Nasi goreng, literally meaning "fried rice" in Indonesian and Malay, can refer simply to fried pre-cooked rice, a meal including fried rice accompanied with other items, or a more complicated fried rice, typically spiced with tamarind and chilli and including other ingredients, particularly egg and prawns.
Nasi goreng is considered as national dish of Indonesia. There are many Indonesian cuisines but few national dishes. Nasi goreng is the best of them. Indonesia's national dish knows no social barriers. It can be enjoyed in its simplest manifestation from a tin plate at a roadside warung, or food stall; eaten on porcelain in fancy restaurants, or constructed at the ubiquitous buffet tables of Jakarta dinner parties.
The main ingredients for the plain nasi goreng include pre-cooked rice, soy sauce, garlic, shallot and some spring onions for garnishing. Nasi goreng can be eaten at any time of day, and many Indonesians, Malaysians and Singaporeans eat nasi goreng for breakfast, often using leftovers from the previous day's dinner. The rice used to make nasi goreng is cooked ahead of time and left to cool down (so it is not soggy), which is one reason to use rice cooked from the day before.
In restaurants, the dish is often served as a main meal accompanied by additional items such as a fried egg, fried chicken, satay, vegetables, and kerupuk (meaning crackers, also called "prawn crackers" and many other names). In many warungs (street stalls), when accompanied by a fried egg, it is sometimes called nasi goreng istimewa (special fried rice).
See also: seafood