A recipe for sweet and spicy shrimp nasi goreng, an Indonesian fried rice served with cucumber, tomatoes, and a fried egg.
Nasi goreng is an Indonesian twist on fried rice, both sweet and spicy and much more flavorful than its brown color and simple appearance lets on. The color comes from kecap manis, an Indonesian sweet soy sauce, and the spice from sambal oelek, a fresh ground chili paste. The dish is typically accompanied by a fried egg and fresh tomato and cucumber. Sometimes you’ll even see fried onion or shrimp puffs on top for a bit of crunch.
A few years ago my husband and I went scuba diving in Bali, Indonesia, for our second anniversary. The trip was incredible: great food, beautiful sites, and amazing dives. In spite of my love for the water, I’m not great on choppy seas (I’m pretty sure I turned green on the boat). After a long day sloshing around in a small boat, a warm plate of nasi goreng was so comforting.
To make nasi goreng at home, you’ll need two specialty ingredients. You can find kecap manis at specialty stores or on Amazon, or you can make your own at home by reducing soy sauce and brown sugar. Sambal oelek chili paste is easy to buy online or in the Asian section of most regular grocery stores.
Nasi goreng is relatively simple to make. Use leftover rice if you have it. If not, then just use freshly made rice and give it time to cool before using it. If you don’t have a bottle of kecap manis, make it by combining equal parts soy sauce and brown sugar, bring to a boil, and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes until reduced. While the kecap manis is cooking, gently beat some eggs with a fork for the fried rice and then cook the shrimp. Feel free to substitute tofu or protein of choice. After your protein is cooked you’ll stir in some kecap manis and set aside. Saute an onion, add ginger, garlic, and sambal oelek chili paste, and then add the beaten egg. Finally incorporate the cooled rice and remaining kecap manis and heat through. Add the shrimp to the rice mixture and then fry the remaining eggs. Plate the rice mixture with an egg, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, lime wedges, and scallions.
Leave a comment and review below if you try this to let me know what you think!
Shrimp Nasi Goreng
- 1 cup rice about 3 cups prepared, cooked and cooled
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 16 oz shrimp thawed, peeled, and deveined
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 6 eggs divided
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1-2 teaspoons sambal oelek
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 8 oz cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1 cucumber sliced
- lime wedges and scallions for serving
- Start by making kecap manis or sweet soy sauce. In a small saucepan combine the soy sauce and brown sugar over medium heat. When the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for about 15 minutes until reduced, stirring frequently. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add two eggs and the sesame oil and beat with a fork for one minute. Set aside.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add the shrimp, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover, stir, and then cook for another 5-7 minutes or so until the shrimp is cooked through. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce mixture. Place into a bowl, wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, and return the pan back to the burner.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat the skillet over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes. Then add the ginger, garlic, and sambal oelek. Mix for another minute. Add the beaten egg mixture to the pan and cook for 30 seconds, scraping up the egg from the bottom of the pan. Then add the rice and the remaining soy sauce mixture. Break up the rice and cook for about four minutes until the rice is heated through and the soy sauce mixture is evenly dispersed. Add the shrimp and heat through. Turn off heat and keep warm on the burner.
- Cook the remaining eggs in a nonstick skillet to desired doneness - traditionally nasi goreng is served with a fried egg.
- Plate the rice with the egg and add scallions, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers.