zoomed nasi goreng ayam

Nasi Goreng Ayam: an Easy Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

Welcome to one of my all time favorite recipes! Nasi goreng ayam, or chicken fried rice in english, is a very traditional Indonesian dish. I’ve probably eaten and made this dish more than any dish ever!

To make nasi goreng ayam, start by cooking rice a few hours in advance at least! Stir-fry some chicken, vegetables and eggs, all separately. Fry the rice with a lot of spices and the rest of the ingredients and serve with cucumber, fried onions and sambal!

This recipe requires quite a lot more steps and time management than usual so take your time to build skill in making nasi goreng ayam!

What is nasi goreng ayam?

Nasi goreng ayam literally means chicken fried rice. It’s a combination of cooked rice which is then fried with all of the ingredients. It doesn’t have a very strict definition of what additional ingredients you use. This is mostly based on tradition, location and availability. In my case it is just a matter of preference!

It comes in many variations and there is quite a vocabulary of nasi goreng in general. There is nasi goreng, nasi goreng ayam, nasi goreng kampung, nasi goreng daging, nasi goreng, nasi goreng special, nasi goreng cina and probably many many more.

nasi goreng ayam

Don’t forget nasi goreng means fried rice, you will also find lots of recipes as variations on nasi (rice). Like, nasi kuning, nasi uduk, nasi tempong and many more.

This also means the dish has a lot of different flavors, depending on who makes it and what is used. I like nasi goreng to have a nice spice level, complex flavors and a lot of different sides can be added! I also make this in bulk usually so I can eat it for a long time. Great for freezing and eating when low in time.

Let’s continue on how to make nasi goreng ayam!

Step 1: Collect the ingredients

zoomed nasi goreng ayam

Nasi goreng ayam

Nasi goreng ayam, an all time favorite! Chicken fried rice to enjoy every time of the year.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 6 people


  • 500 g rice (pandan/jasmin or other)
  • 500 g chicken thighs
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 egg plant
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 white onions
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 red chillies (~10cm)

Chicken spices

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp white pepper
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1.5 tsp curry powder
  • 1.5 tsp garlic flakes

Nasi spices

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp white pepper
  • 1.5 tsp terasi
  • 3 tsp sambal
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis

Spices for boiling rice

  • 2 lime leaves
  • 3 gloves


  • Collect the ingredients
  • Cook the rice
  • Fry the chicken and egg
  • Fry the vegetables and rice
  • Serve nasi goreng ayam
Keyword nasi goreng, Nasi goreng ayam

What to consider when choosing the ingredients

The ingredient list is quite extensive but also very much open for adaptation! You can easily make your own version if you just follow some basics.

Main ingredients

Starting with the main ingredients, the rice, chicken and vegetables. The rice is just traditionally used in nasi goreng but use whatever rice you’d like if you ask me!

I also added some spices when cooking the rice. Also optional but very much recommend (especially the lime leaves!). Another topic is how to cook the rice in advance but I will come back to that later.

The chicken thighs is just so much nicer than the chicken breast. I personally don’t use chicken breast at all. Do as you please but definitely try out chicken thighs if you are unfamiliar!

The vegetables are again my favorites. Garlic and onion to start the taste palate and bell pepper and egg plant because I love the textures they bring. Especially the bell pepper I really love!

Of course I’ve added some red chillies to boost spiciness and add some nice coloring. Scrambled eggs I’ve traditionally added as well, bringing in nutrients, flavors and a nice visual effect.

Again these can be interchanged with many other ingredients, I personally can recommend using different variaties of ingredients to make a really vibrant dish.


The chicken spices make the normally dull taste of chicken really nice! I just picked some nice chicken spices and added them after frying the on high heat, to let them slowly integrate.

Smoked paprika and curry powder with garlic, boosted by salt and pepper. Really nice but nothing is mandatory, do as you please! Of course I do highly recommend trying these out because they worked very well!

For the nasi goreng spices, use again salt and pepper to boost flavors. I use white salt here as this is highly used in Asian cuisine, use black pepper if you want.

Of course I’ve added terasi to nasi goreng. Very traditionally used in Indonesian cuisine and highly recommended. Some sambal to implement a really nice spicy flavor, I’ve used my sambal bawang recipe but do as you please of course. The kecap manis really gives the authentic coloring and such a nice flavor.

That’s it for the ingredient list! Exchange or add to you liking to learn how to use spices! Let’s continue with the steps to make nasi goreng ayam.

Step 2: Cook the rice

As I mentioned you want to do this step in advance. A few (~4) hours will do, I normally make the rice in the morning or early afternoon and this works fine. You can also do it one day in advance like many say but who plans ahead that much right.

