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Nasi Lemak Recipe


Recipe: Nasi Lemak

Coconut Milk Steamed Rice

2 cups of rice
3 screwpine leaves (tie them into a knot as shown above)
Salt to taste
1 small can of coconut milk (5.6 oz size)
Some water

Tamarind Juice

1 cup of water
Tamarind pulp (size of a small ping pong ball)

Sambal Ikan Bilis (Dried anchovies sambal)

1/2 red onion
1 cup ikan bilis (dried anchovies)
1 clove garlic
4 shallots
10 dried chillies
1 teaspoon of belacan (prawn paste)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar

Other ingredients

2 hard boiled eggs (cut into half)
3 small fish (sardines or smelt fish)
1 small cucumber (cut into slices and then quartered)

  • Just like making steamed rice, rinse your rice and drain. Add the coconut milk, a pinch of salt, and some water. Add the pandan leaves into the rice and cook your rice.
  • Rinse the dried anchovies and drain the water. Fry the anchovies until they turn light brown and put aside.
  • Pound the prawn paste together with shallots, garlic, and deseeded dried chilies with a mortar and pestle. You can also grind them with a food processor.
  • Slice the red onion into rings.
  • Soak the tamarind pulp in water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind constantly to extract the flavor into the water. Drain the pulp and save the tamarind juice.
  • Heat some oil in a pan and fry the spice paste until fragrant.
  • Add in the onion rings.
  • Add in the ikan bilis and stir well.
  • Add tamarind juice, salt, and sugar.
  • Simmer on low heat until the gravy thickens. Set aside.
  • Clean the small fish, cut them into half and season with salt. Deep fry.
  • Cut the cucumber into slices and then quartered into four small pieces.
  • Dish up the steamed coconut milk rice and pour some sambal ikan bilis on top of the rice.
  • Serve with fried fish, cucumber slices, and hard-boiled eggs.

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167 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. toniXe

    Great ! Finally U have done it, de national dish ( altho a new one is just beside da horizon,but thats another story).

    Yours is DE classic supercharged orange molehill shape which some of us gluttons in KL can gulp at one go believe it or not !

    Yr original lustrous Pg version is almost impossible to find here in KL. The bungkus type is too basic and stingy while the big type is too mixed up ! Have u submitted a sample to our honorable Tourism Minister ? You can safely charge him US$3 a packet subject to a minimum order of 1 million pkt a month for 6 mths ?

    Ok I have already down 3 of your creation already(in 3 mins), those 2 fish slices r taste out of the world…approved for general consumption under ‘gourmet’ category ok ha ha ha

  2. Karen

    Oh, this is one of my all time favourite foods! Thanks for posting your recipe. I will definitely have to try it out.

    My family always adds kangkung (water spinach) to their version, as we all just love eating veggies…

    • Peter Kong

      If you have been unsuccessful finding a batu giling the last resort will be to go to a shop selling tombstones -NO JOKE.

      They work with granite so you can ask them to make the batu giling (and/or mortar and pestle) for you after agreeing on the price if they can do it. Maybe they already have them. You will definitely have to pay a deposit which I am sure they will ask for if they have to make it for you.

      NOTE: You should ask them to use the best granite available which are harder and perfect for the job required.

      If you manage to get what you want from them, you can reward me with 6 packets of nasi lemak that you have made. :)

  3. tigerfish

    Truly good nasi lemak from a remarkable and dedicated you! I see how the anchovies sambal drenched over the rice, already know it will be so shiok!

  4. Danielle

    The important question is, should I just go ahead and make this, or should I order it at a restaurant first so I’ll have some clue of what it is supposed to taste like before giving it a try?

  5. lucia

    whooo! my fav. dish! and this is the true original best penang one… not those big ones, as toni pointed out, all mixed up. i did mentioned in toni’s blog that i prefer the orginal with these basic ingredients.

    btw the bungkus one at most stalls, they let you choose which one you like – with egg or with fish or with ikan bilis, and there are a few too that supply all these 3 together. i like ikan bilis because it looks a lot to go with the rice, whereas just a fish or a egg, is too little for the rice. but most ikan bilis in nasi lemak are too salty!

    btw, BY, sambal made of ikan bilis? i haven’t heard of that. i thought the sambal is made of dried prawns.

