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Nasi Goreng Kampung (Indonesian Fried Rice)

Nasi goreng kampung is a popular Indonesian fried rice that is spicy but incredibly flavorful. Make it at home with this quick and easy recipe. Included are gluten-free, vegetarian, and milder options.

What Is Nasi Goreng Kampung?

Nasi goreng translates to fried rice. While kampung means village. Nasi goreng kampung roughly translates to villager’s fried rice and is a popular variation in Malaysian cuisine. This dish can be found in restaurants all across Indonesia.

What sets this fried rice apart from other fried rice dishes is the use of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis). Traditionally, it’s also served with a fried egg, sliced cucumbers, and fresh tomatoes on the side.

Ingredients

  • Red chili peppers – traditionally bird’s eye chilis, also called Thai chilis are used, which are incredibly spicy. For a more tolerable, but still spicy dish, I recommend using serrano peppers.
  • Garlic & shallot – these ingredients plus the chili make up the chili paste which is an essential component in nasi goreng.
  • Protein of choice – I used thinly sliced chicken so it cooks really quickly, but you can also use shrimp, beef, tofu, etc.
  • Sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) – this is what adds a delicious salty-sweet flavor to the fried rice. You can either use storebought from Asian markets or I’ve included an easy homemade version in the recipe card notes, this also allows you to make it gluten-free if needed.
  • Cold leftover cooked rice – this is key to great fried rice because the cooked grains are dryer and harder which helps them stand up to the high heat and the sauce. Fresh, hot rice is too sticky and won’t work. You must use cold leftover cooked rice.
  • Sugar snap peas – these add a pop of color and a nice crunchy texture. Traditionally, vegetables used include long beans or water spinach.
  • Fish sauce – in the traditional dish, they use ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and a small amount of an ingredient called belacan, which is a locally fermented shrimp paste with a strong, umami flavor. Because shrimp paste isn’t easy to find, and fish sauce is made from anchovies, this seemed like the obvious choice, and it works really well.

To serve

  • Green onions – also called spring onions in some countries or scallions. For serving.
  • Fried egg.
  • Sliced tomato – I used halved cherry tomatoes.
  • Sliced cucumber – I suggest Persian or English varieties.

How to Make Nasi Goreng

Step 1. Finely dice the chilis, garlic, and shallots. I recommend doing this in a food processor for ease and also so you don’t have to touch the hot peppers with your hands.

Step 2. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon oil, chilis, garlic, and shallot. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step 3. Add in the thinly sliced chicken or protein of choice and cook stirring often until it’s starting to turn white but not completely cooked through. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), mixing it all together.

Step 4. Add in the cold cooked rice, sliced sugar snap peas, 2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce, and the fish sauce. Stir frequently to mix everything together and allow the rice to caramelize in the sauce for a minute or two.

Step 5. Remove from the heat. Serve with sliced green onions, a fried egg, and a side of sliced cucumber and tomatoes. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 2-3 days.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this nasi goreng kampung using what you already have? Here are some ideas…

  • Can’t handle the heat? – Use red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, just use as much as you’re comfortable with for a milder option.
  • Gluten-free? – Make homemade sweet soy sauce with tamari.
  • Soy-free? – you can make sweet soy sauce with coconut aminos, but reduce the amount of sugar and also add salt, to taste.
  • No shallot? – use a small-ish red or yellow onion.
  • No sugar snap peas? – use green beans or peas (thaw them first if frozen).
  • Make it vegetarian – swap out the fish sauce for regular soy sauce or vegan oyster sauce.

Helpful Tips

Make the rice a day in advance. When it comes to fried rice, you must use cold leftover cooked rice. Hot, fresh rice is too sticky and will turn to mush in the pan.

Make the sweet soy sauce when you make the rice. This will allow it to cool and thicken up properly for when you’re ready to use it.

Have all your ingredients prepped. Fried rice comes together really quickly, so having all your ingredients prepped before you get started is essential.

More Asian-Inspired Recipes

Nasi Goreng Kampung (Indonesian Fried Rice)

5 from 2 votes
A plate of homemade Indonesian fried rice with a fried egg, green onions, fresh cucumber slices and halved tomatoes.
Nasi goreng kampung is a popular Indonesian fried rice that is spicy but also incredibly flavorful. Make it at home with this quick and easy recipe. Included are gluten-free, vegetarian, and milder options.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Serving Size 2 large portions

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or coconut oil
  • 2 red serrano chilis, finely minced sub cayenne or red pepper flakes for less heat
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 medium shallots, finely minced
  • ½ pound thinly sliced chicken or protein of choice
  • 3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), divided see notes below for gluten free option
  • 2 ½ cups cold cooked leftover rice
  • 1 ½ cups sliced sugar snap peas
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

Garnishes For Serving

  • sliced green onions
  • 2 fried eggs
  • sliced or halved tomatoes
  • sliced cucumber
  • sambal oelek (optional)
  • lime wedges (optional)

Instructions

  • Finely dice the chilis, garlic, and shallots. I recommend doing this in a food processor for ease and also so you don't have to touch the hot peppers with your hands.
  • Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon oil, chilis, garlic, and shallot. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add in the thinly sliced chicken or protein of choice and cook stirring often until the chicken is starting to turn white but not completely cooked through. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), mixing it all together.
  • Add in the cold cooked rice, sliced sugar snap peas, 2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce, and the fish sauce. Stir frequently to mix everything together and allow the rice to caramelize in the sauce for a minute or two.
  • Remove from the heat. Serve with sliced green onions, a fried egg, and a side of sliced cucumber and tomatoes. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 2-3 days.

Notes

Make my gluten free sweet soy sauce recipe.
Make the rice a day in advance. When it comes to fried rice, you must use cold leftover cooked rice. Hot, fresh rice is too sticky and will turn to mush in the pan.
Have all your ingredients prepped. Fried rice comes together really quickly, so having all your ingredients prepped before you get started is essential.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Can’t handle the heat? – Use red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, just use as much as you’re comfortable with for a milder option.
Gluten-free? – Make homemade sweet soy sauce with tamari.
Make it soy-free – you can make sweet soy sauce with coconut aminos, but you’ll need to add salt to taste to balance the sweetness.
No shallot? – use a small-ish red or yellow onion.
No sugar snap peas? – use green beans or peas (thaw them first if frozen).
Make it vegetarian – swap the fish sauce for regular soy sauce or vegan oyster sauce.
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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