15 Types of Nasi Goreng in Malaysia You Must Try
Fried Rice or Nasi Goreng in Malaysia is one of the most popular dishes that travelers love to order.
Every Asian country has its version, but Malaysia has more fried rice variations than you can think of.
This versatile one-plate meal is a hot meal that you will enjoy for lunch, dinner, or supper.
You will find the different styles — from spicy to tomato-based, Thai, fusion, and even Nasi Goreng U.S.A. — to try.
Origins of Fried Rice or Nasi Goreng in Malaysia
Fried Rice is believed to have originated from Yangzhou, China, where this dish was first introduced during the Sui Dynasty.
In Chinese culture, fried rice is what you make when you have leftover rice from last night’s dinner.
The original Yangzhou fried rice used cold rice cooked at least a day in advance.
Today, you can order a Yangzhou Fried Rice in Chinese restaurants.
The Yangzhou Fried Rice contains straightforward ingredients in the Chinese kitchen – green peas, Chinese waxed sausages, shrimps, and an egg with chicken stock and light soy sauce.
The results are a steaming plate of white rice made fragrant by the addition of the ingredients.
This simple fried rice dish has been adopted by other cultures in Malaysia and cooked in so many different ways.
Nasi Goreng in Malaysia is a wholesome dish.
Although Fried Rice can be easily prepared at home, it is a popular order at hawker stalls, coffee shops, and restaurants.
Whenever I have foreign friends in town, I would take them to local restaurants and let them order one or two of Nasi Goreng choices available.
One of the most versatile dishes Nasi Goreng can be eaten as a meal on its own or with other dishes.
Types of Nasi Goreng in Malaysia
Most of the menu in Malay warungs is in Malay without English translation or illustrations.
So, if you’re traveling to Malaysia for the first time, this will help you decide what to order.
Here are the most common types of fried rice in Malaysia, with photos. I will add on more types as I try the dish when I travel around Malaysia.
You will be able to impress your Malaysian friends and the restaurant staff with your outstanding knowledge of Nasi Goreng when you place an order.
Chinese Style Nasi Goreng in Malaysia
1. Nasi Goreng Biasa (Normal Fried Rice)
Nasi Goreng Biasa is the purest rice fried with some soy sauce to add color and flavor.
Most versions don’t include eggs or chili.normally served for breakfast.
2. Nasi Goreng Cina (Yong Chow Fried Rice)
Nasi Goreng Cina is cooked with scrambled eggs and frozen mixed veggie (green peas, diced carrot, and sweet corn).
This is the least spicy version as it is cooked without any sauce other than a dash of sesame oil.
If you’re averse to spicy food, this should be your safest choice.
You can order this for children.
Those craving for some flavor may request for chili and soy sauce to be served on the side.
3. Nasi Goreng Ladna
Nasi Goreng Ladna is fried rice served with a side of seafood and vegetables (usually cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, and tomato).
The gooey gravy is made of oyster sauce and thickened with cornstarch.
Sometimes it is also poured on top of the rice.
The Chinese version is called Lam Pui (Fried Gravy Rice) or Chinese Style White Rice With Nutritious Gravy – Mui Fan, aka Lam Fan (Cantonese).
If you like to eat your rice wet or swimming in gravy, you will enjoy this.
Mamak Style Nasi Goreng in Malaysia
4. Nasi Goreng Mamak (Mamak Fried Rice)
Nasi Goreng Mamak almost always tastes of curry.
A spicy version contains tofu, fish cakes, and — most importantly — Maggi instant-noodle curry powder.
Malay Style Nasi Goreng in Malaysia
5. Nasi Goreng Kampung (Village Style Fried Rice)
Nasi Goreng Kampung is cooked with soy sauce, bird’s eye chili (very tiny but spicy), Kangkong (Water spinach), blended shrimp paste, and anchovies a dash of spiciness from chilies.
Unlike other types of nasi goreng, this one does not contain eggs.
6. Nasi Goreng Ikan Masin (Salted Fish Fried Rice)
Nasi Goreng Ikan Masin is fried with pungent Salted Fish.
Malaysians have an affinity for strong-smelling food and love ingredients like Belacan, Prawn Paste, Budu, and our national fruit — the infamous durian.
7. Nasi Goreng U.S.A.
Nasi Goreng U.S.A. doesn’t have any American influence. The U.S.A. originally meant for ‘Udang’ (Prawn), ‘Sotong’ (Squid), and ‘Ayam’ (Chicken).
For some reason, this dish has evolved into something different from its name.
Now, if you order Nasi Goreng U.S.A., you will have a choice of two types of meat: beef or chicken.
The fried rice will be cooked in very spicy red sauce and served with a sunny-side-up egg.
8. Nasi Goreng Pattaya
Nasi goreng Pattaya is plain fried rice wrapped in a thin omelet and drizzled with chili sauce. It is not a Thai dish.
Thai Style Nasi Goreng in Malaysia
9. Nasi Goreng Paprik (Padprik Fried Rice)
Nasi Goreng Paprik originates from Thailand. The word ‘paprik’ is a combination of two Thai words: ‘pad’ (fried), and ‘prik’ (chili).
Nasi Goreng Paprik is served with a side of vegetables and chicken, cooked in sauteed chili paste.
10. Nasi Goreng Tom Yam (Tom Yam Fried Rice) Thai Influence
Nasi Goreng Tom Yam is fried with Thai Tom Yam paste, lemongrass, fish sauce, and lime to give it that distinct Thai flavor.
This dish contains seafood.
11. Nasi Goreng Nanas (Pineapple Fried Rice)
Nasi Goreng Nanas has the lovely flavor of pineapple, with a slight curry flavor.
The tangy and sweet pineapple with the spices added gives a refreshing twist to an ordinary fried rice dish.
Most Thai restaurants in Malaysia serve this Thai style fried rice in a pineapple bowl.
Unique Fried Rice
12. Nasi Lemak Goreng (Nasi Lemak Fried Rice)
Instead of plain white rice, fragrant Nasi Lemak is fried with Sambal Belacan, Anchovies, julienned Cabbage, and topped with a sunny-side-up egg.
Chinese Style Fried Rice
13. Nasi Goreng Belacan (Belacan Fried Rice)
The flavor in this easy Malaysian fried rice dish comes from two ingredients – Dried Shrimp and Belacan (Shrimp Block).
14. Nasi Goreng Sambal Tumis (Sambal Fried Rice)
Nasi Goreng Sambal Tumis chief ingredients are the Sambal Paste, Belacan, and pounded Red Chillies, Shallots, Garlic with Frozen Veggies, Mackerel, and Eggs.
This fried rice is best when paired with fish, specifically oily fish like Mackerel.
15. Nasi Goreng Nyonya (Nyonya Fried Rice)
This easy Nasi Goreng Nyonya is a favorite of the Peranakan household and contains prawns, dried prawns (rehydrated and pounded), shallots, Sambal Belachan, Eggs, and shallots.
There are very few places that sell this dish and is something the Baba Nyonya makes at home as comfort food.
Now that you are an expert on Malaysian nasi goreng go ahead and order yourself one. But where can you find them?
Just go to any Malay restaurant. Some Mamak restaurants also serve Malay food.
The nasi goreng dishes are usually only available in the evening though – from 6 pm onwards.
Let me know your favorite Nasi Goreng in Malaysia or which you want to try cooking at home. I’ll link you to some great recipes!