In this chilly season, find a piece of tropical respite in the bold and warming flavours of a traditional Indonesian dish.


  • 300 g medium-grain black rice
  • 625 ml water
  • 60 ml peanut oil
  • 500 g tempeh crumbled finely
  • 3 fresh, long red chillies, seeded and sliced
  • 5 shallots, chopped finely
  • 3 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 cm-piece fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 450 g green cabbage, shredded finely
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil, extra
  • 80 ml kecap manis
  • 2 medium limes, quartered
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 80 g bean sprouts
  • 80 g fresh coriander


  1. Bring the rice and water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Cover; simmer for 20 minutes or until just tender. Remove from heat; stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Spread rice out on a large tray; refrigerate until cold.
  2. Heat half the oil in a wok over a high heat. Stir-fry the tempeh for 6 minutes or until golden; season during cooking. Remove tempeh from wok with a slotted spoon; drain on a paper towel.
  3. Reserve a quarter of the chilli for serving. Heat the remaining oil in wok over high heat; stir-fry shallots and remaining chilli for 2 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and ginger; stir-fry until fragrant. Add the cabbage; stir-fry for 3 minutes or until tender. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  4. Heat the extra peanut oil in the wok; stir-fry cooled rice for 4 minutes or until golden. Add kecap manis; stir-fry until combined.
  5. Return cabbage mixture to wok, squeeze in juice from reserved lime centres. Toss through three-quarters each of the green onion and tempeh, then bean sprouts and chopped coriander. Season to taste.
  6. Serve nasi goreng with remaining tempeh, reserved chilli, remaining green onion and coriander. Top with lime cheeks or wedges.


You can use soy sauce with a little maple syrup or brown or coconut sugar if you don’t have kecap manis. To make the nasi goreng, you can also use red brown or long-grain white rice, or any leftover cooked rice.

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