Saturday, April 23, 2022

Weekend Cooking: Baked Prawn Nasi Goreng

One of the meals that regularly makes it into our meal rotation is nasi goreng. Nasi goreng is a dish that is South East Asian in origin, served in countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei and the name nasi goreng literally means fried rice. It has been named as one of the five national dishes of Indonesia, along with soto, rendang, sate, and gado-gado. 

Indonesia had colonial ties to the Netherlands. I first tried nasi goreng at a restaurant in Amsterdam when I was there years ago. My husband has Dutch ancestry and so learnt to make nasi goreng whilst growing up in South Africa. When we make it, it is generally made with minced beef and then topped with fried banana and fried egg, usually made by mixing the eggs and then frying so it is almost like a flat scrambled egg, similar to how it is done in Chinese cookery.

This time four years ago I was in South Africa meeting my in-laws for the first time. We spent some time with my brother and sister-in-law doing a safari and on the way back we stopped at a Dutch shop. I was surprised to see my sister-in-law buy huge quantities of nasi goreng spice mix. We were happy not to as we could still easily get the premade mix from the supermarket. Of course, the wisdom of her ways was shown when not long after that we could no longer buy it here. It is possible to buy our preferred brand off of Amazon or the like, but it isn't cheap by the time that you buy the small packet and pay for postage. We have tried a couple of other brands but we weren't that impressed. Maybe we will have to pick up a stock when we visit The Netherlands later in the year.

A while ago we therefore thought that we would try and make our own spice mix which we now have saved in the cupboard for when we make nasi goreng. There aren't a lot of recipes for the spice mix around but the ones that I can find pretty much have this list of ingredients as the base, but the quantities vary depending on the recipe.

Nasi Goreng spice mix 

garlic powder
laos/galangal powder
chili powder (or ground chilis)
coriander / ketumbar
sereh / lemongrass
cumin / djintan
onion powder
fine salt

The version that we have made is very tasty, although it is quite spicy so we will need to play with the quantities next time we make it.

I mentioned last week that my son was in America. He was supposed to be back earlier this week but unfortunately his flight was cancelled so he only arrived home this morning. What this meant is that we could have another seafood meal without worrying about the fact that he won't eat it, something we were happy to take advantage of.

We therefore found the following recipe for a baked prawn nasi goreng tray bake and thought we would give it ago. We actually really enjoyed this recipe as we made it (we couldn't get a couple of the ingredients) but we will be doing it a bit differently next time we make it.

Baked Prawn Nasi Goreng

60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
500g peeled green prawns, deveined, tails intact
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 long fresh red chilli, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
300g green beans, thinly sliced
1 tsp shrimp paste 
450g packet microwave jasmine rice
250g packet microwave jasmine rice
2 1/2 tbsp kecap manis, plus extra, to serve
2 1/2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp chicken stock powder
4 eggs
Green shallots, thinly sliced diagonally, to serve
Sambal oelek, to drizzle

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan forced. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a 5cm-deep, 25 x 35cm flameproof roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the prawns and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a bowl.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion,  chilli and remaining oil to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the green beans and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until tender crisp. Add the shrimp paste and cook, breaking up the paste with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute or until well combined and aromatic. Remove from heat.

Add the rice to the pan and stir, breaking up the rice with a wooden spoon, until well combined. Add the kecap manis and tamari. Stir until the rice is coated. Sprinkle with the stock powder. Pour in 250ml (1 cup) water and stir until combined. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Add the prawns to the rice mixture and stir until combined. Make 4 indents in the rice mixture. Crack an egg into each indent. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the eggs are cooked and the edges of the rice are crisp.

Top the rice bake with shallot, sambal oelek and extra kecap manis to serve.

We didn't have shrimp paste or sambal oelek, so we had to improvise a bit, but it was a delicious dinner. When we make it again we will do it a little differently. Firstly, we will use our spice mix as part of the process, or maybe throw some Old Bay Seasoning in seeing as we now have a gigantic bottle of that. We will,however,  definitely use prawns without tails on. The tails do look pretty but make it a bit tricky to eat so we will use prawn meat instead next time. Normally we would cook our own rice, but this was a convenient way to do the rice, and we loved cooking the eggs this way so we will do them again this way too. It was so delicious that I didn't even remember to take a picture!

And now I want to find a good beef rendang recipe.

Oh, and if you are in Australia and happen to see the brand of spice mix above let me know!

Weekly meals

Saturday - Weekend away
Sunday - Weekend away
Monday - Chicken and broccoli pasta bake
Tuesday - Green Curry Chicken Pie
Wednesday - Baked Prawn Nasi Goreng
Thursday - Bacon, mushroom, bacon pasta
Friday - 

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. This sounds delicious. I've not had it before, but we like spicy and Chinese-inspired fried rice. I'll have to see if we can get the spice mix around here.

  2. I would take the tails off as well. This sounds like a good spice mix. I have started making my own mixes to have on hand, such as fajita and BBQ chicken mixes.

    1. It does look pretty with the tails on but not practical.

  3. We have not tried Indonesian food, this would be a bit spicy for our group, but very interesting to read about. I love seeing how ingredients are used in different ways from my own style of cooking!

    1. This recipe doesn't have much in the way of spice, especially if you don't put the topping on!

  4. An interesting dish that I am not familiar with. I guess I do not know much about Indonesian food. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. I have only tried a few Indonesian dishes!

  5. That sounds so good. I agree with Jackie, I'd take the tails off. Linking in late as we went camping :-)

  6. if only my hubby ate prawns! i only ever have seafood when out or sometimes prawns at christmas for me.

    1. We don't eat it as often as we should Sherry!