Sunday, 1 November 2015

Nasi Lemak (Malaysian Coconut Rice)


I can't believe I've had this blog for over 6 years and am only now posting this recipe (how dare I call myself a Malaysian home cook?!) Thank you Alex for asking for it today and prodding me into action!

If you don't know what Malaysia's explosively delicious default national dish of Nasi Lemak is, with its crazy good combination of spicy-salty-sweet-crunchy-aromatic flavors and textures, not to mention its burst of gorgeous colors, good old Wikipedia has a great rundown here. 

My picture above shows it not only with its traditional sides of crispy anchovies, roasted redskin peanuts, cucumber slices, egg and of course the crucial sambal by which all Nasi Lemak is judged, but also with two pieces of my Malay spiced fried chicken, which is this household's idea of the perfect protein accompaniment. You can, of course, choose instead to do a chicken curry, beef rendangvegetable pickle or any other spicy seafood or meat you want. The links above take you to my own personal recipes, but of course you can do whatever you wish.

Nasi Lemak tastes amazing in all its variations, so don't be afraid to go all out and serve four dishes with it, or enjoy just its basic form like the little banana-leaf wrapped bundles we find on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. 

Selamat makan as we say in Malaysia!

Nasi Lemak (Malaysian Coconut Rice)
Serves 4

2 cups white rice, washed and drained
1 cup coconut milk
2 or 3 pandan leaves, knotted
A few slices of ginger
A stick of lemongrass, cut into 1-inch lengths and smashed
A tiny sprinkle of fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste
Some water

Combine all the ingredients above in a rice cooker. Add just enough water to the 2 cup marker, or until the water level is 1/2 inch above the rice (a helpful guide if you're making rice on the stove). Cook as usual, and fluff up with a paddle or fork before serving.

The Accompaniments
  • Ikan bilis (anchovies): Deep fry some dried anchovies over medium-high heat until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels. 
  • Peanuts: Toast some redskin peanuts in a sauce pan (or in the oven if you prefer) with a tiny bit of oil, until fragrant and deeper red. Sprinkle with salt and a bit of sugar.
  • Cucumber slices: Self-explanatory:)
  • Sambal: See my recipe here, or if you're too lazy you can order it from me here.

 Arrange prettily on a plate and enjoy!


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