Old-Fashioned Bali Fried Rice

Delicious! Did you know that the original ancient rice in the world was dark red in color? This nutrient-dense, low-carb meal was common in Bali before colonial times, called “nasi goreng”.  For me it was an eye-opening discovery that red rice has over 5X more nutrients than white rice. Yikes! That’s because polished rice is stripped of its nutritious outer layer of vitamins and minerals during processing, which makes it white.

Red rice is so filling, you’ll eat less and be more satisfied. Although red rice is more expensive than white rice, it is so rich in nutrition, you won’t eat as much. Your stomach will feel full with a smaller serving, and the nutrition will stay with you for many hours. So, eating red rice you can save money and even help lose weight.

Red rice has a rich, nutty flavor. It is very low in sugar and doesn’t cause inflammation. Sadly, white rice is now the most common food in people’s everyday diet. But the high-sugar content and mineral deficiencies in processed rice are causing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. How many people do you know that have these common health problems? Tip: To cook red rice, you must soak it 8-24 hours to remove hard bitter coatings. After soaking, rinse it well to wash away the seed coatings. Our great grandmothers did this every day. After soaking and rinsing, it is easy to cook and tastes delicious.


  1. Soak 1 cup dark red rice in water 8-24 hours or overnight.
    After soaking, drain the rice, and rinse with clean water.
    This removes bitter coatings and makes it easier to digest and cook.
  2. Cook the rice with 2.5 cups water in a rice cooker for about 40 minutes.
    Add 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. After the rice is cooked, make fried rice:
    In a large skillet or wok, saute until a little soft and tasty:
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil
    • Mixed bumbu lenkap or any spice mix you like
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 1/2 inches ginger root, chopped
    • 2 red onions, chopped
    • Any vegetables you like, such as 2 green onions, 1/2 cup celery, 1/2 carrot, handful spinach or green beans.
    • 1/2 teaspoon unprocessed salt, or more to taste
    4. Add cooked red rice to the above. Heat and add any spices you like. Serve!

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, red rice is a high-vitamin and filling meal.
Lama D eats red rice with a whole red pepper. And his phone in hand!

Red Rice

My favorite source is Heirloom Red Rice from Dragon Herbs. It’s a deep dark red color.

A traditional Bali breakfast, lunch, or dinner is fried red rice with egg sunny-side up. It’s called “Nasi Goreng Merah dengan telur, mata sapi setengah matan”.

This is the old-fashioned way to hull the rice. WOW – it was very labor-intensive! But fortunately for the people, this way keeps it the red outer layer containing all the vitamins and minerals, so the people did not get diabetes. Nowadays we use cheap hulling machines that strip all the vitamins and mineral away into the garbage. Why do we do that? The solution is to use a high-quality rice hulling machine, so we can and enjoy its dark red flavor and nutrition.

Vast rice paddies extend for miles across the landscape of Bali.

2 Replies to "Old-Fashioned Bali Fried Rice"

  • comment-avatar
    Eka August 14, 2022 (10:20 pm)

    I love red rice and cooked twice a week …

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy August 26, 2022 (10:53 pm)

      Thank you for your comment, Eka. Now I see why you are so very beautiful and healthy! Jane

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