Nasi Goreng


  • Using a chopper / mortar & pestle – make a rough paste using 1/2 cup shallots (or onion) + 3 cloves of garlic + 2 big red chillies (de-seeded) + 2 birds eye chillies 1/2 tsp shrimp paste.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok. Fry an egg sunny side up and set it aside for later.
  • Heat another tbsp of oil and slide in the freshly ground paste. The aroma of the shrimp paste will fill the air but it is important that you fry this mixture for a couple of minutes to cook off some of the pungency.
  • Now throw in whatever protein you like – chicken / prawns / vegetables / tofu. Classic Nasi Goreng doesn’t have any protein except the fried egg at the end, so it’s totally cool to skip.
  • Fry everything really well for about 3 minutes. Goreng literally means to Fry. 🙂
  • Add 2.5 cups of cooked rice to the wok and drizzle 2 tbsp of Kicap Manis (important: sweet soy sauce) on top, followed by 1 tbsp soy sauce.
  • Toss like your life depends on it. You want an evenly cooked Nasi Goreng that has flavour in every bite.
  • Transfer to a plate and slide that sunny side egg on top.
  • If you want to keep it classic, serve with some sliced cucumber and Keropok on the side. Keropok are crackers made from seafood + tapioca starch, should also be available at the place you bought the shrimp paste from.


  • You don’t need to use day old rice like a lot of chefs insist on, but I do find that cold rice is a lot easier to work with than piping hot rice straight out of the cooker. No Basmati please. Short grain rice is what you’re after.
  • If you’d like an even bigger hit of heat, get hold of some Sambal Oelek and toss it into the wok. It’ll taste amazing.

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