Malaysian Cuisine - Rice & Noodle


July 18, 2017 | Recipe by Bake with Paws

Nasi lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf (screw-pined leaf) commonly found in Malaysia, where it is considered the national dish.  It is served with a hot spicy sauce (sambal), and usually include various garnishes, including fresh cucumber slices, fried anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, and hard-boiled or fried egg.

This is my own Nasi Lemak recipe. My mother in-law is quite anti-belacan as she regards belacan as somewhat unhealthy given we really do not know how it was processed. To accommodate her, I have been cooking a sambal without belacan and the sambal works just as well for Nasi Lemak. In this recipe, I did not use any tamarind juice or belacan. However, unlike the usual sambal, I added a few additional ingredients like galangal, fresh turmeric and lemon grass. I also substituted tamarind juice, using lime juice instead. The result is a sambal that is delicate, clean tasting and refreshingly citrusy.

For people who might be more health conscious, the prawn may also be omitted from the sambal paste.

I must say the rice turned out perfectly with each grain distinct and just cooked. I also fried the anchovies using the Air-Fyer with very little oil making this an even healthier plate of food. I am very pleased with the result and the entire family enjoyed it tremendously.

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Recipe - Nasi Lemak

Serves: 6 


Coconut Milk Rice (Nasi Lemak)

3 cups Long Grain Rice, washed and drained
4 pandan leaves (screw-pined leaves), washed and knotted
1 ½ cups coconut milk
1 ½ cups water
1 ¼ tsp sea salt

Prawn Sambal

250g prawn (remove sell. But, leave the tail in place)
2 large red onion, cut half and sliced thinly
2 tbsp brown sugar
Juice from 1 ½ lime
2 tsp sea salt
½ cup cooking oil
1 cup water

Paste Ingredients (to be finely ground):
15 shallots, peeled
4 cloves garlic
10 chillies
1” fresh galangal (blue ginger)
1” fresh ginger
1” fresh turmeric
3 lemon grass

2 tbsp of chilli boh (dried chilli paste)

Other Ingredients:

100 g dried anchovies (Coated with very little oil and fry with Air Fryer until crispy and golden brown)
1 cucumber, sliced
Roasted peanuts (Roasted with Air Fryer)
6 hard-boiled eggs, halved
Banana leaves (optional)


Coconut Milk Rice (Nasi Lemak)

  1. Place all the ingredients in a rice cooker and cook the rice.
  2. Once the button auto switched to “keep warm”. Then fluff up the rice with a fork or chopsticks and and keep the rice warm in the rice cooker.
Prawn Sambal

  1. Heat cooking oil in a wok, add paste ingredients and chilli boh. Stir fry till fragrant.
  2. Add in prawns, stir fry till cooked.
  3. Add sliced onions and cook until soft. Then add in lime juice, brown sugar, water and add salt to taste.
  4. Simmer in low heat and cook until liquid is reduced. Add more water if too dry.
  5. Dish out and serve with Nasi Lemak (coconut rice).