  6. Wandering Chopsticks

    Looks so good. But so much work for me.

    I just used powdered coconut milk when I make coconut rice.

  7. Tummythoz

    U r so cruel! I have been trying very very hard to avoid this for breakfast & now, the mission is failing fast. Drools indeed. Hey, no ‘kacang’?

  8. Rasa Malaysia

    Anonymous – the nasi lemak in Penang is great, but I think they are very stingy with the condiments. Mine was loaded with all the goodies (sambal ikan bilis)…next time ask your favorite nasi lemak stall to add extras and pay more! :P

    CP – great and I shall be awaiting for complete report on your site. :)

    Tonixe – you are ever so sweet and funny as hell. You always crack me up with your comments! Thanks for Team BSG’s support.

    Chris – yet another reader who is so nice. Thank you soooooooo much for nominating me (gasp!). I am truly honored and thankful for your kind gesture!!

    Tigerfish – yes, it was very shiokalicious!! ;)

    Karen – there are many variations. Mine was the classic/simple Penang kind. My mother’s version is loaded with fried Assam Prawns…simply heavenly!

    Simcooks – you meant you are looking for a batu lesung or batu giling. I don’t think you need a batu giling dear. For mortar and pestle, go to IKEA, I got mine there.

    Danielle – yes, you should try it out first so you have an expectation how it tastes like.

    Lucia – I tried to stay true to our Penang root. For sambal, I meant sambal ikan bilis, not sambal belacan.

    Wandering Chopsticks – so there are coconut milk powder? That’s new to me. Does it taste the same as coconut milk in the can.

    Tummythoz – go go makan your breakfast, don’t torture yourself. Yeah, about kacang I terforget…after finished cooking, I teringat. :P

  9. Melting Wok

    wahh, the whole package deal,’ve to throw in the banana leaf, ya ?:P yums ! :) Where’s the coconut juice ? hehe..ok, getting extreme here now, am I ?:P

  10. marketing guy

    Everybody! Back to Chris’ suggestions, we should get one of our own, our very fabulous RasaMalaysia nominated! I just did! I am calling a cab to go to the nearest Malaysian restaurant to get my nasi lemak with teh tarik. Cheerios!

  11. Passionate Eater

    Yes, I think Chris is one smart guy (or woman), but you really have such an incredible blog! I am sure that your grandmother, mother, and auntie would be so proud of you and the way you cook! Okay, I am going to go vote now!

  12. Chris

    To all of you- thank you so much for your support, keep the votes coming

    To Bee- Most welcome. and you just got PageRank 5!!!!! Congratulations. I got PR4 only. =(

  13. fatboybakes

    dear rasa malaysia, i dunno why it took so long, but i have linked you in my blog, i hope you dont mind and will give me the honor of doing so.

  14. UnkaLeong

    I just linked to you too. Is the tumbuk made out of wood? The one my mom makes me use to grind chilli’s back home is a granite wan I think. Prefer the tumbuk to the Batu Giling though :)

    Excellent Food and Pictures as usual…

  15. sue

    I am with Danielle.
    I have no idea what it is supposed to taste like. I have to wait until March when I have the chance to taste some Malaysian food in Australia.
    However, I researched a little bit, and many Koreans seem to like its taste.

  16. Mallika

    I LOVE nasi lemak. My Malaysian friend took her to her favourite home food restaurant and I tried i for the first time there. Haven’t ordered anything else in a Malaysian restaurant since.

    Thanks for this delightful recipe…

  17. Meena

    Ohhh my God!!! This is like my all-time favourite food in the world!! Can’t wait for my mom’s next visit, so that I can have this everyday!!

  18. wmw

    WWWWAAAAHHHHH!!!! Lovely…need to go nasi lemak later! You can cook and bring a batch to my place. We’ll eat while watching Daniel Henney! But we might make a mess, cos we’ll just be gawking at the TV and forget to chew! hahaha….

