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Indonesian Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe – Nasi Goreng {Secret Recipe Club}

by Jeanette on February 13, 2012 · 42 Comments
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Indonesian Shrimp Fried Rice (nasi goreng)

Indonesian Shrimp Fried Rice (nasi goreng)

One of my fondest memories from a trip to Bali many years ago was the Indonesian fried rice (nasi goreng) that was served each morning. Nasi goreng is typically flavored with a sweet soy sauce called kecap manis, shallots, garlic, tamarind and hot chilies, and is served with either shredded egg “crepe” or a fried egg, chicken and shrimp. The combination of sweet and spicy is tantilizing and addicting. I think I could eat this rice dish for breakfast practically every morning.

So, when I came across a recipe for Indonesian Shrimp Fried Rice on What’s Cookin, Chicago?, it was a no brainer – I had to try this recipe. Although Indonesian fried rice is traditionally made with kecap manis, which contains wheat, this recipe did not use kecap manis, so it is gluten-free, an extra plus since one of my sons is allergic to wheat. Instead, it is seasoned with a sauce made of soy sauce, molasses and brown sugar, completely gluten-free if you use wheat-free soy sauce.

Today is “reveal day” for Group B of the Secret Recipe Club, created by Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin. So far, everything I’ve tried for the Secret Recipe Club has come out really well, and I’ve had the opportunity to delve deeper into some blogs more intimately and get to know the person behind the blog. This club has grown so rapidly that Amanda has created four different groups that have a different reveal day during each month. I am part of Group B, hosted by Suzanne of Thru the Bugs on My Windshield. The idea behind the Secret Recipe Club is to give bloggers the chance to try each other’s recipes without the other bloggers knowing it until everyone posts their results.

This month I was assigned to Joelen (pronounced Jo-Ellen) of What’s Cookin, Chicago?, a blog full of recipes that Joelen has made for family and friends. Joelen started her blog in 2007 and it has become a major part of her life. She grew up in a home where the kitchen was the heart of the home and she was surrounded by food (her parents were caterers). A foodie at heart, Joelen is very active in the Chicago culinary scene, where she started up a culinary interest group to foster learning in and out of the kitchen. Not only is she the head chef for a local restaurant specializing in Filipino cuisine, but she also teachers culinary classes in commercial catering and pastry kitchens just outside Chicago’s loop district. As a single mom, I honestly don’t know how Joelen juggles everything on her plate.

Indonesian Shrimp Fried Rice (nasi goreng)

As I read more about Joelen, I came to find that she and I have several things in common. We both grew up eating strictly Asian cuisine and were not really exposed to other ethnic foods until we were in our late teens. Like Joelen, I find other ethnic cuisines fascinating as I feel it gives me a glimpse into other cultures without actually traveling around the globe (which I would love to do one day). And, just as Joelen likes challenging others to cook ethnic cuisines they may not have otherwise, so do I. Finally, I discovered that Joelen has a gluten sensitivity, so her blog features many gluten-free recipes, and cooks primarily gluten-free, just as I do due to my youngest son’s wheat allergy. That’s what I love about this Secret Recipe Club – you “meet” other bloggers and often find they have a lot in common with you.

I found a bunch of recipes I’d love to try, including Filipino Pancit Bihon (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles), Greek Kota Kokinisti (Stewed Chicken), Indian Palak Paneer (Spinach and Indian cheese), Korean Gaeran Mari (Rolled Korean Omelette), Thai Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles), and Joelen’s recipe for gluten-free Pizza Dough.

I made this Indonesian Shrimp Fried Rice recipe three times, tweaking it a bit each time. Each time, it was devoured. To make this dish a bit healthier, I substituting brown rice for the white rice, and reduced the number of eggs as well as the amount of sodium in the dish (I cut out the salt and reduced the amount of sauce). Also, I used only half the amount of jumbo shrimp in the original recipe as that’s all I had. I did use a little trick to “double” the amount of shrimp. I sliced the shrimp in half lengthwise, so there were twice the number of pieces of shrimp, giving the illusion of more shrimp in this dish. The second and third time I made this dish, I used “large” peeled deveined shrimp I found on sale, which made for zero shrimp prepping, and added some red chilies for some heat.

