Nasi Goreng literally means “fried rice” in Indonesian and Malaysian.
It is one of Indonesia’s official national dishes. There is nasi goring everywhere in Indonesia, from street vendors to 5-star hotels.
Besides Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, Chinese and Indian communities also have their own varieties of nasi goreng.
Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Nasi Goreng is served in Asia at any time. The original recipe was brought to these islands by Chinese migrants and adapted through the centuries to local tastes.
Depending on the cook, the meal can consist of a wide variety of ingredients. The idea behind it is to fry leftovers from the previous day together with rice in a pan and then season everything with this superb spice mixture.
Nasi Goreng recipes can therefore be found in countless variations. There are many versions of Nasi Goreng, as there are with almost every traditional dish. Some are more complicated than others.
With aromatic spices of onions, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and chili, our spice mixture enhances all of your creations.
Origin of Fried Rice
During the Sui dynasty (581-618), the head chef of emperor Yang Guang recorded 52 dishes, including fried rice, in his book.
Basically, it was a dish for using up leftover rice, meat, and vegetables by stir-frying them with oil, soy sauce, and other ingredients. Long before refrigeration was invented, this was how the Chinese preserved food in medieval times.
In fact, fried rice was born out of a technique of preserving whatever cooked food was left after stir frying in oil and condiments in an open wok – there was no fixed recipe.
Fried rice has been popular throughout China since the Sui dynasty, but its origin is not clear.
Over time various versions of fried rice emerged. Yangzhou fried rice was created during the Qing dynasty (1644 to 1912) by Yi Bingshou (1654 to 1718), a magistrate in Yangzhou.
Yangzhou fried rice is essentially egg floss and cooked rice stir-fried in oil. Egg floss is made by frying beaten eggs in heated oil. The dish can be made with additional ingredients, for example diced ham, scallops, shrimp, chicken, long beans, carrots, etc. There are many Chinese restaurants around the world that serve Yangzhou fried rice today.
How Nasi Goreng Reached Indonesia
Trade between China and Indonesia has a very long history and the main route between the two nation has been the sea.
Chinese traders were used to visit Indonesia for trading the lakawood (to make incense), hornbill casque (to make hornbill ivory carvings), and spices. Trade between China and Indonesia reached its height in the 1400s during the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644).
A round trip between China and Indonesia used to take months due to the wind changes. Traders had to settle in Indonesian ports while waiting for the wind to change.
It is likely that Indonesians learned how to cook fried rice or nasi goreng under these conditions, but there are no records of when or where this happened.
Ingredients of Nasi Goreng Spice Mix:
- Ground coriander: 2 teaspoons
- Ground turmeric: 2 teaspoons
- Cumin powder: 2 teaspoons
- Salt: 2 teaspoons
- Garlic powder: 1 teaspoon
- Laos powder: 1 teaspoon
- Ginger powder: 1/2 teaspoon
- Chili powder: 1/2 teaspoon
- Lemongrass powder: 1/2 teaspoon
- Cinnamon: 1/4 teaspoon