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Nasi Goreng Pattaya

Rachel Brown from United States

10 minutes
Cooks in
10 minutes
Country of origin

On a recent trip to Malaysia, I ventured out of the hotel one rainy night to find some dinner. Instead of heading the direction I’d walked several other times, I went the other way and found a little tin-roof-covered, open-air restaurant with a few families eating and waiting for their food. The entire menu was in Malaysian and I was having trouble communicating with the proprietor about what I wanted when a bilingual Malaysian couple came to my rescue. I asked them what I should get and they said Nasi Goreng Pattaya. Not being picky, I let them order for me and then they invited me to sit with them while we all waited for our food. We chatted about what brought us from opposite sides of the world into the same tiny restaurant on this rainy night, marveling at the little connections and laughing at the antics of the children at the next table until their food came and we said our goodbyes. I spent the rest of the wait watching the cook with his searing hot wok create first what looked like fried rice, then in a frying pan what looked like an omelet, and finally, what proved to be fried rice IN an omelet. He topped the entire thing with a healthy dose of chili sauce, packed it in Styrofoam, and sent me on my way. I pulled out money to pay and he gestured to where the other family had been sitting, indicating it was all taken care of. That gesture of hospitality so far from home was something I think my parents would have done for a young female traveler in the same situation, and it made me feel like I had family all over the world. The Nasi Goreng Pattaya was perfect for the dark, wet evening, too—all hot and comfort food-y, with a little kick from the chili sauce—and every time I eat it now I remember that couple in Malaysia and the feeling of having family in far-flung places.


  • cooking oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp. onions, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 c.(ish) mixed vegetables (whatever you have is fine – I used frozen mixed corn, beans, carrots, and peas this time)
  • 1/2 – 1 c. leftover rice
  • 1/4 c. cooked chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu, etc. (optional)
  • soy sauce
  • 2-3 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • chili sauce


  • Wait for a rainy afternoon or evening. (This step is optional, but does add a special something to the final dish if you can manage it.)
  • Heat a little oil (about 1 Tbsp.) on medium-high in a frying pan or wok and then add the onions and garlic, cooking about 1 min.
  • Add any carrots (or other uncooked, dense veggies) and cook for 3 more min. or so.
  • Add any other veggies, the meat (if using), and the rice. Drizzle heartily with soy sauce and stir until heated through. Set aside in a small bowl.
  • Add a little more oil to the pan and once it’s heated up, add the beaten egg, twisting and rotating the pan to make an even thin layer on the bottom.
  • When the egg is cooked almost through, invert the bowl of fried rice into the middle and remove the bowl (it’s okay if a little falls out). Carefully fold the edges of the omelet over the fried rice. Put a plate upside down over the omelet and flip the entire pan over while holding the plate, transferring the omelet onto the plate. (Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds.)
  • Drizzle with chili sauce and enjoy while overlooking a wet street (that evidently only allows white and silver cars to park on it).


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