Indonesian Shrimp Fried Rice (nasi goreng)

My kids all loved this version of fried rice. Served with Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy, we had a very simple meal for dinner.

Please hop over and visit Joelen at What’s Cookin’ Chicago? to check out all her recipes – there are a ton so there’s something for everyone.  I hope I have the chance to meet Joelen in person one day. She has a beautiful smile that evokes a feeling of warmth and generosity.

5 from 1 reviews
Indonesian Shrimp Fried Rice (nasi goreng)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from What's Cookin, Chicago? To reduce the sodium level in this recipe, I used half the amount of sauce, reduced the amount of soy sauce and fish sauce further, and eliminated the salt. If you feel it needs more salt, add it at the table.
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoons molasses
  • 1½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Fried Rice
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 14 large shrimp (31-40 count, about 5-6 ounces)
  • 1 red Thai chili pepper, minced, optional
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced or ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. In a small bowl, stir together palm sugar, molasses, soy sauce, and fish sauce; set aside.
  1. Heat oil in wok. Add beaten eggs and allow to set, lifting up edges and tilting pan so allow runny eggs to coat bottom of the pan. Continue until no more runny eggs remain.
  2. Using a spatula, carefully flip the eggs over. Once cooked, remove from heat and chop eggs into bite size pies. Set aside.
Fried Rice:
  1. Heat oil in wok. Add onion and garlic and stir-fry until onions are translucent. Add shrimp and chili pepper, and cook, tossing until shrimp turns opaque. Push shrimp to the side of the wok.
  2. Crumble the cooked brown rice into the middle of the wok. Cook the rice with the shrimp until warmed through, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add Sauce to rice and toss until thoroughly coated.
  4. Stir in peas and cooked egg, and toss, cooking another minute or two.
  5. Add scallions, toss, and remove from heat.
  6. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with lime wedges.
  7. Serve immediately.
I used raw palm sugar instead of brown sugar. You can use frozen peas without defrosting them. Simply cover the wok after you add the peas and eggs and let it sit for about 3 minutes. The heat from the rice will defrost the peas.

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  1. Joelen’s recipes are awesome. I especially like her potluck-style posts.

    Your photos are excellent – the rice looks incredible and I’m starving again, even though I just finished my lunch.

  2. Great recipe…loved it

  3. That looks amazing! I’m going to have to try your baby bok choy recipe too :) I love Asian food! Indonesian is a new style for me; thanks for the detailed recipe.

  4. I LOVE fried rice but rarely put shrimp in it. I don’t know why, I LOVE shrimp too! I need to save this, thanks!

  5. I have all the ingredients in the house to make this, I can’t wait as it looks delish. I’m also going to have to check out Joelen’s blog as it sounds like the type of food we adore. Your pictures are drool-worthy.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my Group ‘A’ SRC entry: Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites

    Cook Lisa Cook

  6. I do love the SRC. Too bad we’re not in the same group! This looks fabulous, truly.

  7. just found your blog through SRC, your photos are awesome:)

  8. i grew up eating shrimp fried rice :). i haven’t tried tamari yet but so many ppl use it! i will try it one day soon, then maybe i’ll be able to cook more korean food for myself!

  9. What a recipe. This is my kind of dinner. Yum!

  10. This looks wonderful, Jeanette. I finally started making fried rice at home over the past few months – definitely a favorite in our house!

  11. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    A craving I often have is for a nice bowl of fried rice. Next time I’m making your amazing recipe. It was great to red about how you grew up strictly Asian cuisine. Like me with the Italian cuisine in my childhood…I really love to venture out of my comfort zone now with different cultures and flavors.:)

  12. Beautiful photos! I’m stopping by from SRC but I’d love if you check our my new site seasonalpotluck.com February is oranges month so if you have any orange recipes, we’d love if you’d link up! http://bit.ly/zDoNfx

  13. Jeanette OMG I can not wait to make this! I love that you used brown rice and the splitting of the shrimp is genius! Thanks :) …off to check out What’s Cooking, Chicago? – sounds awesome!

