Nasi Goreng literally meaning “fried rice” in English, can refer simply to fried pre-cooked rice, a meal including stir fried rice in small amount of cooking oil or margarine, typically spiced with kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), shallot, garlic, tamarind and chilli and accompanied with other ingredients, particularly egg, chicken and prawns. There is also another kind of nasi goreng which is made with ikan asin (salted dried fish) which is also popular across Indonesia.
Nasi goreng has been called the national dish of Indonesia, though there are many other contenders. There are many Indonesian cuisines but few national dishes. Indonesia’s national dish knows no social barriers. It can be enjoyed in its simplest manifestation from a tin plate at a roadside warung, travelling night hawker’s cart; eaten on porcelain in restaurants, or constructed at the buffet tables of Jakarta dinner parties.
In 2011 an online poll by 35,000 people held by CNN International chose Nasi Goreng as the number two of their ‘World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods’ list after rendang.