A tasty recipe (and video!) for Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) loaded up with fresh healthy veggies! Keep it vegan with Turmeric Tofu or add an egg (or chicken or shrimp!) – up to you! A fast and healthy dinner recipe the whole family will love.
Nasi Goreng, in a nutshell, is Indonesian Fried Rice. It’s simple food, typically made with leftover ingredients, and varies quite a bit depending on where you are. While we were there in the hot south, it almost always was served with something crunchy, cool and fresh on the side.
This version is 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
I 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 you had to be the best, work more & work harder to get to go to places like Bali to relax. I was of the mindset that more was more. More catering gigs would equal more stuff (to ensure the safety and security of our future) and more vacations.
He had to literally 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. I took some time to envision the life I wanted. Less stress, freedom over my time 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 brought me joy. Like this blog. 😉
Eventually, we were able to stop catering all together, 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 I didn’t want to carry anymore. So Bali, lead me down a path of, being open and trusting my husband’s ideas (which were very different than mine at the time) and then to trust the path itself… even though I really had no certainty about where it would lead. To me it felt like jumping into a rushing river -freeing, unsettling, exhilarating, crazy. Wonderful.
So what does this have to do with Nasi Goreng? Nothing much, but feeling huge gratitude at the moment for this “river” called life, and all the twists and turns, rapids and overturned rafts, and times of gentle floating. All of it. I’m letting this gush of words come out in case it might mean something to someone, somewhere.
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. If you want to go the more traditional route, please read recipe notes.
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.
For faster cooking, make sure to chop tougher veggies like carrots, extra small!!!
Instead of shrimp or chicken today, I’m pan-searing some Crispy tofu, coated in turmeric. The recipe is flexible – add your favorite cooked protein.
Here is a post on how to make crispy tofu.
I’m also adding a couple eggs. You can leave these out for a vegan version – or serve them sunny side up over top of the Nasi Goreng. Brian prefers scrambled so I cooked them up first and chopped into pieces.
Once the veggies are tender, oil the pan and make room for the rice.
I’m using leftover brown basmati rice. You want to make sure the rice is extra dry. Wet or moist rice will not work well here. So basically, I left the rice uncovered in the fridge overnight, to dry it out.
Toss in the optional eggs, chicken, shrimp or tofu. Or leave the tofu on the side like you see in the photos below.
Then plate the Nasi Goreng up, along 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 here!
This recipe makes enough for 2-3 portions. Leftovers taste great, just reheat.
Serve with limes and Sambal Olek. You get the idea!
Let us know who you like this Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) in the comments below.
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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.
- 8–12 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 brown basimati rice, (leftover, dried out, see notes)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce, more to taste (see notes) Or GF Liquid Aminos
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey or palm sugar
- drizzle of sesame oil
- 1/4–1/2 cup chopped scallions
- optional seasonings: Terasi shrimp power and Kecap Manis (see notes).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Divide among bowls and serve with some of the optional garnishes, lime & chile paste.
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!)
Keywords: Nasi Goreng, Indonesian fried rice, vegan Nasi Goreng, vegan fried rice,