Nasi Lemak is coconut flavored rice meal, which is the national dish of Malaysia. Residents of Malaysia eat this dish very commonly either in breakfast, lunch or dinner. This dish is served in every hook and corner of Malaysia and is available in all the restaurants. It is served with almost anything from beef to chicken to cuttlefish. Nasi Lemak is prepared with pandey leaves, coconut milk, and ginger. The dish is also termed as nasi lemak kukus, implying hot rice based dish.
Nasi Lemak Recipe – Ingredients
The ingredients of nasi lemak include rice, pandan or screwpine leaves, grated coconut, ginger and salt.
Nasi Lemak Recipe – Preparation
The rice are cleaned and the water is drained, coconut milk is squeezed out with the help of pandan leaves and salt is added. Shallot leaves or ginger can also be added. The dish is served with cucumber slices, sambal ikan bilis, roasted peanuts, hot spicy sauce, and sliced boiled eggs. Sambal ikan bilis is a gravy item made up of dried ikan bilis, garlic, shallots, prawn paste, and onions.
Nasi Lemak Recipe- Traditional Use
Traditionally, nasi lemak is served as food platter which is wrapped in banana leaf, with dried anchovies, cucumber slices, boiled eggs, roasted peanuts and spicy sauce. Also, various other dishes like chicken, cuttlefish, pickled vegetables, beef rendang etc are served as accompaniments to nasi lemak. Most of the accompaniments of the rice meal are spicy in traditional terms.
In Malaysia and Singapore, nasi lemak is consumed popularly by the people at any time of the day. In Malaysia, this dish is commonly served in various schools. In both Malaysia and Singapore, the dish is eaten commonly in breakfast and sold in roadside stalls and hawker food outlets. Banana leaf, newspaper or brown paper is used for packing the dish. In several restaurants, this dish is served as platter in a plate as lunch and dinner items.
Nasi Lemak Recipe- Variations
- In Malaysia and Singapore, nasi lemak is available in various versions due to the difference in preparation methods b y various chefs. Due to cultural variations of the chefs, nasi lemak recipe also varies. Various hotels have this dish on their menu card with different elaborate dishes like beef rendang, chicken, fish etc. Most of the hawker outlets in Singapore serve this dish in banana leaves for enhancing their flavor. Lemon grass or ginger is added in few nasi lemak recipes to augment the appeal, taste and flavor.
- Malaysian Indian variation of the dish does not make use of beef.
- In Singapore, fried fish, nuts, eggs, ikan bilis, and cucumber slices are often served with the dish.
- Vegetarian version of nasi lemak is also available in some regions which make use of vegetarian mock anchovies.
- In Singapore Chinese version, the rice based dish is accompanied with curried vegetables, deep fried drumstick, fish cake, chicken franks and luncheon meat.