Bubur Nasi Kosong: A Staple of Indonesian Cuisine

Bubur nasi kosong, a simple yet comforting Indonesian dish, holds a special place in the culinary traditions of the archipelago. Made from humble ingredients like rice and water, this porridge-like dish has a rich cultural significance and offers a versatile base for countless variations.

Its simplicity belies a complex history and nutritional value, making bubur nasi kosong a beloved staple that transcends regional boundaries.

Definition of Bubur Nasi Kosong

Bubur nasi kosong, also known as plain rice porridge, is a simple yet comforting Indonesian dish made from rice and water.

It is a staple food in many Indonesian households and is often served as a breakfast or light meal.

Ingredients and Cooking Methods

Bubur nasi kosong is made with just a few simple ingredients:

  • Rice
  • Water

The rice is cooked in a large pot of water until it is soft and mushy. The porridge is then simmered until it reaches the desired consistency.

Bubur nasi kosong can be served plain or with a variety of toppings, such as:

  • Fried shallots
  • Crunchy peanuts
  • Soy sauce
  • Sambal

Cultural Significance

Bubur nasi kosong holds a significant place in Indonesian culinary tradition. It serves as a staple food in many households and plays a crucial role in various cultural ceremonies and festivals.

Religious Ceremonies, Bubur nasi kosong

Bubur nasi kosong is often prepared and consumed during religious festivals, particularly during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. It is considered a comforting and nourishing dish that helps break the fast during the evening.

During the Javanese tradition of Nyadran, a ritual feast honoring ancestors, bubur nasi kosong is served as an offering. It symbolizes the purity and simplicity of the deceased’s souls.

Nutritional Value

Bubur nasi kosong

Bubur nasi kosong offers a basic nutritional profile that primarily consists of carbohydrates, providing energy to the body. Let’s delve into a detailed breakdown of its macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals, along with their potential health benefits and limitations.


  • Carbohydrates:The main component of bubur nasi kosong, carbohydrates provide the body with energy. However, it is important to note that the glycemic index of bubur nasi kosong is relatively high, which means it can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.

  • Protein:Bubur nasi kosong contains a small amount of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues. However, it is not a complete protein source, meaning it does not contain all the essential amino acids the body needs.
  • Fat:Bubur nasi kosong is low in fat, which can be beneficial for those looking to maintain a healthy weight.

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine):Bubur nasi kosong contains a good amount of vitamin B1, which is essential for energy production and nerve function.
  • Iron:Bubur nasi kosong is a good source of iron, which is essential for red blood cell production and oxygen transport throughout the body.
  • Calcium:Bubur nasi kosong contains a small amount of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth.

Potential Health Benefits

  • Energy source:The carbohydrates in bubur nasi kosong provide a quick source of energy, making it a suitable food for breakfast or as a snack before physical activity.
  • Digestive health:The bland nature of bubur nasi kosong makes it easy to digest, which can be beneficial for those with digestive issues.


  • High glycemic index:As mentioned earlier, the high glycemic index of bubur nasi kosong can lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, which can be a concern for those with diabetes or prediabetes.
  • Incomplete protein source:The low protein content and incomplete amino acid profile of bubur nasi kosong mean it should not be relied upon as the sole source of protein in a balanced diet.

Variations and Regional Differences: Bubur Nasi Kosong

Bubur kosong mudah masak bulan bayi nasi beras

Bubur nasi kosong, despite its simplicity, exhibits diverse variations across Indonesia’s culinary landscape. Regional preferences and cultural influences shape unique interpretations of this humble dish, resulting in a spectrum of flavors, ingredients, and textures.

The following table presents some notable variations of bubur nasi kosong found in various regions:

Region Name Unique Characteristics
Jakarta Bubur Ayam Topped with shredded chicken, fried shallots, and crispy wontons
Surabaya Bubur Pecel Served with a flavorful peanut sauce and vegetables
Malang Bubur Arema Accompanied by a spicy sauce made with tomatoes and chili peppers
Bali Bubur Bali Incorporates traditional Balinese spices and herbs, giving it a distinctive aroma
Aceh Bubur Kanji Rumbi Made with glutinous rice and served with a savory beef broth

Cooking Techniques

Bubur nasi kalori polos ayam kreasi bervariasi

Cooking bubur nasi kosong is a straightforward process that requires patience and attention to detail. Follow these steps to achieve the perfect consistency and flavor:


  • 1 cup (200g) jasmine rice
  • 6 cups (1.5 liters) water
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • Optional: 1 pandan leaf (for aroma)


  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear.
  2. Combine the rice, water, salt, and pandan leaf (if using) in a large pot.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and has absorbed all the water.
  5. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, remove from heat and let it stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

Tips for Achieving the Desired Consistency

  • For a thicker porridge, add less water (5 cups instead of 6).
  • For a thinner porridge, add more water (7 cups instead of 6).
  • If the porridge becomes too thick, add more boiling water and stir until desired consistency is achieved.
  • If the porridge becomes too thin, continue to simmer over low heat until excess water evaporates.
  • Tips for Enhancing Flavor

    • Add a pinch of turmeric powder for a golden color and earthy flavor.
    • Add a few drops of sesame oil for a nutty flavor.
    • Garnish with fried shallots or scallions for a crispy texture and extra flavor.
    • Serving Suggestions

      Bubur nasi kosong is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a complete meal or as a side dish. When served as a complete meal, it is often paired with various side dishes and condiments to enhance its flavor and nutritional value.

      As a side dish, bubur nasi kosong can complement grilled meats, curries, and stews. It can also be used as a base for adding other ingredients, such as vegetables, eggs, or meat, to create a more substantial dish.

      Traditional Accompaniments

      • Sambal: A spicy condiment made from chili peppers, shallots, garlic, and other ingredients. It adds a kick of heat and flavor to bubur nasi kosong.
      • Kecap manis: A sweet soy sauce that adds a rich, savory flavor to the dish.
      • Emping: Thin, crispy crackers made from melinjo nuts. They provide a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor.
      • Serundeng: Grated coconut that has been fried with spices and sugar. It adds a sweet and savory flavor to bubur nasi kosong.
      • Telur asin: Salted duck eggs that add a salty and creamy flavor to the dish.

      Serving Ideas

      • As a breakfast meal: Serve bubur nasi kosong with a fried egg, sambal, and kecap manis.
      • As a lunch or dinner meal: Pair bubur nasi kosong with grilled chicken, vegetables, and sambal.
      • As a side dish: Serve bubur nasi kosong alongside curries, stews, or grilled meats.
      • As a base for other dishes: Add vegetables, eggs, or meat to bubur nasi kosong to create a more substantial meal.


      Whether enjoyed as a comforting meal or as a blank canvas for culinary creativity, bubur nasi kosong embodies the essence of Indonesian cuisine: simple, flavorful, and deeply rooted in tradition.

      Expert Answers

      What is bubur nasi kosong?

      Bubur nasi kosong is a simple Indonesian dish made from rice porridge.

      What are the cultural significance of bubur nasi kosong?

      Bubur nasi kosong is a staple food in Indonesia and is often served during traditional ceremonies and festivals.

      What are the nutritional value of bubur nasi kosong?

      Bubur nasi kosong is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber.

      How do you cook bubur nasi kosong?

      To cook bubur nasi kosong, simply combine rice and water in a pot and cook until the rice is soft and porridge-like.