Paleo Nasi Goreng – Indonesian Fried Rice

nasi goreng paleo fried rice recipe

Recipe: Paleo Nasi Goreng

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 with you 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 usually eat rice (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. 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.


  • 2 chicken thigh fillets, diced into small pieces, excess fat removed
  • 8-10 peeled fresh prawns, diced into smaller chunks
  • 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 1/2 cups diced cauliflower
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp Sambal Oelek
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos or Tamari wheat free soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp honey (replace with 3 tablespoons orange juice if following Whole30)
  • A little salt
  • 2 eggs
  • fresh coriander
  • coconut oil for frying

samba_oelek nasi goreng
This brand of Sambal Oelek is made with chilis, garlic, lime, shallots and is gluten free with less than 1gm of sugar.


  1. Prepare all ingredients so you’re ready to focus on stir-frying alone. Heat a wok or a deep frying pan to high and melt 1 tsp of coconut oil. Stir fry prawns, seasoned with a little salt, for one and a half minutes and remove to a plate. Do the same with chicken but cook for four minutes before removing from the wok.
  2. Add more coconut oil, keeping the heat on high, and stir fry onion for two minutes until softened. Add cauliflower, carrots, garlic, sambal, honey, Tamari and fish sauce. Stir through for half a minute and then add prawns and chicken back to the mix. Cook, stiring frequently, for 2-3 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, heat a little coconut oil in another frying pan and fry two eggs until white are firm but the yolks are still soft. Serve stir-fry topped with fried eggs and some fresh coriander.

Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Number of servings: 2

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Irey x


  1. Mia Arrowsmith says

    Just made this. Amazingly delicious and satisfying!

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


    • imacri says

      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. Megan says

    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. JaneD says

    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. Bek says

    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. Conor says

    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. Conor says

    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?

    • imacri says

      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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