Vegan Nasi Goreng is an Indonesian fried rice dish with vegetables, tempeh and kecap manis. True comfort food and one of Indonesia’s national dishes.
Nasi Goreng is Indonesian for ‘Fried Rice’. It’s a popular dish that differs from other fried rice dishes as it uses an ingredient called kecap manis. This is a sweet and sticky soy sauce that gives the rice and dark brown colour and a sweeter taste.
Kecap Manis can readily be found in Asian supermarkets. If you cant source any then you could substitute 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon dark syrup like molasses.
Sambal oelek is a hot and sour chilli paste from Indonesia. It’s simply crushed red chillies, vinegar and salt and tastes wonderful. When buying sambal oelek make sure it’s vegan as some brands add shrimp paste.
The vegan fish sauce and the tamarind paste can just be omitted if they cant be found where you live.
The Perfect Fried Rice
As mentioned in our Peruvian Fried Rice recipe, Arroz Chaufa, the rice is the most important ingredient to get correct in a fried rice dish. Using rice that has been recently cooked is not going to give the dish the correct texture and taste. The dish will end up with a wet and sticky texture and the rice will not fry and not pick up the charred flavours that taste so delicious.
The perfect rice when making any fried rice dish is rice that has been allowed to cool and dry out in the fridge. Every grain should be separate. If you plan on making fried rice for dinner then cook the rice the night before or even in the morning.
Vegan Nasi Goreng
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 200 g tempeh cut into strips
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 3 cups of cold, cooked long-grain rice*
- 2 tablespoons kecap manis
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek more or less depending on taste
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
- 1 teaspoon vegan fish sauce or vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 medium tomatoes cut into eighths
- ½ English cucumber thinly sliced
- Crispy shallots
- Spring onion finely sliced
- Prepare all ingredients before starting to cook. Cut the tempeh into small strips. Dice the onion and pepper and have the garlic minced. Combine the sauce in a small bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons kecap manis, 1 teaspoon sambal oelek, 1 teaspoon tamarind paste and 1 teaspoon vegan fish sauce to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Heat a large pan or wok over high heat. Once hot, add the oil and coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add the tempeh strips and fry, stirring continuously, until starting to turn a light golden colour, around 2 minutes.
- Next, add the onion and continue to stir fry for a further 1 minute until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the red bell pepper and minced garlic and continue to stir fry for a further 1 minute.
- Now add the rice and stir well to combine all the ingredients. Continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Add the sauce and quickly stir to coat all the ingredients. Once everything is nicely coated in the sauce continue to cook for another 1 or 2 minutes until the rice starts to crackle. This is when you know the dish is ready. Turn off the heat and check for seasoning.
- Serve the rice with the tomatoes and cucumber and garnish the dish with crispy shallots and spring onion.