Nasi goreng

We virtually lived on nasi goreng when we were backpacking in Indonesia a million years ago (1996), and this recipe is excellent, in fact I think it might have actually even converted me to tofu (at least in this crispy format anyway). The recipe is from Anna Jones’ amazing book One, and I have to agree with her view that crispy shallots improve everything, so expect to see them cropping up on this blog more often. The key to this recipe is prep prep prepity prep – once you start the actual cooking process it all happens pretty fast, so you really do need to surround yourself with bowls and plates full of prepped ingredients. Serves 4.

Yes I snuck a few prawns in there – not part of the original recipe


400g cooked basmati rice

Plenty of veg oil

200g firm tofu chopped into 2cm cubes

1 small onion or a banana shallot, finely chopped

3cm ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

0.25 tsp ground turmeric

3 tbsp soy sauce

pinch +/- chilli flakes

2 carrots peeled and grated

2 large handfuls green veg/cavolo nero


2 fried eggs

Juice of 1 lime

Handful chopped coriander

100g roasted peanuts, chopped

2 sliced spring onions

Extra soy sauce in 50:50 mix with honey

And crispy shallots:

At least 4 banana shallots

Enough veg oil to fill your frying pan to 1cm deep


  1. If you don’t already have a bunch of cooked rice sitting about, then, cook your rice – I rinse the rice 3 times, then use 1x volume of rice plus 2x volume of cold water, bring it to the boil with a lid on, let it bubble away for 5 minutes then reduce the heat to really low and let it pretty much just steam for 15 minutes or so. Fluff it up with a fork, and set aside.
  2. In the mean time, crack on with the rest of the prep, starting with the tofu.
  3. Heat 1cm depth veg oil in a large frying pan or wok, and test it’s at temperature by dropping in a piece of tofu – if it sizzles, you’re ready. Gently pop in the rest of the tofu and fry until golden on all sides, then use a slotted spoon to remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Leave the oil in the pan, but turn it off.
  4. Next up its the crispy shallots – finely slice the shallots into half moons, then toss them around to separate the pieces.
  5. Heat the oil back up again, adding a bit more if needed and test with a pinch of shallot slices (if they sizzle you’re good to go) then fry the shallots in batches for as long as it takes for them to become a deep golden brown, again using a slotted spoon to remove them to another plate lined with kitchen paper.
  6. When you’re finished with the shallots, if you haven’t prepped everything else, turn off the heat, remove pretty much all of the remaining oil and finish prepping everything else: chop the onion, mince the garlic and ginger, grate the carrots, chop the greens, chop and slice the peanuts, coriander and spring onions, mix up the soy/honey, squeeze the lime.
  7. You’re nearly there!
  8. Heat a slurp of oil in the pan and throw in the onion/shallot and fry for a good 3 minutes until softening, then add the ginger and garlic for a minute more. (If you’re using prawns, add them in now too and cook until pink).
  9. Next, add the turmeric and fry until everything smells amazing, then add in the cooked rice, soy, pinch of chilli flakes, and mix well.
  10. Add in the grated carrots, green veg, fried tofu and keep stir frying until everything is hot.
  11. Fry your eggs in a separate pan, if you’re having them.
  12. Finally, add the lime juice, half of the peanuts, coriander, spring onions and some of the crispy shallots, stir once more and serve with the remaining toppings and soy/honey mix.

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