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Is Nasi Goreng Most Famous Indonesian Dish?

What is the most famous Indonesian culinary dish? It used to be Chicken Satay, but today, I think it’s Nasi Goreng.

Nasi Goreng is literally Fried Rice in the Indonesian language. I think it’s the most popular dish in Indonesia as one can find it everywhere, not necessarily in a restaurant but also as a street vendor selling Nasi Goreng.

File:Nasi Goreng Travelling Vendor in Jakarta.JPG

A street vendor cooking nasi goreng in his cart. The travelling night hawkers often frequenting Jakarta residential area. [image from wikipedia]

During my student life, when I was a lodger in my Grand Mom’s big house, where she used to prepare us (all her lodgers and her grand daughters) with Nasi Goreng topped with shredded-mixed-fried-egg (I couldn’t find it elsewhere how she made this fried egg), for Sunday breakfast.  Later on I used to have Nasi Goreng as my dinner in the office ordered from the street food vendor again almost every night when I had to stay late working on deadlines.  Why I like nasi goreng is because it’s so easy to cook, even for somebody who doesn’t like to cook like me, it’s still very easy; simple explanation is that Nasi Goreng is made up of left over food from last night. Of course if you ordered it from a restaurant or street vendor, you will not get a left over food.

Although Nasi Goreng is available in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. In Indonesia Nasi Goreng comes with many version, including the Chinese flavour version. The most popular Nasi Goreng in Jakarta (at least) is the ‘Nasi Goreng Kambing’, the one with that mix of lamb. As I am not fond of lamb, my favorite Nasi Goreng is ‘Nasi Goreng Ikan Asin’ – with salted fish. Regardless of all those versions I mentioned above, the most common Nasi Goreng you can find almost every where throughout the island of Java. Nasi Goreng

Why I think Nasi Goreng is the most famous Indonesian dish?  It’s because these days I find it also in Doha in more places than ever, such as in the Doha Golf Club which has been one of it’s popular menu items for years. And last month when I had my lunch with a colleague from the office, in the Marriott Renaissance Hotel Doha, the hotel even gave its cooking station on a buffet lunch exclusively for the Indonesian Nasi Goreng.

As a treat this week, something that I have never done before, I am also posting the recipe of my favourite dish,

Flavouring Paste:

  • 2 shallots – coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic – coarsely chopped
  • 1 to 2 fresh red big chillies – preferable Holland chillies that is big and long (as this is the least hot chilli), seeded and coarsely chopped
  • Salt


  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cooked shredded chicken meat – could be a left over from any chicken dish.
  • 200 gram shelled prawns.
  • 5 cups cooked jasmine rice, preferable left over rice as its already cold and dry.
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of  sweet soya sauce (kecap manis)
  • 4 table spoons of cooking oil (not olive oil).

Cooking Direction:

  1. Mix all the flavoring paste together in a mixer until it forms into a paste. Traditionally to do this the Indonesian uses a Stone mortar and pestle to grind and mix together, which the coarse result could give an extra texture to the end flavor of Nasi Goreng.

    File:Cobek ulekan.jpg

    Stone Mortar and Pestle

  2. Mix the cold rice with kecap manis, make sure that it’s well mixed and the rice now turned brownish colour.  Set aside.
  3. Mix 1 tbsp oil in a wok over a medium heat. Pour in ½ the beaten egg to make a really thin omelette, then slide out. Roll the omelette up and slice into ribbons.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil and cook the flavoring paste for 1 minute, then add the prawns and cook for another minute. Add the rest of the beaten egg, mix it until cooked, add the shredded chicken. Then stir through the rice for another minute or two.
  5. Serve the rice on a plate and garnish it with sliced Lebanese cucumber and tomatoes.

Preparation time:

max. 30 minutes

Cooking time:

15 to 30 minutes


4 persons.


  1. Pingback: Bye-bye 2013 | Nins' Travelog

  2. Pingback: Nasi Goreng – Indonesian Fried Rice | Nins Learns To Cook

  3. Pingback: Nasi Goreng – Indonesian Fried Rice – Nins Learns to Cook

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