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Nasi Goreng (Dutch-Indonesian Fried Rice)


Nasi Goreng (Dutch-Indonesian Fried Rice)

Nasi Goreng

Photo © Harold Pereira
Nasi Goreng is a classic example of a dish that can be made with all those little odds and ends you have hanging around the house. What could be more on-trend in our day and age than such a delicious form of edible recycling? Serve as a main with fried eggs and a cucumber salad, or as part of a Dutch-Indonesian rijsttafel.

This recipe really is better with day-old cold rice, such as leftover rice from the takeaway meal you enjoyed the evening before. Whenever I've tried making it with fresh, warm rice it turned out claggy.

I've translated and adapted this recipe from the original Dutch in Boekoe Kita. It has been republished here with the permission of the publisher.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 6-8


  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 9 oz smoked bacon lardons (250 g)
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 5 1/2 cups cup cold, cooked pandan rice (900 g, or 2 1/3 cup/450 g dry rice)
  • To serve:

  • Fried eggs
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into thin sticks


Heat the oil in a traditional Indonesian wadjan, regular wok or large frying pan. Fry the onions, garlic and bacon lardons for a few minutes until the vegetables are glazed and the bacon cooked.

Add the eggs to the wok and cook until the eggs begin to set. Now add the cooked rice (see Tips) in batches, while continuing to stir.

Serve with fried eggs (see Tips) and thinly sliced cucumber sticks or cucumber salad (see Tips).

Karin's Tips:

  • Here's how I cook rice: Wash the rice in a sieve to get rid of starch and impurities. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Add 1 1/2 cups water for every cup of pandan rice. Bring the rice to a boil in an uncovered saucepan over a medium heat. Once it boils, turn the heat down low and place a lid on the saucepan, tilting it to let the steam escape. Allow to cook until the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and use as neeeded. See step-by-step instructions.
  • To fry an egg: Heat 1 tbsp of sunflower oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a high heat until it is so hot that you can see a faint shimmer on the surface. Break a few large, fresh eggs into the frying pan. Allow the eggs to cook for about half a minute, then turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook them, tilting the pan and basting the eggs with the hot oil so that the tops of the eggs cook too. The eggs will be ready after a minute or so. Carefully remove the eggs from the pan with a spatula.
  • To make my cucumber salad: Cut 1 cucumber in half lengthways. Gouge out the seeds using a teaspoon. Discard the seeds. Now cut the cucumber into thin half moon slices. Place the slices in a bowl. Cut 1 chili in half. Scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard the seeds. Chop the chili very finely. Add to the cucumber in the bowl. Now make a salad dressing by mixing 2 tbsp sunflower oil, 1 tbsp plain vinegar, and a pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the salad dressing to the cucumber salad to taste, toss and serve immediately.
  • I also usually place a small bowl of sambal and a bottle of ketjap manis, that salty-sweet Indonesian soy sauce, on the table for everyone to add to taste.
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