What To Serve With Nasi Goreng

Updated on 
9 June, 2023

Are you looking for the perfect side dish to complement your nasi goreng? Look no further!

Whether you're cooking up this classic Indonesian fried rice dish for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, choosing the right sides can take your meal to the next level.

From fresh and light options to indulgent and creamy complements, there are plenty of ways to enhance the flavors of your nasi goreng.

And if you're feeling bold, why not try some spicy pairings or crispy additions?

Whatever your taste preferences may be, we've got you covered with a variety of delicious options that will make your nasi goreng sing.

So let's dive in and explore what dishes will make the perfect accompaniment to this beloved Indonesian staple.

Key Takeaways

  • The right sides can enhance the flavors of nasi goreng
  • Fresh and light sides can balance out the richness of the dish, such as cucumber salad or grilled vegetables
  • Creamy and indulgent complements can pair well with nasi goreng, such as coconut milk curry, fried chicken wings, or mango lassi
  • Spicy and bold pairings can add an extra layer of flavor, such as sambal oelek or pickled vegetables, while crispy and crunchy additions can provide texture, like fried shallots, toasted peanuts, or prawn crackers. Traditional Indonesian accompaniments like sambal, krupuk, pickled vegetables, and tempeh can also bring a burst of authentic flavor.

Fresh and Light Sides

If you're looking for something to balance out the richness of nasi goreng, try adding a fresh and light side like a cucumber salad or grilled vegetables. These sides not only complement the flavors of the dish but also provide a healthier option.

Cucumber salad is easy to make by slicing cucumbers thinly and mixing them with a simple dressing of vinegar, sugar, and salt. It adds a refreshing crunch that cuts through the savory taste of nasi goreng.

Grilled vegetables are another great option as they bring out natural sweetness in veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant. Simply season them with salt and pepper, brush with oil, then grill until tender. They add color to your plate while keeping it healthy at the same time.

So if you want to enjoy nasi goreng without feeling guilty about indulging too much, go ahead and add some fresh and light sides!

Creamy and Indulgent Complements

You'll want to pair your flavorful nasi goreng with creamy and indulgent sides that complement the dish's bold flavors. Here are three options to consider:

  1. Coconut Milk Curry: A rich curry made with coconut milk, ginger, garlic, and a variety of spices is the perfect complement to nasi goreng. It not only adds creaminess to the meal but also has a slightly sweet flavor that balances out the saltiness of the fried rice.

  2. Fried Chicken Wings: If you're looking for something crunchy and satisfying, try serving up some crispy fried chicken wings alongside your nasi goreng. The savory flavors of the wings will pair perfectly with the spiciness of your Indonesian-inspired dish.

  3. Mango Lassi: Whip up a batch of mango lassi for a refreshing drink that complements the richness of nasi goreng. This yogurt-based drink is sweetened with honey and flavored with fresh mangoes for a tropical twist on traditional Indian cuisine. Its smooth texture and fruity taste will help balance out any heat in your main course.

Spicy and Bold Pairings

Get ready to spice things up with some bold pairings that will take your nasi goreng experience to the next level. If you're someone who loves a good kick of heat, then pairing your nasi goreng with spicy and bold sides is the way to go. Not only do they add an extra layer of flavor, but they also complement the savory taste of the dish perfectly.

One great option for a spicy side is sambal oelek, which is a traditional Indonesian condiment made from chili peppers, vinegar, and salt. It's perfect for those who love their food hot and can handle the heat. Another great option would be pickled vegetables such as acar or atjar tjampur. These tangy and spicy veggies are made by soaking cucumbers, carrots, onions, and other vegetables in a sweet and sour brine infused with chilies and spices. They provide a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of nasi goreng while still packing a punch in terms of heat.

Spicy Pairing Description Why it Works
Sambal Oelek Made from chili peppers, vinegar, and salt Adds an intense spiciness that complements the savory flavor of nasi goreng
Pickled Vegetables (Acar or Atjar Tjampur) Soaked in sweet & sour brine infused with chilies & spices Provides a refreshing contrast while still adding heat to the dish

Remember to start small when experimenting with new flavors; try just a little bit at first before diving into something too intense. With these spicy pairings alongside your nasi goreng dish though you're sure to have an unforgettable meal!

Crispy and Crunchy Additions

To add some texture to your dish, try incorporating some crispy and crunchy additions such as fried shallots or toasted peanuts. These can be easily prepared beforehand and sprinkled on top of your nasi goreng just before serving.

