Nasi Lemak (Coconut Milk Rice) 椰浆饭

by Angie Liew
Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) 椰浆饭 - feature photo

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Nasi Lemak (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) 椰浆饭

Undoubtedly Malaysia’s Most Famous Dish: Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Milk Rice 椰浆饭) is undoubtedly the national dish that represents Malaysia and most probably the most popular traditional dish in Malaysia, to locals and foreigners alike. It is one dish that binds everyone together, despite the wide diversity of cultures and cuisines in Malaysia.

A truly remarkable Nasi Lemak (Coconut Milk Rice) is not to be taken lightly. It constitutes of good quality rice cooked in rich and creamy coconut milk with screw pine leaves infused during the cooking process. This is key to create the best flavours and texture in the nasi lemak rice. Hence, much effort is required to prepare this legendary dish.

Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe 椰浆饭叁巴

Key Components Of A Plate Of Traditional Nasi Lemak

Sambal ikan bilis is a very important component for the cooking of Nasi Lemak. It is a vital accompaniment and a MUST have dish for Nasi Lemak (Coconut Milk Rice).

To make the sambal, first fry the dried anchovies and then cook them with a spice paste, tamarind juice and the flavourful shrimp paste. And what we have is a much craved for anchovy dish, sambal ikan bilis.

Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Rice) 椰浆饭 - Feature photo

Ways To Enjoy A Truly Authentic Nasi Lemak

A typical plate of Nasi Lemak is served alongside fried anchovies, roasted peanuts, sliced cucumber, hard-boiled eggs and an addictive spicy sambal. For more elaborate versions, spicy fried chicken, chicken rendang, curry chicken are also included. See recipes below for perfect accompaniments to the classic nasi lemak.

Related recipes can be found here:

Ayam Goreng Berempah (Malay Spiced Fried Chicken)

Traditional Malaysian Chicken Rendang (Rendang Ayam)

Home Style Chicken Curry

As always, ENJOY!

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Nasi Lemak (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) 椰浆饭

Recipe by Huang Kitchen, Angie Liew
Nasi Lemak (Coconut Milk Rice) is a popular dish in Malaysia. It is usually served with a spicy sambal, sliced cucumber, deep-fried anchovies, fried peanuts and hard-boiled eggs.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Keyword: Coconut Milk
Servings: 10 persons

Ingredients

Coconut Milk Rice

  • 1 kg rice, preferably basmati rice, 5 1/2 cups
  • 6 cups water
  • 200 ml Thick coconut milk, 1 coconut
  • 3 pandan leaves/screwpine leaves, knotted and slightly bruised
  • 2 stick lemongrass, crushed
  • 1 ginger, crushed
  • 1 tsp sugar, to taste
  • 2 tsp salt, to taste

Sambal Ikan Bilis (Chilli Anchovies)

  • 3 cups ikan bilis (dried anchovies)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 clove garlic
  • 12 shallots
  • 30 dried chillies, or 150ml chilli paste
  • 3 tsp belacan (prawn paste)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 red onions, cut into rings
  • 1 tamarind pulp, 3 ping pong size
  • 3 cups water, soaked tamarind pulp

Other Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, hard boiled, cut into halves
  • 1 cucumber, cut into slices
  • 2 cups Peanuts

