I am talking about what locals called “Nasi Uduk”. Nasi means rice in Indonesian. I honestly don’t know what uduk means. It’s the name for the dish, that’s all I know.

Anyway… Nasi Uduk originated from Jakarta, capital city of Indonesia. It is usually sold as breakfast. But nowadays you can found Nasi Uduk everywhere and for breakfast or dinner.

From the photo, you might think, what is interesting about that plain white rice?

Well, nasi uduk is cooked along with coconut milk, garlic, galangal, bay leaf, and lemongrass. So, it might look ordinary, but the taste… THE TASTE!

This Jakarta’s favorite breakfast usually sold along with various side dish such as (but not limited to) boiled egg, vermicelli, fried tempeh, bakwan, and with peanut sambal. Delicious, satisfying and cheap.

Jakarta’s Favorite Breakfast

You can also find nasi uduk in street vendors at night. They called “Warung Pecel Lele”. And they are EVERYWHERE. At least in Jakarta and its surrounding cities. They sold nasi uduk along with fried chicken or fish, with some cucumbers, and of course, sambal for kick. It’s also pretty cheap. You can get it from IDR 15.000 – 20.000 (around 1 USD).

Warung pecel lele: whereto find Nasi Uduk at night

Fun fact, My mother used to sell Nasi Uduk for breakfast when I was still in University. So I helped her cook this dish a lot back then, at least when I was home.

You can cook Nasi Uduk in a rice cooker. But I find that the texture can be off. Since you cannot stir it inside the rice cooker, you get some very dry rice and some very mushy, if that makes sense.

But hey, you can try! If you wanna use a rice cooker, just put all the ingredients in, and push the button. And you’re done.

Now, the tried and true method is what I’m doing here. First, I cooked all the ingredients in a pot until all the liquid was absorbed. Next, I transferred all those half-cooked rice in a steamer, and I steamed the rice until its fully cooked.

The texture cannot be wrong with this method. And you can cook a lot in one go. But, I know.. more dishes to wash later. Both rice cookers and pot-then-steamer have pros and cons. You choose..

By the way, I cooked traditional fried chicken too as a side dish for the nasi uduk. And the sambal was store-bought. I also plate this differently for my toddler, without sambal!

Below is the recipe for Nasi Uduk.

Stay healthy. Love from Indonesia!

Jakarta's Favorite Breakfast Rice (Nasi Uduk)

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Jakarta's Favorite Breakfast Rice (Nasi Uduk)


  • 2 cups uncooked rice, medium grain
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 stalk lemongrass
  • 5 cm galangal (more or less as big as a thumb)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • (more water for steamer)


  1. Put all the ingredients in a pot.
  2. Cook with medium heat until all liquid absorbed. Rice still half-cooked at this point.
  3. Put enough water in the steamer, bring to a boil.
  4. Transfer the half-cooked “nasi uduk” to the steamer, and steam for 20 minutes. Try some of the rice. Continue steaming if rice still uncooked for another 10 minutes.
  5. If using rice cooker: Put all ingredients in a rice cooker and cook it.