Indonesian Fried Rice, or Sambal Nasi Goreng in Indonesia, is a popular traditional Indonesian food usually served with an onion as the vegetable and a fried egg as protein. This popular dish is unique and distinguishable from other Asian rice because of its dark caramel colour and aromatic and earthy flavours.

What is the best type of rice for making Indonesian Rice?

Traditionally cooked with pieces of meat or seafood, you can enjoy it as a complete meal or serve it as a side dish. Don’t omit the fried egg, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes if you want to serve it in the traditional Indonesian style.

While it may seem overwhelming to fry such an exotic dish, it is surprisingly easy to make at home. All ingredients of our version of this recipe should be easy to find in your grocery store.

Jasmine Rice

To add a perfect subtle fragrance to this savoury Indonesian Rice recipe you may choose Dainty Jasmine Rice. Jasmine rice is light and fluffy yet slightly sticky with a mildly sweet taste. It’s no wonder it is popular in many Asian dishes, especially Thai recipes. Its rich and subtle floral aroma and ability to keep its texture in stir-frys make it both tasty and versatile.

Basmati Rice

Optionally other rices can also provide great texture and be used in the recipe. You could opt for Dainty Basmati Rice, brown rice or long grain rice. While Basmati is not sticky like Jasmine rice, it is also an ideal product to use in a stir fry, thanks to its soft and fluffy grains. With a slightly nutty aroma, you’ll still obtain similar delicious results when using it to make Indonesian Fried Rice.

Use pre-made rice

The trick with ‘fried rice’ is to use pre-cooked rice. Freshly cooked rice will not be as dry and will stick your pan, or wok, and will not pick up the flavours as easily on the stovetop.

Cooking rice doesn’t have to be difficult. You can use numerous methods to get that perfect rice dish every time.

Tips for a flavourful rice

Quick fun tip for your Dainty Jasmine Rice. To get the full, rich flavours from your Jasmine rice, substitute the plain water for coconut milk or coconut water. This substitute will go well with several Asian-style dishes.

What is kecap manis sauce?

Kecap Manis is an essential ingredient in an Indonesian Fried Rice recipe. It’s a sweet soy sauce with a consistency similar to maple syrup. You can make it simple with:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar dissolved in the soy sauce

You’ll sometimes see it listed as “sweet soy sauce”. It can be found in most big supermarkets in the Asian cuisine aisle. You can also find it at Asian grocers.

*Important to note: Cook rice a day ahead of time so that it has time to dry before frying.

Indonesian Fried Rice Recipe

Add a twist of Thai to your life with this simple traditional style recipe.

Indonesian Fried Rice



  • 1 tbsp of Oil
  • 1 tsp Red Chili Paste
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, diced small
  • 1 small Spring Onion, diced
  • 1 Chicken Breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ tbsp of Kecap Manis
  • 3 cups Dainty Jasmine Rice, pre-cooked day prior
  • 2 tbsp Kecap Manis
  • 2 tsp Shrimp paste, omit for vegan/vegetarian options

Garnishes (optional)

  • 4-6 Eggs, fried
  • 2 Green Onions, sliced
  • 2 Tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 Cucumber, cut into chunks
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Take pre-cooked rice out of the fridge and set aside.


Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat and add chili paste, garlic and spring onion. Stir occasionally for a minute.


Add thinly sliced chicken and cook until it turns white. Add 1 ½ tbsp of kecap manis and stir for another minute, or until the chicken is fully cooked.


Add the pre-cooked rice, 2 tbsp of kecap manis and shrimp paste, mix and stir for approximately 2 minutes until the sauce is reduced and the rice gets hot and starts to caramelize.


Remove the rice and chicken mixture from the heat and serve in individual bowls with garnishes as desired. The traditional way to serve the recipe is with a fried egg on top!

This Indonesian Fried Rice recipe can keep 1-2 days in the fridge.

Can I make Indonesian fried rice in a rice cooker?

Making the rice for your Indonesian Fried Rice in a rice cooker is a good idea for those short on time. Making any fried rice with freshly cooked rice is not recommended as it will become too mushy when fried.

Pre-made cold rice is a must when making Indonesian Fried Rice.

Day-old leftover rice is dryer and harder, making it ideal for stirring and caramelizing in the sauce. While we recommend using Jasmine rice for this recipe, you can also choose Dainty Basmati or Brown rice. Any of these varieties can be pre-made in a rice cooker the night before.

When using a rice cooker, it is recommended to use the same water to rice ratio as you would on stovetop. In this recipe, you would want a ratio of 1.5 cups of Dainty Jasmine Rice to 3 cups of water, which will give you 3 cups of cooked rice.

You can also cook more rice than necessary and freeze it until the next time you choose to make a fried rice recipe.

To learn more about making the perfect rice, then read up on how to use a rice cooker. A rice cooker will be a life-changing tool for those looking to save time in the kitchen and you’ll end up with the perfect rice every time.

Do I need to soak my rice before making Indonesian Fried Rice?

Whether you should rinse Dainty rice is entirely up to you. Once our rice is imported, it is cleaned at our Canadian mill to remove any foreign material. Rinsing your rice might make it slightly less sticky, but it will not impact the quality nor reduce the nutrients. Rinsing is purely a cultural preference.

What do I serve with Indonesian Fried Rice?

If you plan to eat Indonesian Fried Rice as a meal, we highly recommend you garnish it with a fried egg for extra protein. Traditionally, this is how Sambal Nasi Goreng is eaten in Indonesia. However, if you plan on using it as a side dish, it goes well with grilled meats and fresh vegetables. The next time you make this dish, feel free to tweak the recipe and try new rice with various flavours.

For more ideas on preparing your next meal, discover some of our best rice recipes to get inspired.