National Dish of Malaysia – Nasi Lemak
|jasmine rice||3 cups|
|pandan leaves (fresh or frozen)||10|
|stalks lemongrass (white part only, sliced)||1-2|
|red shallot (peeled and halved)||1|
|pieces (5mm) slices of ginger||2|
|salt||1 ½ tsp.|
|coconut cream||¾ cup|
|ikan bilis (dried anchovies)||¾ cup|
|vegetable oil||2 cups|
|cucumber (halved lengthways and sliced into 5 mm pieces)||1|
|salted beer nuts||¾ cup|
|hardboiled eggs (sliced)||4|
Nasi Lemak is Malaysia’s national dish. The name of the dish translates to “creamy rice.” It is a fragrant, coconut-infused rice dish and is traditionally served with sambal (a spicy paste), fried anchovies, cucumber slices, and hard-boiled eggs. This popular dish is sold throughout Malaysia, at markets, food courts, and roadside stalls. Customarily, Nasi Lemak is packaged in a banana leaf.
Directions for Preparing Nasi Lemak
- Rinse the rice and let soak overnight in a bowl of water, then drain and set aside.
- Line a bamboo steamer or steam pot with the pandan leaves.
- Add the lemongrass, shallot, and ginger to the steamer and position the vessel comfortably over a wok or pot.
- In a separate bowl, mix the rice with salt, sugar, and coconut cream.
- Pour the rice mixture into the steamer, cover, and cook for about twenty-five (0:25) minutes or until the rice is soft, then set aside.
- Fry the Ikan Bilis in vegetable oil over medium-high heat until crispy and golden then set them aside on paper towels.
- Line the serving plates with banana leaves and baste them with a little vegetable oil for a traditional Malaysian touch.
- Divide the rice equally and place it onto each serving plate.
- Serve the rice with Ikan Bilis, slices of cucumber, nuts, and slices of hardboiled egg.