Nasi Lemak

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Ready : 45 mins [Prep : 10 mins † Cooking : 35 mins]
Serve :  Depending On The Quantity Of Rice
Generic :  Cooking The Rice/Frying Sambal
Level :  Easy
Idle :  NonePrintable Recipe.

An Iconic Delicious Fragrant Rice Dish

“Nasi Lemak” is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and “pandan” leaves (screwpine), commonly found in Malaysia, where it is considered the “de facto” national dish. Traditionally, Nasi Lemak is simply served wrapped in banana leaves, with condiments including cucumber slices, small fried anchovies (Ikan Bilis), roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, and hot spicy sauce (sambal) – eat by hands. As a more substantial meal these days, Nasi Lemak can also come with a variety of other accompaniments such as Ayam Goreng (fried chicken), sambal Sotong (cuttlefish in chillies), Cockles, stir fried water convolvulus (Kangkong), pickled vegetables (Acar), Beef rendang (beef stewed in coconut milk and spices) or Paru (beef lungs). Here’s The Viand’s simple classic version of, Nasi Lemak




  • Soaked Long rice, smashed Ginger, smashed Garlic, Coconut milk and Pandan leaves (Screwpine leaves).


  • Sambal – Ginger, Garlic, Shallots, Chilies paste, red Chilis, Belacan (shrimp paste); all blend into smooth paste.
    Ikan Bilis (Anchovies), Tamarind paste (dissolved in water) and sliced Onions.
  • A couple of hard-boil Eggs.


  • Salt and Sugar. All to taste. *** Note : Just dash of everything, if U prefer a stronger intensity of an ingredient flavor, simply add a little extra of that ingredient/spice/sauce – no rocket scientific measurement here. Always taste your Seasoning !!!



There are two parts in preparation : Fragrant rice and Sambal Ikan Bilis.

  • Step 1 : The Rice – Thoroughly washed Long Grain rice (to get rid of its starch); soaked for at least a few hrs, drained and left out to dry. Set aside.
    This process will help to achieve a pot of extra fluffy rice which is the hallmark of good Nasi Lemak besides its aromatic fragrant.
  • Step 2 : Coconut Milk – U can buy the Can coconut milk, but nothing compares to the freshly squeezed ones.
    Two squeezes : 1st squeeze – without water or very little water to get the concentrated cream (pict – smaller bowl) 2nd squeeze – with the amount (slightly less) of water U need to cook the rice.
  • Step 3 : Using a rice cooker, cook the rice as U normally would but with the 2nd-squeeze of the Coconut milk, Ginger, Garlic, Salt (to taste) and Pandan leaves.
  • Step 4 : Sambal – Meanwhile, saute the blended paste with lots of oil and sliced Onions till aromatic and oil separate to the top – abt 30 mins. Then add Ikan Bilis and saute till aromatic.
  • Step 5 : Add a little water and the Tamarind paste mixture, not too much to avoid over sourness (U can add more later). Bring it to boil. Lower the heat and simmer till slightly thickened to your preferred consistency. Add your normal seasoning, Salt and Sugar. Have a taste to adjust the balance of flavors.
  • Step 6 : When the Rice is done, loosen it by chopstick or fork – never use a scoop or spoon as it will lump up the rice.
    Mix in the Coconut cream (the 1st squeeze), making sure all the grains are coated.
    As U can tell from this image, the Rice is too soft (too much water), U do not want this. It should be fluffy individual grain and NOT lumps.

    Transfer the rice to a plate or better still, a Colander (with a piece of Banana leaf underneath, would be nice) to let the rice cool down by airing it.
  • Step 7 : Plate ur rice with some Sambal Ikan Bilis topping, a piece or two of quartered Hard-boiled Eggs and ur plate of “Nasi Lemak” is ready.
    Some toasted Peanuts and a few pieces of freshly sliced Cucumber will complete the dish.

Copyright © 2014 The VianD · All Rights Reserved

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