Nasi goreng is where it’s at! It’s one of the best things about traveling to Bali. Prepare to fall in love with this sweet and spicy fried rice from Indonesia.
This recipe for nasi goreng was originally shared as part of The Travel Issue of my members-only platform EAT IT by hot for food. If you want other delicious ideas inspired by my global travels sign up to become a member. Annual members get a 14-day free trial, access to all the recipes from past issues, you’re added to my IG close friends list for more behind-the-scenes access, and you’ll be invited to live cook-alongs four times a year. Plus, there’s always an awesome prize pack to be one with each issue release! This is a wonderful way to directly support the work I do with hot for food and you get lots in return.
I’ve been to Bali a couple of times now. It’s so beautiful and abundant. We’re returning in 2024 to host Live With Purpose with The Getaway Co. and you can join! Be sure to sign up for the newsletter here so you hear first when it’s ready to book.
You’ll find nasi goreng everywhere you go and you’ll never tire of it. I guarantee! There’s also mie goreng, made with noodles, and it’s also fantastic! I was lucky enough to get a recipe for nasi goreng from Chef Wayan at Surya Kembar Villas in Ubud, Bali. This is where we stay during Live With Purpose and it’s such a magical venue.
how to make nasi goreng
I modified the recipe from Chef Wayan a little to make the recipe easier and so that you wouldn’t have an issue sourcing the ingredients. The key to perfect fried rice is always cold, leftover rice. I mean, it doesn’t have to be leftover, but after you steam the rice you need to let it cool. The fastest way to do this is to lay it out in an even layer on a large baking sheet and toss it in the fridge or freezer until it’s very chilled. I usually just make it one day in advance and refrigerate it in a container.
Typically nasi goreng would have tamarind in the Bali chili paste—made from scratch, of course. But I made some shortcuts using kecap manis or sweet soy sauce. It’s a sweetened aromatic soy sauce, originating in Indonesia. I also used chili garlic sauce for the heat or you could use sambal oelek, whatever is regularly in your pantry.
fried shallot garnish
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp sunflower oil or other neutral vegetable oil
- 2 ½ to 2 ¾ C cooked and chilled long grain white rice
- ¼ C finely chopped white onion
- ½ C trimmed green beans, cut into thirds
- ½ C julienne carrot
- 1 C shredded green cabbage
- 1 C chopped broccoli florets
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced diagonally
- 3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
- 2 tsp chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tsp mushroom powder
- ½ tsp white pepper
- sea salt, to taste
- You could definitely use a wok for full effect here, but I don’t actually have one. A large cast iron or nonstick works just as well! Heat a large pan over medium heat with oil. Fry shallots for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel and set aside.
- Keep the same pan over medium heat, or lower heat slightly if it seems too hot or is smoking. Add rice in an even layer. Place onions, green beans, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and white parts of the green onion, in that order, on top. Do not stir for 5 minutes.
- While that is frying, mix together the sauce in a bowl. Whisk together sweet soy, chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, mushroom powder, and white ground pepper.
- Toss the rice and vegetables after 5 minutes and spread into an even layer again and do not touch for another 4 to 5 minutes. Toss again and add in the sauce and stir to combine while. Continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, only sirring once. Add sea salt to taste.
- Serve with fried shallot and remaining green onions on top. Optionally you can add sliced cucumber and tomato as an additional garnish. That’s what is usually on the plate in Bali when I’ve eaten it!