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Paleo Nasi Goreng – Indonesian Fried Rice



Hi lovely readers and cooks! It’s a little gloomy outside and I am all rugged up with a cup of tea. Today, I am sharing  a recipe I made last week – nasi goreng. It’s 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 like I do every time I go there). In fact, most of you would’ve tried this dish in one form or another as nasi goren literally means fried rice.

I love the heat from sambal chili and the sweetness of ketup manis sauce, and the runny yolk from the fried egg served on top.  Now that I don’t eat white rice as often (come on, we all have our moments), I 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, chopped prawns and chicken flavoured with sambal oelek sauce.

Cook’s notes

Sambal is made with lots of red chilis, garlic, shallots, and lime. There are many variations but you should have no problem finding a standard sambal oelek in supermarkets and Asian stores. Instead of using the super sweet ketup manis sauce, which is essentially a sweet soy sauce, I used Tamari wheat free soy sauce and a little honey.


It took me 30 minutes to make this dish but as I am a bit of a rocket in the kitchen, allow 30-40 minutes. I used chicken thighs as the meat is softer but you can easily use chicken breast. For a vegetarian version, omit chicken and prawns and use mushrooms and extra vegetables instead.



Paleo Nasi Goreng - Indonesian Fried Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 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 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek (less if you prefer less spicy)
  • ½ tbsp 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. 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 sti fry over high heat for four 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 (add sesame oil if available). Stir through for half a minute and then add back the cooked prawns and chicken. Cook all together, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes.
  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.
  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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