Brown Rice Nasi Goreng
Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Nasi Goreng is the popular Indonesian fried rice which is traditionally served with a fried egg. I love the unique dark brown, caramelised colour of the rice! It’s a simple recipe, you won’t need to hunt down any unusual ingredients, and it’s one of my favourite Indonesian foods.The Brown Rice gives it an added flavour, nuttiness and so much character. It 's ones a week phenomenon in my family for sure.
The literal translation of Nasi Goreng is “fried rice” in Indonesian and Malaysian – and that’s exactly what it is! It’s mainly rice with just onion for the vegetables ( meat lover may add some kinda meat or shrimp). The thing that distinguishes it from other Fried Rice dishes is the sauce which is made with kecap manis, a sweet soy sauce that stains the rice dark brown and caramelises the rice when it cooks.
Typically it’s served with a sunny side up egg (love how the yolk runs into the rice!) and a side of fresh cucumber and tomato (no dressing) to make a meal of it.
Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)
A distinguishing feature of Nasi Goreng is the dark brown colour of the rice from the kecap manis / ketjap manis which is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce. It’s thicker and sweeter than normal soy sauce, with a consistency like syrup.
And if you can’t find it at your supermarket, don’t worry! It is SO easy to make – just reduce soy sauce and brown sugar. Seriously. I’ve included directions in the recipe for you.
The making part is very straightforward, no different to typical fried rice recipes. Garlic, chilli and onion first, then vegetables like mushrooms and bell peppers, then rice, kecap manis and soya sauce or tamari.
Cook for a couple of minutes until the rice grains start to caramelise. Trust me – you will know when it’s ready, it smells amazing!
How to serve Nasi Goreng??
Nasi Goreng is traditionally served with a fried egg and a side of fresh vegetables (commonly plain juicy wedges of tomato and cucumber).
Both these side options are very typical in various parts of Asia to add protein (here pan fried tofu)and vegetables to a plate to turn something carb-heavy into a meal.
Nasi Goreng is also a terrific Asian side dish option, something a little different that packs a bit of a flavour punch!
Preparation time 20 minutes+Overnight
Cooking time 15 minutes
Cuisine Asian, lunch/dinner
4 cups boiled brown rice (cooked a day before)(not optional)
1 cup coarsely chopped/sliced brown onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms/
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup red capsicum, sliced thinly
1 cup chopped firm tofu ( pan-fried) /paneer see notes
2 fresh red Thai chillies(or to taste)
3-4 garlic cloves chopped
2 cm fresh ginger, grated
3 tablespoon kecap manis
2 tablespoon soy sauce/tamari ( kikkoman for soya sauce)
3 tablespoons peanut oil
4 green onions sliced thinly
4 organic eggs
Fresh coriander for garnish
Sliced cucumber and tomatoes to serve
Heat a pan and add peanut oil and add ginger, garlic and chopped red chillies.
Add chopped brown onion and saute.
Further, add sliced bell peppers and broccoli. Stir and allow it to cook.
Ones cooked ( though still holding some crunch ) add mushrooms piece and allow it to sweat.
Add the sauces at this point that is kecap manis and soya sauce and mix with the vegetables.
Add rice and mix everything together.
Serve in bowls topped with chopped green onions and fried eggs.
It's important to use a day old rice as cold rice makes a good nasi goreng.
In case you forget to boil rice the day before or do not have leftover rice, boil the rice with some oil and enough water and cook till ¾ done. Drain and refrigerate immediately and allow it to chill.
Add quinoa or white rice instead of brown rice to make your own version of nasi goreng. (1 cup of quinoa yields 2.5 cups of cooked quinoa enough for 2 -3 person in this recipe)or 1 cup of boiled basmati/jasmine/long grain rice yiels
Top it with chopped peanuts/roasted cashew/roasted sesame seeds for an extra protein kick and a dash of lime.
Slice a block of tofu horizontally and place it on a cast-iron skillet and allow both the sides to dry. Cut into cubes and use in this recipe. You can use the store-bought fried tofu if you fancy.