Another great option is to add some crispy prawn crackers on the side for that satisfying crunch with every bite. Here are three ideas for crispy and crunchy additions to elevate your nasi goreng experience:

  1. Fried garlic chips - thinly sliced garlic fried until golden brown adds a deliciously savory crunch.

  2. Shredded nori sheets - crumbled up seaweed adds a unique touch of umami flavor and texture.

  3. Prawn fritters - small balls of shrimp batter deep-fried until crispy make for a tasty side dish that pairs perfectly with nasi goreng.

Traditional Indonesian Accompaniments

Indonesian cuisine is known for its traditional accompaniments that bring a burst of flavor to any dish. When it comes to nasi goreng, there are some must-have Indonesian side dishes that you can serve alongside this delicious fried rice.

One of the most popular traditional accompaniments is sambal, a spicy chili paste that adds heat and depth of flavor to any meal. You can make your own sambal or buy it pre-made from an Asian grocery store.

Another staple side dish in Indonesian cuisine is krupuk, a type of crispy shrimp cracker that comes in different shapes and sizes. Krupuk makes for the perfect crunchy addition to your nasi goreng meal. It's also a great snack on its own if you want something to munch on while watching TV or reading a book.

Other popular sides include pickled vegetables, such as acar (pickled cucumber and carrot), and tempeh (a fermented soybean cake). These sides add texture, color, and flavor to your nasi goreng meal, making it more complete and satisfying.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make nasi goreng with brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice?

Absolutely! You can definitely make nasi goreng with brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice. Not only will it add a healthy twist to your dish, but the nutty flavors of these grains will also complement the bold and spicy flavors of nasi goreng.

Just be sure to adjust the cooking time and water ratio according to the type of grain you choose, as they may require different amounts of liquid and cooking time compared to white rice.

With this simple substitution, you'll have a delicious and nutritious meal that satisfies your craving for both flavor and health.

What's a good vegetarian protein source to add to nasi goreng?

Looking for a good source of vegetarian protein to add to your nasi goreng? Look no further than tofu or tempeh! Both are high in protein and can be easily incorporated into your dish.

Simply fry up some cubed tofu or sliced tempeh and add it to your nasi goreng mixture. Not only will it add a delicious flavor, but it will also keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer.

Plus, by choosing plant-based proteins like tofu or tempeh, you're making a healthy choice that's good for both you and the environment. So go ahead and spice up your nasi goreng with some tasty vegetarian protein!

Are there any low-carb options to serve with nasi goreng?

Looking for low-carb options to serve with nasi goreng? You're in luck! There are plenty of delicious and healthy choices that will complement your dish perfectly.

Consider adding a side salad with mixed greens, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes drizzled with a light vinaigrette. Another great option is grilled or roasted vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers seasoned with herbs and spices.

And if you're feeling adventurous, try making some cauliflower rice as a substitute for traditional rice - it's a low-carb alternative packed with flavor and nutrients.

With these options, you can enjoy a satisfying meal while keeping your carb intake in check.

Can I make nasi goreng ahead of time and reheat it later?

Yes, you can definitely make nasi goreng ahead of time and reheat it later. In fact, making it ahead of time can actually improve the flavor as all the ingredients have more time to meld together.

When reheating, simply add a splash of oil to a pan over medium-high heat and stir-fry the nasi goreng until heated through. You'll have a delicious meal ready in no time!

And don't worry about any food safety concerns - just make sure to store your leftovers properly in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days before reheating.

What beverages pair well with nasi goreng?

When it comes to pairing beverages with nasi goreng, you have several options. Since this dish is known for its bold flavors and spices, you'll want something that can stand up to the heat and intensity.

A cold beer, such as a lager or pilsner, can be a great choice. If you prefer cocktails, consider something with citrus or tropical flavors to complement the Asian-inspired cuisine. Coconut water or a refreshing iced tea can also be excellent choices for cleansing your palate between bites.

Whatever drink you choose, make sure it's not too sweet or heavy so that it doesn't overpower the flavors of the nasi goreng.


So now you know what to serve with nasi goreng! Whether you want something fresh and light, creamy and indulgent, spicy and bold, or crispy and crunchy, there are plenty of options to choose from.

And if you want to keep it traditional, don't forget about the classic Indonesian accompaniments like sambal oelek, krupuk, and fried egg.

With these delicious side dishes in your arsenal, you'll be able to elevate your nasi goreng game and impress all your dinner guests. So go ahead and experiment with different flavor combinations until you find the perfect pairings for this flavorful Indonesian dish.

Happy cooking!

Jennifer is a certified nutritionist and weight loss coach with a Master's in Nutrition from Cambridge. With over 10 years experience, she shares healthy recipes and science-backed slimming tips on SheCooksSheEats to help people reach their wellness goals. Jennifer stays up-to-date by regularly attending conferences and continuing her nutrition education. She aims to provide research-backed advice to inspire balanced, happy living.
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