip it, but keep in mind that this is one of the ingredients, along with kecap manis, that really distinguishes a genuine nasi goreng. If you like fish sauce, go for that. I’d recommend starting with a tablespoon and then adding little by little until you can taste that funky, umami flavour.
I use one of these cute little non-stick single-egg pans to fry our eggs. We coat the small pan with the lightest coating of vegetable oil then crack an egg into the pan, and slow-fry over the lowest heat for a couple of minutes until the egg white is just cooked and yolk is still soft and runny. A silicone spatula is handy for sliding the fried egg out of the pan and onto the top of the fried rice.
Garnishes and sides vary from warung to warung, village to village, town to town, city to city, region to region… but a quick pickle of mixed vegetables and refreshing slices of tomato and cucumber – or diced tomato and cucumber in a little vinegar, which is how I love it – are essential.
I also loved the combination of finely sliced scallions, pan-roasted peanuts and crispy fried shallots arranged around the rice, which we had in Bali years ago. It’s fantastic mixed up with the rice as it adds loads of texture, and combined with the runny yolk, it’s incredibly delicious and utterly addictive.
Learn More About Indonesian Food
I adapted this nasi goreng recipe from The Food of Indonesia: Delicious Recipes from Bali, Java and the Spice Islands which I picked up in a Yogyakarta bookstore years ago. It’s co-authored by Lother Arsana, an Indonesian chef, and Heinz Von Holzen, a Bali-based expat chef who first travelled to Indonesia in the 1990s.
Two other Indonesian cookbooks have been recommended over the years but we’ve not been able to get hold of them here: Flavors of Indonesia: William Wongso’s Culinary Wonders by William W. Wongso, and Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia by James Oseland.
Nasi Goreng Recipe for Indonesian Fried Rice with Fried Eggs
- 2 cups jasmine rice to steam or leftover rice
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 shallots peeled and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 red chillies deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tsp shrimp paste , dry roasted (see notes)
- 2 cups cabbage finely sliced
- 3 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 12 prawns , shelled and deveined
- 2 eggs fried to your liking
- 2 green scallions finely sliced
- 2 tbsp roasted peanuts
- 2 tbsp crispy fried shallots
- mixed vegetable pickles
- satay sticks
- fried chicken
- cucumber and tomato salad
- If you don’t have any leftover steamed rice, steam 2 cups of jasmine rice in a rice cooker according to its instructions. When done, scoop out the rice and loosely spread it over a tray and set it aside to cool while you prep the ingredients above.
- In a large flat-bottomed wok over medium-high heat, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil and when hot add the finely diced shallots, garlic, chillies, and shrimp paste and fry for a few minutes.
- Add the cabbage and stir-fry for a few minutes more until the cabbage is wilted, then gradually add the cooked rice, then the kecap manis salt and white pepper, continuing to stir-fry to combine well and ensure the rice grains are completely coated in the sauce.
- Push the rice to the side, add half a tablespoon of oil and quickly stir-fry the prawns until coloured and just cooked, taking care not to over-do them. Scoop the prawns up and pop them on top of the rice, and turn the heat off.
- In a small fry pan, heat the remaining half tablespoon of oil and fry the eggs so the white is cooked but yolk is still soft and runny – or do them to your liking.
- Plate the fried rice, top with the prawns and fried eggs, sprinkle on sliced green scallions, roasted peanuts and crispy fried shallots, garnish with cucumber and tomato, perhaps some mixed vegetable pickles, and – if you like – sides of satay, fried chicken or other leftovers.
- Make sure to mix through the runny yolk, scallions, peanuts, and shallots before tucking in.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make our nasi goreng recipe for Indonesian fried rice with fried eggs as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.