  14. Hi Jeanette! Thank you so much for your kind words and I’m thrilled that we have so much in common! Your fried rice looks amazing and I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. I agree… SRC has been a wonderful way to find new blogs and you’ve got a new follower :)

  15. I met Joelen at the Foodbuzz Festival this year and she is super sweet. And obviously cooks up some awesome food! This indonesian fried rice sounds truly delicious!

  16. Oh Jeanette, I could eat this breakfast, lunch and dinner!!

  17. I want one of these today!! Wish I could come over. Happy Valentines Day!!

  18. Beautiful. Just beautiful, Jeanette. I actually had the opposite food experience as you. I grew up in San Francisco and my parents were totally foodies, so I was exposed to every ethnic cuisine on a regular basis. LOL However, my absolute favorite was (and still is) Asian cuisine. I think I am putting this delicious fried rice on the menu for this week for sure! I already have all the ingredients!!

    • Thanks Kim, that is funny isn’t it? You were very lucky growing up in San Francisco. Asian food is still my favorite, but I have expanded my tastes to include Asian food outside of Chinese cuisine.

  19. This is so right up my alley. What a great dinner!

  20. This looks really good. I’m not usually a fan of rice but the mix of the flavours is so enticing!

  21. I love how you tweaked it and am always on the lookout for shrimp dishes. Coming from NYC, Asian cooking was always Chinese (back in the day). Fun to discover all the different cuisines that have come from Asia.

  22. What gorgeous pictures! Glad you are a part of SRC! Thanks for visiting my blog :-)

  23. I haven’t had fried rice in ages.What a great reminder.I love nasi goreng. I actually was just telling my sister how in lust I am with tamarind yet it’s been so long since I’ve bought some. Must get on that!

  24. It looks great! I was part of the SRC, Group B, too. So many fun ideas and recipes…love what you did!

  25. I grew up eating different types of nasi goreng — perfect comfort Asian food :)

  26. I remember meeting nasi goreng for the first time while traveling in Malaysia. It’s only slightly different than the Indonesian version, and it’s become one of my favorite ways to make fried rice at home.

  27. This fried rice looks amazing Jeanette! Fried rice has always been a favorite of mine…I could easily eat it for breakfast :)

  28. Wow, I just love Asian foods so much I could have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner!Just love this fried rice, so flavorful, yet healthy and super delicious :)Thanks for sharing Jeanette!

  29. Wouldn’t it be fun to have fried for breakfast every morning!

  30. Thanks for sharing this shrimp fried rice recipe. The Indonesian inspiration seems like a nice change.

  31. This post reminds me of when I started with the Daring Bakers — there were only about 35 when I joined the group and it was so fun to try a recipe together and to make new friends. I think recipes like this — much better for my diet — would be fun to share as well. I love fried rice and this recipe sounds wonderful.

  32. Jeanette, this fried rice looks and sounds fabulous…can’t wait to make it. I just discovered your blog, and I absolutely love it. Can’t wait to tell my gluten-free and allergy-prone friends about it. I recently started food blogging, and it’s opening a whole new world of ideas and inspiration. Your site is a great balance of healthy and innovative. And everything looks super yummy. Eager to try a number of your recipes. Thanks!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Hi Laura, so glad you stopped by and thanks for spreading the word about my recipes to your friends who have allergies. I try my best to come up with recipes that are not only healthy, but taste good and look good. Headed off to check out your blog now.

  33. I’m so glad to find a recipe (without fish sauce)! One of my favorite restaurants in Boston made this, but I’ve moved and miss the dish quite a bit. Glad to see an easy version!

  34. just found your site this week. We were in Bali in 1981 and this is what I had for breakfast every day-loved it. my husband had standard amer to which i added the fried egg on mine. so glad to find this recipe-definitely making it soon

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