Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

A tasty recipe for vegetarian Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) loaded up with fresh, healthy veggies! Keep it vegetarian with Turmeric Tofu (or add chicken or shrimp!)—a fast and flavor-packed dinner recipe the whole family will love. 

Nasi Goreng, in a nutshell, is Indonesian Fried Rice. It’s simple Indonesian cuisine, typically made with leftover rice, veggies, egg, and meat or shrimp, and it varies quite a bit depending on where you are in Indonesia. While we were there, in the hot south, it was almost always served with something crunchy, cool, and fresh on the side.

What is Nasi Goreng?

Authentic Nasi Goreng is seasoned with a little Terasi shrimp powder and Kecap Manis – a dark, sweet & syrupy soy sauce infused with a hint of star anise. Here, I’ve kept it simple, vegan-adaptable, and made with more accessible ingredients. Please read the recipe notes if you want to go the more traditional route.

This version of Nasi Goreng is vegetarian, made with turmeric tofu, and loaded up with healthy veggies. You can add a protein of your choice, typically chicken or shrimp, or fried eggs, or keep it vegan with crispy tofu.

How to make Nasi Goreng | 45-sec video

plate with nasi goreng (indonesian fried rice) with turmeric tofu and sprouts, herbs, cucumbers, radish, lime.

Why You’ll Love This

  1. Nutritious! Nasi Goreng is loaded with colorful veggies, rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
  2. So versatile. Serve with tofu, eggs, shrimp, or chicken.
  3. Use up what you have. This is a kitchen sink recipe that uses up leftover vegetables from your fridge!
ingredients for nasi goreng (indonesian fried rice)- carrots, garlic, shallot, peas, mushrooms, red bell pepper, rice.

Ingredients

  • Cooked rice: Leftover, dried out rice is best. See notes.
  • Tofu: Use fried tofu, or pan-seared chicken or shrimp- all optional!
  • Shallots: Or 1/2 an onion.
  • Garlic cloves: Roughly chopped.
  • Carrot: Diced small.
  • Red bell pepper: Chopped.
  • Mushrooms: Sliced.
  • Fresh shucked peas: Or use snow peas, snap peas, or green beans.
  • Eggs: Whisked with a generous pinch salt (optional).
  • Soy sauce: Or GF Liquid Aminos (or sweet soy sauce). See notes. 
  • Maple syrup: Or honey or palm sugar.
  • Sesame oil: Just a drizzle!
  • Green onions: Chopped.
  • Optional seasonings: Terasi shrimp power and Ketjap Manis (see notes).
  • Optional garnishes: Sliced cucumber, radishes, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, sprouts, cilantro, crushed peanuts, Peanut Chili Crunch, lime wedges, and chili paste (sambal olek).

This recipe calls for 5 cups of chopped veggies and 3 cups of leftover rice. Here I’ve used carrots, bell pepper, fresh shucked peas (from Trader Joes) and mushrooms. Feel free to change this up.

chopped mushrooms, peppers, carrots on wood cutting board next to bowl of peas.

How to Make Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

In an extra-large skillet or wok, pan-sear your choice of protein in oil with a little salt, pepper and chili flakes until golden and cooked through, set aside. Here we are making vegetarian Nasi Goreng using tofu. Here is a post on how to make crispy tofu.

crispy turmeric tofu frying in cast iron skillet.

In the same skillet, add 1-2 tablespoons oil and saute shallots, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper and carrots over medium heat until the carrots are tender about 7-8 minutes. Season with salt. Toss in the fresh peas at the end.

chopped veggies sautéing in skillet.

At the same time, while veggies are cooking, whisk, salt and scramble the eggs in a separate oiled pan, breaking the cooked apart into little pieces, set aside. (Or feel free to top with sunny side eggs after serving.)

scrambled eggs chopped with metal spatula in cast iron skillet.

Once the veggies are tender, scoot them over to one side of the pan. Add a little more oil to the bare pan and add the day old rice. Turn up to high heat and fry for 3-4 minutes, getting it a little crispy. Combine rice with the veggies.

sautéed veggies on one side of pan with brown rice on other side, preparing to make fried rice.

Drizzle with the soy sauce and maple syrup and mix well for delicious umami flavor. Mix in the scrambled eggs and meat/shrimp/tofu if using. Taste and season with a drizzle of sesame oil, red chili flakes, salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the scallions right before serving.

vegetarian Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) cooking in pan with colorful veggies and scrambled eggs.

Divide among bowls and serve with some of the optional garnishes, lime & red chilli paste. We love it with sambal oelek!

Vegetarian Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) loaded up with fresh veggies, served with crispy turmeric tofu and fresh herbs, sprouts, radish, cucumber.

Expert Tips

  1. Chop the veggies small: For the tougher veggies, it helps to chop them extra small for faster cooking.
  2. Choose your protein: This recipe is versatile. Choose crispy tofu, fried egg, pan-seared chicken, or shrimp for your protein. Or skip it!
  3. Add eggs how you like them: Here I added scrambled eggs. You can leave them out for a vegan version, or serve them sunny side up.
  4. Use extra dry rice: I used leftover brown basmati rice. Wet or moist rice grains will not work well here. I leave the rice uncovered in the fridge overnight to dry it out for optimal consistency.
  5. Serve with fresh, crunchy veggies: Plate with fresh crunchy veggies like cucumber, radish, tomatoes when in season, fresh herbs, sprouts, fresh chili peppers, and a lime wedge. Shredded cabbage would also be nice!

FAQs

How long does Nasi Goreng keep for?

