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Paleo Nasi Goreng – Indonesian Fried Cauliflower ‘Rice’


Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice Indonesian Style (Nasi Goreng)

This is a recipe I made a while back but I decided to bring it back to light today because it’s a corker of a dish. This paleo fried ‘rice’, made with cauliflower, chicken, prawn, and delicious spices and chilli sauce, is inspired by nasi goreng.

Nasi goreng is Indonesia’s national dish, and if you’ve been to Bali you would have tried it on more than one occasion (or every single breakfast for me when I go there). In fact, most of you would’ve tried a similar dish in one form or another, as nasi goren literally means ‘fried rice’.

I love the heat from sambal chilli and the sweetness of ketup manis sauce used in the traditional recipe – it flavours the rice beautifully. Plus, you get to mix in the runny yolk from the fried egg served on top. Although I do eat white rice on occasion, I really wanted to make a Paleo version of this gorgeous Asian dish. Not sure I can call my recipe nasi goreng as it doesn’t actually contain the key ingredient – rice, or nasi in Indo and Malay. I used finely diced cauliflower and carrots, plus a decent amount of chicken and prawns for protein, and flavoured the dish with sambal oelek sauce.

Cook’s notes

Sambal is made with lots of red chillies, garlic, shallots, and lime. There are many variations, but you should have no problem finding a standard sambal oelek in supermarkets and Asian grocers. You can make your own and store it in a jar in the fridge to use in stir fries and other dishes.

Instead of using the super sweet ketup manis sauce, which is essentially sweet soy sauce, I used Tamari wheat-free soy sauce and honey.
It took me 30 minutes to make this dish, but as I am a bit of a rocket in the kitchen, allow yourself 30 to 40 minutes. I used chicken thighs because I find the meat is more tender, but you can easily use chicken breast or turkey meat. For a vegetarian version, omit the chicken and prawns, and use mushrooms and extra vegetables instead.

chopped_meat_nasigoreng chopped_veggies_nasigoreng

Paleo Fried Cauliflower Rice - Nasi Goreng
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 8-10 peeled fresh prawns, diced into smaller chunks
  • 2 chicken thigh fillets, diced into small pieces, excess fat removed
  • ½ medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2½ cups diced cauliflower (1/2 large head of cauliflower)
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek (less if you prefer less spicy)
  • ½ tablespoon honey (replace with 3 tablespoons orange juice if following Whole30)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos or Tamari wheat-free soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • Fresh coriander for garnish
  1. Prepare all ingredients, so you're ready to focus on stir frying everything quickly.
  2. Heat a wok or a deep frying pan over high heat and melt one teaspoon of coconut oil. Add the prawns, seasoned with a little salt, and stir fry for one and a half minutes. Remove to a plate.
  3. Add the chicken and stir fry over medium-high heat for five minutes, stirring frequently. Then remove to a plate with the prawns.
  4. Add another teaspoon of coconut oil, keeping the heat on medium-high, and stir fry the onion for two minutes, until softened. Add the cauliflower, carrots, garlic, sambal, honey, Tamari and fish sauce and sesame oil. Stir through for about 30 seconds, and then add back the cooked prawns and chicken. Cook all together for two more minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. In the meantime, heat a little coconut oil in another frying pan and fry two eggs until the whites are firm but the yolks are still soft. Serve stir-fry topped with fried eggs and some fresh coriander.

Paleo Fried Cauliflower Rice - Indonesian Nasi Goreng Style - paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, low carb recipe.

  1. Just made this. Amazingly delicious and satisfying!

    Fantastic website. Cannot wait to get my hands on your cookbook!


    1. Thank you Mia. I am glad you enjoyed it. I really should make that dish at home more often. Seriously, I think I will need my own cookbook too!

  2. I made this last night. Boy howdy, it was fannnntastic. My partner is completely against cauliflower but I made it before he got home, so he didn’t know.

    I did however just add a random bunch of vegetables in too, because I needed leftovers for lunches. I can’t wait to taste it cold today. That’s the true test of food. If it tastes better cold the 2nd day ;)

  3. This is delicious and very satisfying to make. Cannot recommend this highly enough – in addition to your gorgeous Stawberry Granola. Thanks for these recipes.

  4. Wow this recipe is amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing it! One of the most delicious paleo meals I’ve made yet, will definitely keep this one in rotation :)

  5. Your pictures really are amazing. I am about to venture into SLR’s for the first time and am on the hunt whilst the sales are on, so thanks very much for the tips!

  6. Amazing! Made this today and though I was initially dubious about cauliflower replacing rice, it was so delicious and really did capture the flavours of Nasi Goreng, yum. Well done on another inspiring post Irena! I only discovered your blog a week ago (via Sarah Wilson’s) and as a very new Paleo convert it is so great to get new ideas on creative cooking. PS Your pictures are so beautiful, could you share what camera you use?

    1. Thanks Conor. It’s honey to my ears when I get positive feedback about my recipes. To answer your question, I use Canon 7D DSLR camera & 50ml f1.8 lens (majority of the time, I also have a different lens that I sometimes use). I shoot at home, preferably using natural light. I do also have a set of simple daylight temp lights for when I shoot in the evening after cooking dinner.

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