Nasi Goreng (Surinamese)

The beauty of growing up in my family and in Suriname was the exposure of a large variety of dishes. No two are alike as you will see in the recipe below. Even within Indonesian or Chinese cooking there are different styles of fried rice by changing or omitting some of the ingredients. Soy sauce for example will make the rice brown, besides adding flavor, but many times I’ve had Nasi Goreng where the soy sauce was replaced by tomato paste.  Or Chinese Fried rice prepared without soy sauce, substituting meat with shrimp. 

Nasi Goreng is the Indonesian version of fried rice and is usually cooked without meat, because meat and vegetables are added to complement the meal. It is very simple and quick to make.

4 cups of cooked rice (see rice cooking tip)

1/2 onion, sliced thin

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp celery leaves or parsley, chopped

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 bouillon cube

1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp galanga root, sliced (or laos powder)

3 tbsp oil

2 tbsp dark soy sauce


Heat the oil and add the onions. Fry for 1-2 minutes, then add the garlic, stirring until brown (but not burned). Add the black pepper, bouillon, sugar and galanga while continuing to stir for a few minutes before adding the soy sauce. Immediately add the rice and turn over until evenly coated with fried mixture. Keep turning or stirring, adding more soy if needed, until the rice has an even brown color.  Fry the rice for a few more minutes on lower heat. Turn the heat off, sprinkle the chopped celery or parsley over the rice, turn over once or twice, then transfer to a serving dish.

Enjoy!   Selamat Makan!


  • Use soy sauce from an Asian store, as those tend to be darker than the grocery store verisons. In the Asian store you can find a larger variety, such as sweet, mushroom or regular soy sauce.
  • Remember to reduce the amount of sugar or bouillon when using sweet or regular soy sauce.
  • Serve with Regular or spicy Javanese Chicken and string beans.
  • or add chicken and peas before frying the rice, to create an instant meal.
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3 thoughts on “Nasi Goreng (Surinamese)

  • 9 March, 2009 at 10:24 pm
    Looks tasty and easy to prepare. I checked Google and Galanga root is similar to Ginger root. I'm sure they must have it at Whole Foods or Asian markets. (Not to be confused with Malanga root which is something else).
  • 12 March, 2009 at 9:48 pm
    Hi Liz, Galanga is also called Hawaiian Ginger, and it has a slightly different flavor and smell than regular ginger. You are right, it can be found at Whole Foods and international markets. Thanks for your comment.
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