Nasi Campur: A Mystery Buffet

By Mark Wiens 1 Comment

I had yet another expression of “edible perfection,” this time in the form of Nasi Campur in Indonesia.  Nasi Campur is simply what you want to eat in Indonesia.  Nasi means rice and campur means mixed.  Put together you have mixed rice, basically translating to a pile of white rice accompanied by a mixture of various sensational proteins, some random vegetation, and chili peppers.  There is hardly any room for error.


I was first introduced to nasi campur at the volcanic lake of Toba.  The buffet like assortment caught my eye and I was soon devouring unhealthy amounts of fish curry, greens in coconut, fried tofu, fried soybeans, eggs, and sambal smothered (ground garlic and chili’s) all over it.

Nasi campur is always a random assortment of the food available for the particular day, recooked leftovers, or even food that has been sitting unrefrigerated for too long.  The assortment of dished is so different from eatery to eatery that Bali Blog suggests that no two nasi campur eateries will serve the exact same thing.


Nasi campur is served all over Indonesia and especially at streetstalls and rather non-fancy restaurants.  Nasi padang is a popular mixture of campur, influenced by the area of Padang in Sumatra.  That being said, every island and area has a different flare of campur or what could be said as a different mix of mixtures.  Whatever mix of mixtures, one thing can be safely assumed, nasi campur will be a tasty experience in Indonesia.  At $1-2 per meal depending on the amount of meat, nasi campur also fits into the budget.


What ever you don’t do in Indonesia, make sure that eating nasi campur is not on the list.  If you are travelling for 2 months throughout Indonesia or spending 2 days in a Balinese resort, do yourself a favor, and grab a few plates of nasi campur.

I would recommend a cup of hot tea to ease the grease at the end of a nasi campur stuffing.

-Mark Wiens