Indonesian tuna fried rice – nasi goreng tuna

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Fried Rice — nasi goreng in Indonesian — is very popular in almost every part of the country. Each has its own version of the fried rice. And just like any so-called traditional food, there are varied recipes and methods to make exactly the same thing.

This applies to nasi goreng too. 

Many Indonesians have fried-rice for breakfasts. Therefore, if you go to Indonesia, you will find ‘nasi goreng’ among the breakfast menu list at the hotels, restaurants, etc.

When I was still living in Indonesia, I used to eat fried-rice for breakfast too. Obviously 😄. Now, I rarely have it for my breakfast, because I am too lazy to cook first thing in the morning. 


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Tuna fried rice - Nasi Goreng Tuna

So, fried-rice has become a menu option for either lunch or dinner in my household. And if there was any leftover for the next morning, only then I would have had it for breakfast too. But chances are my little one would not let me have it. Because he loves “nasi goreng”. Especially tuna fried-rice. 

Whenever I make tuna fried-rice, my little one just cannot stop eating it. 

The first time I made this dish was because I didn’t have boneless chicken in my freezer at the time. And I was running late to make dinner. Since hubby and the kids agreed to have fried-rice, I guessed I just had to make do with whatever I had.

And I saw this canned tuna in the cupboard. Then I used it. It turned out well. Everybody was happy. Since then, I make nasi goreng tuna quite often now. Especially when I don’t have much time to cook. 

Indonesian nasi goreng tuna

Tuna fried rice recipe

Even though the recipe I’m sharing with you here is fried-rice with tuna, feel free to substitute the tuna with any proteins that you love. You can use chicken, beef, or plant-based proteins if you’re vegetarian or vegan.

The recipe is based on my mom’s nasi goreng recipe. I just simplified it a little bit to make it easier for me to cook. For instance, in Indonesia my mom uses red shallots (bawang Merah), I can’t find them easily so I replace them with brown onions. And I also use dry chilli flakes or powder instead of fresh chilli.

But I can assure you that the taste is exactly the same. Well, probably almost the same. Because I don’t think I can be as good as my mom yet. Not yet 🙂.

Anywho.

So here is the tuna fried rice recipe.

Indonesian tuna fried rice recipe

Indonesian tuna fried rice - nasi goreng tuna

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This tuna fried rice (Nasi Goreng Tuna) is delicious to have it on its own, or with some crispy salad, chilli condiment (sambal) and prawn crackers.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup = 330 gr of rice, preferably Basmati rice. Or you can use long-grained rice.
  • 1 canned tuna (185 grams).
  • 1 medium-size onion.
  • 3 cloves garlic.
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper.
  • 1 tsp of dry chilli flakes or 1 Bird’s eye chilli (pound into a paste).
  • 1 tsp of paprika powder, optional (see the notes).
  • 1 tsp of salt or according to taste.
  • ¼ cup = 60 ml Indonesian sweet soy sauce.
  • Fried onions (optional)
  • 3 tbsp = 45 ml cooking oil

Instructions

  1. Cook your rice as you usually do. When it’s done, set aside.
  2. You can also use leftover plain rice. I often do that. In fact, the idea of making nasi goreng is to make the most of your leftover rice. 
  3. If you have a processor, you can blitz the onion, garlic, fresh chilli (if using) and all the spices until you get a nice smooth paste. Or, you can use a pestle and mortar to pound them. And if you don’t have either of them, you can try to chop your onion, garlic, and fresh chilli (if using) as fine as possible and then mix with the rest of spice. 
  4. Heat the oil in a large wok at medium-high heat. Then put the spice paste/ mix in, and keep stirring every now and again. Keep frying until the spice is fragrant.
  5. Drain the tuna from its can, and add in the spice. Stir well and leave it to cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Then put you cooked rice in the wok. Drizzle all the sweet soy sauce over it, and mix everything well.
  7. Stir and mix it all well until you can see that all rice grain is covered with spice and sauce.
  8. Serve your tuna fried rice on a plate with a sprinkle of fried onion on the top.
  9. You can enjoy your nasi goreng tuna with some salad, sambal (traditional chilli sauce), and prawn crackers (kerupuk). 

Notes

  • You don’t really have to use paprika powder if you don’t have it at home. I personally like it because I find its aroma is nice to get rid of the fishy smell of tuna. It also enhances the flavour. 
  • When it comes to chilli, it depends on personal taste. Although I put one fresh chilli in this recipe, don’t hesitate to add more or reduce it according to your personal preference. Note that chilli powder also has different strengths from one to another. So I would suggest you put according to what you know about your chilli powder. As a reference, the fried rice that you find in Indonesia doesn’t taste spicy. Because they always serve their nasi goreng with “sambal”, the chilli sauce. 

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1 Amount Per Serving Calories 384Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 29mgSodium 1290mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 1gSugar 9gProtein 17g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

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Related posts

I do hope you enjoy reading this recipe and now thinking about trying it. If you do try making this tuna fried rice, could you please share how you like it in the comments below? Or perhaps you do some tweaking that makes your nasi goreng tuna is even better than mine? 😊

And before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes of Indonesian food that you can enjoy as breakfast, brunch, or any time of the day 😉.

Thank you and all the best.

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