Nasi lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf commonly found in Malaysia, where it is considered the national dish. This traditional Malaysian favourite offers sambal, ikan bilis (anchovies), peanuts and boiled egg. Nasi Lemak stalls can be found serving them with fried egg, chicken/beef rendang, sambal kerang (cockles) – a local favourite, sambal squid, sambal fish, squid fritters or even fried chicken or fish. It can be consumed for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, dinner and even supper. [Wikipedia]
To make this traditional Malaysian nasi lemak this is what I did…..
For the steamed coconut rice
1 cup of rice
1 cup of coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 inch of ginger, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
Note: nasi lemak coconut rice is usually cooked with pandan leaves or screwpine leaves tied in knots. I didn’t have any so did not use them. If you do have them use two in the above recipe.
Rinse the rice twice and drain. Put in a saucepan with the coconut milk, water, ginger, garlic and onion (and pandanus leaves), cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Remove from the heat and leave covered until serving.
For the sambal ikan bilis (Anchovy Sambal)
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup ikan bilis (dried anchovies)
1 clove garlic
10 dried chillies (deseeded)
1 teaspoon of belacan (prawn paste)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
Rinse the dried anchovies and drain the water. Fry the anchovies until they turn light brown and put aside. Pound the prawn paste together with shallots, garlic, and dried chilies with a mortar and pestle. You can also grind them with a food processor.
Slice the red onion into rings.
Soak the tamarind pulp in water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind constantly to extract the flavor into the water. Drain the pulp and save the tamarind juice.
Heat some oil in a pan and fry the spice paste until fragrant.
Add in the onion rings.
Add in the ikan bilis and stir well.
Add tamarind juice, salt, and sugar to taste.
Simmer on low heat until the gravy thickens. Set aside.
Note: Original recipe uses 1 cup ikan bilis. I only used 1/2 cup of ikan bilis because I like to serve it with lots of crispy fried ikan bilis on the side.
Sambal recipe from – http://rasamalaysia.com/nasi-lemak-recipe/2
slices of cucumber
deep fried crispy ikan bilis
grape tomatoes halved
hard boiled egg, halved
Note: I used a Chinese tea egg that I had made earlier hence the dark colour of egg in the photo. Click here for the Chinese tea egg recipe.
Note: l found the Belacan easily in Malaysia. I’m not sure how one would go in Australia or other western country. Try the Asian grocers. I think other shrimp paste would work fine in the recipe.