Leftovers taste delicious! Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This recipe makes 2-3 portions, so we recommend making a large batch to enjoy for quick meals throughout the week.

Can I freeze Nasi Goreng?

Yes. Let cool completely then store in a freezer bag for up to one month. Perfect for busy weeknights!

What type of rice should I use?

Use brown or white basmati rice or jasmine rice.

plate of Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) with peas, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, with fresh herbs.

On the homefront: I’ll always have a fondness for Bali. It was there, in that time of sunshine and slow-living that my husband Brian, hatched a plan to free us out of our “build a catering empire” conundrum. You see, up until then, I was of the mindset that you had to be the best, and work more, build more, and that success was everything.

He literally had to draw me a diagram in order for my head to get around his idea of “simplifying”. It was a foreign concept. But while being in that beautiful simple countryside, where people were joyful, content with very little, the idea sunk in, and a little seedling sprouted in my soul. At first, it was simply imagining the life I wanted.  I wanted life to be easier, with less stress, more freedom… and to be near the ocean.

Those of you who have been here a while may remember how we sold our house a couple of months after that trip, got rid of 2/3rds of our stuff, paid off our debt, moved into a little house and then was able to cater fewer events because we had a much smaller wheel to turn. And as we were catering less, I got more time to spend time doing the stuff that truly brought me joy. Like this blog. 😉

Eventually, we were able to stop catering altogether, which was a godsend. Ten years of catering, and ten years of having a restaurant before that, though rewarding on many levels, was a type of stress my adrenal glands couldn’t take anymore. So Bali led me down a path of being open and trusting my husband’s ideas (which were very different than mine at the time) and then trusting the path itself… even though we really had no certainty about where it would lead. To me, it felt like jumping into a rushing river -freeing, unsettling, exhilarating, crazy. AND Wonderful.

So, what does this have to do with Nasi Goreng? Nothing much, except, Bali is where it all began….

More Fried Rice Recipes you May like:

If you like these fried rice dishes, go here for more fast and easy Stir-Fry Recipes!

xoxo

Sylvia

Print

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon


Description

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) loaded up with fresh veggies! Add chicken, shrimp or eggs, or keep it vegan with Tofu! Easy tasty recipe! Vegan-adaptable and gluten-free.


  • 812 ounces crispy tofu, pan-seared chicken or shrimp- all optional
  • 3 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 2 shallots (or 1/2 an onion), chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 cup diced carrot (small dice!)
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh shucked peas, snow peas, snap peas or green beans
  • 2 eggs, whisked with a generous pinch salt (optional)
  • 3 cups cooked rice, (leftover, dried out, is best -see notes)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, more to taste (see notes) Or GF Liquid Aminos ( or sweet soy sauce- see notes)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey or palm sugar
  • drizzle of sesame oil
  • 1/41/2 cup chopped scallions
  • optional seasonings: Terasi shrimp power and Kecap Manis (see notes).

Optional Garnishes: sliced cucumber, radishes, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, sprouts, cilantro, crushed peanuts, Peanut Chili Crunch, lime wedges, and chili paste (sambal olek).


  1. In an extra-large skillet or wok, pan-sear your choice of protein in oil with a little salt, pepper and chili flakes until golden and cooked through, set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, add 1-2 tablespoons oil and saute shallots, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper and carrots over medium heat until the carrots are tender about 7-8 minutes. Season with salt. Toss in the fresh peas at the end.
  3. At the same time, while veggies are cooking, whisk,  salt and scramble the eggs in a separate oiled pan, breaking the cooked apart into little pieces, set aside. (Or feel free to top with sunny side eggs after serving.)
  4. Once the veggies are tender, scoot them over to one side of the pan. Add a little more oil to the bare pan and add the rice. Turn the heat up and fry for 3-4 minutes, getting it a little crispy. Combine rice with the veggies.
  5. Drizzle with the soy sauce and maple syrup and mix well. Mix in the scrambled eggs and meat/shrimp/tofu if using.  Taste and season with a drizzle of sesame oil, chili flakes, salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the scallions right before serving.
  6. Divide among bowls and serve with some of the optional garnishes,  lime & chile paste.


Notes

Rice: Feel free to use white or brown long-grain basmati rice. Left over rice, left uncovered in the fridge to dry out a bit works best here- allowing it to get more crispy in the pan. If making rice from scratch for this- you could cook it, then spread it out on a sheet pan and let it dry out first.

Feel free to sub other veggies- you’ll need about 5 cups raw.  Quick-cooking veggies work best here- chopped green beans, snow peas, asparagus, shredded cabbage, summer squash, fresh corn… etc.

TERASI SHRIMP PASTE: If you would like to use Terasi Shrimp Paste– you could mix it in with the soy sauce first before adding to the dish. 1/2 -1 teaspoon should be plenty. The Indonesian variety is usually in powder form.  I also sometimes use Hondashi Granules (not traditional, but tasty!)

Sweet soy sauce:  (KECAP MANIS) If you’d like to use this instead of the soy sauce, start with 2 tablespoons and leave out the maple syrup. Taste, adjust salt- you may still want to add a splash of soy sauce.

STAR ANISE: A great way to infuse a little star anise into the dish is to add it whole to the cooking rice.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 500
  • Sugar: 14.1 g
  • Sodium: 526.1 mg
  • Fat: 22.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60 g
  • Fiber: 5.3 g
  • Protein: 18.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 124 mg

Keywords: Nasi Goreng, Indonesian fried rice, vegan Nasi Goreng, vegan fried rice,

Share this with the world!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *