easy vegetarian fried rice or nasi goreng recipe

[Recipe] Nasi Goreng aka Fried Rice

What can go wrong with an innocent dish like nasi goreng right? Oh boy it can! My mum tried making her first proper nasi goreng 8 years ago and it was a plate of rice mush! After several more attempts and using Tip #2 below, my mum perfected her fried rice and it’s probably one of my favourite Asian dishes.

It almost taste like a mix of Japanese garlic fried rice and Indonesian fried rice 😀 There is a lot of garlic but it is the garlic component that makes this nasi goreng so flavourful. It is certainly a dish we have at least once a fortnight in our home and we keep some aside for packed lunches. It is really simple and always a crowd pleaser – give it a shot!

You could even try adding other ingredients such as bean sprouts, broccoli, prawns, chinese sausage (aka “lap cheong”), pork slices, chicken pieces, dried prawns, belacan, sambal and thai basil. Topped with fried anchovies (aka ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, chopped coriander and slices of lettuce. I personally like the vegetarian version better!


Top left: Sauteed carrots and garlic, Bottom left: Roughly chopped up omelette, Right: End product – Nasi Goreng


  • 1.5-2 bulbs of garlic, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, cubed
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium red spanish onions, thinly slices
  • 1/2 head of cabbage (approximately 4 cups of cabbage)
  • 3 cups of basmati rice, cooked and chilled
  • Slices of red chilli
  • Soy sauce
  • 4 free range/organic eggs (omit for vegans)
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Ground black pepper


  1. On a low heat, sauteed garlic, onions, red chilli and carrots. Cook until garlic start to turn golden brown and onions start to caramelise.
  2. On a medium heat, add cabbage into the same wok.
  3. When the cabbage is half cooked, add the zucchini.
  4. When the cabbage is almost cooked, add the cooked and chilled rice into the wok. Stir the rice through to coat it evenly with the vegetables.
  5. Season with soy sauce and ground black pepper, to taste. Continue mixing the rice through.
  6. In a bowl, beat the eggs and slightly season with salt and pepper.
  7. On a separate pan, on medium heat, cook an omelette with the egg mixture.
  8. Chop the omelette into rough pieces.
  9. Mix the omelette into the fried rice.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!


Tip 1: Gradually add the soy sauce to avoid over-salting and adding too much moisture to the fried rice.

Tip 2: Use cold rice to ensure that the rice is “jumpy” (Literally!! This is the term my grandma would use). Either cook the rice 4-5 hours or overnight before using for fried rice. Make sure it is chilled. That is key for perfect fried rice. This is the biggest tip you’ll ever need!

Tip 3: Do not waste the stems of the broccoli! It is forbidden in my kitchen 😛 It’s not as tasty as the broccoli florets but you can chop the broccoli stems into small cubes. You don’t even have to cook it. Toss them in raw at the end for a bit of crunch through the fried rice.

Tip 4: For Paleo eaters out there, you can omit the rice and use grated cauliflower instead. I can’t guarantee that the cauliflower rice will be as jumpy but I can assure you it will be just as satisfying. The secret is in the garlic!


Generation Kitchen


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