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Nasi Goreng with wild prawns

Prep time
65 mins
Cooking Time
35 mins


Atjar (pickled cucumber)

  • 150ml / 5 fl oz / ⅔cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cucumber, halved lengthwise, deseeded and sliced

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice)

  • 300g / 10 oz / 1 1/3 cups long-grain rice
  • 6 free range eggs (RSPCA approved)
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely sliced (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1 red chilli (chile), deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 small head of Chinese cabbage, washed and finely shredded
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and finely sliced
  • 400g / 14 oz medium-sized MSC cerified raw prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined 
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 sprigs of coriander (cilantro), leaves roughly chopped
  • prawn crackers (shrimp chips)
  • sambal oelek (chili sauce or paste)
  • groundnut (peanut) oil for frying
  • salt and pepper
Alternative fish: crayfish

When shopping for sustainable seafood, look for the MSC blue fish tick label to be sure.

The MSC blue fish tick


Meaning literally ‘fried rice’, nasi goreng is a national dish of Indonesia. I have travelled all around Indonesia and I love the way they cook their fish. I love the peppesan, sambal, fish sauce which can be slightly sweet, the saltiness of soy sauce and the sweet ketjap manis. This dish is traditionally served with fried eggs, prawn crackers, pickled cucumber and sambal olek to spice it up as you desire.

To make the atjar

  1. Heat the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Leave to cool and then add the cucumber slices.
  3. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

To make the nasi goreng

  1. Cook the rice in plenty of lightly salted water, following the instructions on the packet. Leave the cooked, drained rice to steam dry in the pan. Leave to cool.
  2. Heat a little groundnut (peanut) oil in a frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat and fry four of the eggs (one egg per serving).
  3. Season the eggs to taste with salt and pepper, remove them from the pan and keep warm under a sheet of foil.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of groundnut oil in a wok (or large frying pan) over a high heat and stir-fry the shallot, garlic, sliced leek and chilli (chile).
  5. Add the cabbage, carrot and spring onions (scallions) and stir-fry for a further 1 minute.
  6. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and crack in the two remaining eggs. Fry, stirring constantly, until the eggs have set.
  7. Stir the cooked egg into the vegetables, add the rice and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  8. Add the prawns (shrimp), stir-fry for 2 minutes and then pour in the fish sauce, sweet soy sauce and soy sauce and toss everything together.
  9. Stir-fry for 1 minute, taste and season with salt.

Serving instructions

Serve the nasi goreng with the coriander (cilantro) and reserved sliced leek scattered over, topped with the fried eggs. Serve the atjar, sambal oelek and prawn crackers (shrimp chips) separately.

Photo credit: David Loftus

Recipes taken from Bart’s Fish Tales by Bart van Olphen, published by Pavilion Books.