If you want more information on the best pot to cook rice and how, check out my post telling you exactly that! Alternatively, you might want to use a rice cooker if you choose convenience over control. Find out which rice cookers to use here.

Start by washing the rice properly, until the water you use runs clear. Don’t forget this as it’s very important. Add enough water such that the water level is about the height of your last finger bone above the rice.

cooking rice

Add the gloves and lime leaves. Put on medium-high heat and bring to a boil, once there is a slow simmer cover the pan and leave for 10 minutes. Halfway through you might want to lower the temperature, the boiling might be too strong at that point.

Keep the lid closed as much as possible. After ten minutes the water should be evaporated but check this using a fork. Remove the gloves and lime leaves, give a good stir and leave the rice on the stove until you are using it. If you are planning on using it another day, refrigerate the rice until use!

cooked rice

Don’t worry if there is rice sticking to the pan, this will release during rest. You want to be sure all the water is evaporated and the rice is not burned.

Don’t skip on this resting period as it’s the most important part of cooking rice! Let’s see what to do when you start to make nasi goreng!

Step 3: Fry the chicken and egg

Let’s get cooking! Since we are not doing any cooking in parallel, i.e. we are just reusing the same pan to fry different ingredients back to back, the same goes for the chopping! Simply dump in the ingredients right after cutting them.

Start chopping the chicken in bite sizes, add a frying pan on high heat with a little oil. Once hot add the chicken and fry on high heat without moving the chicken too much! You don’t want too much moist to gather in the pan, not moving the chicken and frying on high heat helps.

In the meantime of frying the chicken and the eggs, chop the garlic and onions when you find the time! I recommend cutting them finely. If you don’t manage to find them, cut them at the start of the next step.

frying chicken thighs
fried chicken thighs

Only stir occasionally until the chicken is cooked. Lower the heat to medium, add the spice mix and stir well. You are lowering the heat to prevent the spices from burning. Give some time to integrate and remove the chicken from the pan.

fried and spiced chicken
spicy fried chicken

Now simply reuse the pan, leave the residu! This flavor will highly boost the otherwise dull eggs in the nasi goreng ayam. Add the eggs to the pan (still hot) on medium-high heat. Stir-fry the eggs until cooked. Don’t bother doing this slowly, you wouldn’t notice this in the recipe anyways.

stir frying eggs
stir fried eggs

Look at that color, all from leaving the residu from the chicken! Set aside the eggs as well, reuse this frying pan if all will fit. I actually used another frying pan which was bigger to make mixing everything easier later on.

Step 4: Fry the vegetables and rice

Almost there, now put the pan back on high heat with a little bit of oil. Once hot, add the garlic and onion and fry for a minute, chop the eggplant in quarter circles in the meantime.

frying garlic and onion
frying eggplant

Add them to the pan straight after chopping, cut the chillies and bell pepper in the meantime. Remove the seeds of the chillies if you want to reduce heat, do this with running water after chopping.

frying eggplant and chillies
frying vegetables

Sprinkle some salt on the vegetables to absorb any escaping moist, blast the vegetables with heat, they can handle it if you stir-fry them.

After some time (~5-10min), the vegetables should decreased in size significantly.

fried vegetables

Now it’s time to nasi goreng! Add the pre-cooked rice to the frying pan, together with the spices. Mix well, you might want to use two spatulas as this can be quite challenging. Integrate everything thoroughly with the heat still on high, reduce if necessary.

frying vegetables, rice and spices
fried vegetables, rice and spices

When properly mixed, add the chicken and egg and mix again! Keep mixing and frying the rice.

adding chicken and eggs
nasi goreng ayam

Now you’ve successfully made nasi goreng ayam! Have a taste and add spices if necessary. Check the color of the rice and add some kecap manis if you want. Remove the heat and cover immediately when done. Rice dries out quite quickly! Get ready to serve, the rice should remain hot for quite a while.

Step 5: Serve the nasi goreng ayam

Now serve with some cucumber, sambal and fried onions or any other garnish you like. I added some satay sauce as well, I will drink a pint of it if no one stops me!

served nasi goreng ayam

Of course you can serve with any sambal you’d like, I served with my homemade sambal bawang. Consider trying out other homemade sambals:

If you want to enhance this already amazing recipe, with great Indonesian side dishes, I can recommend the following:

That’s it for this recipe! I hope you like it and let me know if you made it (and how). Also, please rate this nasi goreng ayam! Enjoy.

nasi goreng ayam zoomed


Is nasi goreng good for you?

This widely depends on what ingredients you add to it and how much oil you use. In general, nasi goreng can be considered healthy when using plenty of vegetables, a minimum of cooking oil and definitely keep away from store bought sambals, sauces or side dishes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating