Crazy fried rice

Crazy fried rice

Nasi goreng gila

Street Food Asia
Alan Benson

When you mention Indonesian food you automatically think of nasi goreng, it’s a dish everyone knows. But when I arrive in Jakarta, everyone starts telling me I have to try this version. ‘Gila’ means ‘crazy’, so this dish is literally ‘crazy fried rice’. This is because they heave absolutely everything into it; you name it, it’s there. We’re talking meatballs, sausage, vegetables, chicken gizzards, shredded chicken and sometimes even corned beef, which is a little unusual. They toss it all in a wok with kecap manis and loads of garlic. Jalan Sabang is home to some serious street eats and the nasi goreng gila stall, which is rather famous, is a big reason I come down here. The cooks are so skilful with their use of the wok. They use super large ones and I love seeing the care they take with their rice. They cook it the day before, so it’s nicely dry and doesn’t clump together; the secret of great fried rice is keeping each grain separate. The entire time they’re cooking they have their woks super hot so they impart that distinct, smoky ‘breath of the wok’ into the dish. It’s always packed and lively around here, making it a great place to hang out as well as eat.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
100g boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
100g chicken gizzards, roughly sliced
400g cooked jasmine rice
1 egg, beaten
2 indonesian beef sausages, roughly sliced
4 cooked indonesian veal meatballs (bakso sapi), roughly chopped
45g thinly sliced cabbage
45g thinly sliced choy sum
2 spring onions, sliced
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons kecap manis, (see glossary)
1/2 tablespoon sriracha chilli sauce
1 tablespoos oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Fried red Asian shallots, to garnish


  1. Add half the vegetable oil to a hot wok. Add the onion and half the garlic and sauté for 1 minute over a high heat, until fragrant. Add the chicken breast and gizzards and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Wipe the wok clean and place back over a high heat. Add the remaining oil and garlic and the rice, and stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until the rice is slightly browned. Push the rice to one side of the wok, then pour the beaten egg into the empty side of the wok.
  3. Once the egg has set, toss the rice and egg together, then add all the remaining ingredients and season with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Toss for 2 minutes until the rice grains are separated and slightly dry.
  4. Transfer to individual plates and garnish with the fried shallots.
South-East Asian
Street Food
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