    Instructions

    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - rinse rice
      First rinse the rice and drained.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - drained rice
      Place the drained rice in a rice cooker.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - thick coconut milk
      Pour 50ml (1/4) of the thick coconut milk into a measuring cup.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - dilute santan with water
      Then dilute with some water.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - add salt sugar
      Add in salt and sugar and stir to mix.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - pour coconut milk
      Pour the coconut milk mixture into the drained rice in the rice cooker.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - add water
      Add in additional water to make sure the volume of the watery coconut milk is the same as the rice in volume. (Altogether is about 6 cups).
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - add spices
      Lastly add in crushed ginger, lemongrass and screw pine leaves.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - cook rice
      Switch on the rice cooker and cook the rice
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - add more coconut milk
      When the rice reaches warming stage, add the balance (150ml) of the thick coconut milk.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - continue cooking
      Stir the rice. Close the lid and continue cooking until done.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - fluff up rice
      Fluff up the rice and serve it hot.
    • Nasi Lemak (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice)
      Then prepare to cook the sambal by having ready the ingredients needed.
    • Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe - blend dried chilli
      Blend soaked and deseeded dried chillies to chilli paste and put aside.
    • Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe - blend shallot garlic
      Next, blend together shallots and garlic and set aside for later use.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - rinse anchovies
      Rinse the dried anchovies in cold water and leave to dry thoroughly.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - fry anchovies
      Heat some oil in wok until almost smoking and fry the anchovies over low heat until they turn light brown and crisps. Strain and set aside.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - set aside portion of fried anchovies
      Put aside a portion of the fried anchovies as a side dish to serve with the nasi lemak.
    • Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe - slice onion rings
      Slice the onions into rings.
    • Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe - tamarind pulp
      Soak the tamarind pulp in water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind to extract the flavour into the water. Using a strainer, drain the pulp and keep the tamarind juice.
    • Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe - fry prawn paste
      To fry the sambal, first heat some oil in wok. Add in the prawn paste and fry until it releases its flavour.
    • Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe - add chilli spice paste
      Then add in chilli and spice paste and fry until fragrant.
    • Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe - add onion anchovies
      Add in the onion rings followed by the fried dried anchovies and stir well.
    • Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe - add tamarind juice
      Then add in the tamarind juice.
    • Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe - season salt sugar
      Next, season with salt and sugar.
    • Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe - simmer
      Simmer over low heat until gravy thickens and we're done!
    • Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe 椰浆饭叁巴
      Set aside to be served at room temperature alongside the steamed coconut milk rice.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - rinse peanuts
      Rinse the raw peanuts and drain the water.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - fry peanuts
      Heat a clean wok until it begins to smoke. Put raw peanuts (and salt/ optional) in to fry. Lower the heat and stir fry constantly for 5 minutes.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - add oil
      Add in a drop or two of vegetable oil and continue to fry with a quick to and fro motion until they begin to turn brown and coated with the oil.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - set aside
      Remove and set aside to be served with the nasi lemak.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - boil eggs
      To make the perfect hard boiled eggs, first pour water into a pot.  Add the eggs. Then switch on the flame. At boiling point, cover the pot and switch off the flame and let cook for another 15 minutes. To keep the yolk in the centre for better presentation, stir the pot occasionally when the egg is cooking.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - halve eggs
      Remove the egg shells when they are still warm. Using a sharp knife, slice the eggs in halves when they have cooled to ensure that the yolks are sliced smoothly. Then set aside to serve with the hot coconut milk rice.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) - cut cucumber
      For cucumber, try to use the local variety. Cut off both ends and peel the cucumber. Then slice into thick slices. There is no need to remove the seeds.
    • Nasi Lemak Recipe (Coconut Milk Steamed Rice) 椰浆饭 - feature photo
      And we're done! Dish up the hot coconut milk rice on a plate and serve alongside with all the others. Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Notes

It’s important to note that you must not add in ALL the thick coconut milk right at the start. Otherwise the oil in the coconut cream will prevent the rice grain from cooking properly.
Rule of thumb:
For 1 kg of rice use 200 ml of thick coconut milk (1 coconut). However, use 50ml with water to cook first. Then the balance during warming stage. Also sufficient salt is necessary (2 teaspoon).
You can also serve the fried anchovies and the sambal separately.

Leave a Comment

7 comments

The Suave October 23, 2020 - 10:21 pm

Thank you for your guidance. Nicely done. Turns out very well for me. Every guest of mine had a lovely time with the wonderful dish. Thanks.

Reply
Angie Liew October 24, 2020 - 2:55 pm

Great you and your guests enjoyed the dish. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are most welcome too.

Reply
Paul June 22, 2020 - 10:26 pm

Hello, just using a rice cooker change the recipe, or ingredient proportions in anyway for the coconut rice part of your recipe? Thank you!

Reply
Yeo Chong Pin June 6, 2020 - 12:18 am

For a beginner, a simple recipe, step by step with photos, this is very helpful,

Reply
miko June 6, 2020 - 8:20 am

Thanks for your comment.

Reply
Azman aziz March 7, 2016 - 12:40 am

This is how it spell basmati not brasmati?

Reply
Angie Liew March 7, 2016 - 11:19 am

Hi Azman, thank you for pointing that out and for visiting my website 🙂

Reply

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