  19. Wandering Chopsticks

    Coconut powder should be easy to find, I get mine in the Asian grocery stores. It’s concentrated and you just add water to get the same result as coconut milk. I like using it in my satay sauces. So if you really like the smell and taste of coconut, you can make it more flavorful than using coconut milk. I like using the powder b/c it makes the rice less mushy. Just personal preference.

  20. Rasa Malaysia

    Melting Wok – Good idea…next time!

    MarketingGuy – thanks for your support. :)

    PE – thanks for your support and nice comment too! I know my eldest sister was very impressed and said that I do a good job with my blog. I will have to show my parents and aunt my blog when I return home in Feb. ;)

    Chris – thanks again!

    Fatboybakes – Thank you and I have I just added you.

    Unkaleong – thanks for adding me too. No lah, the tumbuk is granite one, can’t you see from the picture meh? Where got tumbuk made from kayu one?! Hehe.

    Sue – yeah, it’s hard to describe the taste because the flavor is complex (which is why Malaysian food is so good in my opinion). Let me know when you get a chance to taste it.

    Mallika – and now you can try making it at home.

    Meena – or you can just cook for your mother when she comes and surprise her!!! :)

    WMW – I am sure we will just gawk and no chew and look like two idiots in front of the TV, drooling over Daniel and not the nasi lemak. LOL!

    Wandering Chopsticks – thanks for your reco…have to try it out to compare. :)

  21. Danielle

    Okay, I tried it at Nyonya when I was there for dinner tonight. Yum! My partner wasn’t so into it, but I was really happy with the crunchy fishies and the cucumber and the coconut rice and all, oh yes. I would never have thought to try it were it not for this post, and now I have, and I liked it, and I will make it. Thank you so much.

  22. fatboybakes

    eh, who said no such thing as the kayu tumbuk? gooottttt la. in fact, in the thailand markets, (bazaars), quite common…i think. or am i confusing it with bali….but yeah, sure got one. but your granite one looks really nice. designer granite? how come it’s so smooth?

  23. UnkaLeong

    Upon closer inspection, yalar..Is Granite. Wah very smoothleh, how many years of “seasoning” did it take?

    Wooden Tumbuks are widely used in Thailand to prepare “Som Tum” or papaya salad ;)

  24. Rasa Malaysia

    Danielle – I am very happy you tried nasi lemal and liked it. I look forward to reading your creation.

    Fatboybakes – I think you are right, I have seen wooden mortar nad pestle but I don’t think they can be used for tumbuk spice paste. Mine is not designer, I bought it at IKEA. Cheap!

    Unkaleong – It’s really new; bought it not too long ago at IKEA, I am sure you can get it in IKEA KL.

    Sorry about the wooden mortar and pestle; I think it would be exceedingly hard to make spice paste using wooden ones.

  25. Keropok Man

    wah! I salute you lady! You have so much patience in pounding your rempah using the batu lesong.

    i would have used the machine. i have only used my batu lesong twice only!

    and they look absolutely delicious! the sambal especially! just having that is enough. i suddenly remember one stall selling sambal cuttlefish too!

  26. Angeleyes

    my favourite dish! I craved for nasi lemak almost everyday when I was preggy!!!!

    Have wanted to make my own nasi lemak for ages but never get to do it…. lots of work! However, will try your recipes one of this day!

    It’s true those nasi lemak sold here are very sting with their condiments… but when the crave is here anything goes!

    • Peter Kong

      Like the sayings go:

      1) Something is better than nothing.
      2) Beggars are not choosers.
      3) Be thankful for what you’ve got.

      Teach your husband to cook too and you can relax.

  27. Rasa Malaysia

    Keropok Man – yes, you can use cuttlefish, shrimp, or cockles for the sambal, but I prefer ikan bilis, the classic way–still the best!

    Angeleyes – thanks for leaving me your comment. Yeah, have to cook yourself to get away from stingy hawkers! :P

  28. Ming_the_Merciless

    You’re killing me!! I just had dinner with dessert and now I’m hungry again!! I will have to go to Chinatown (NYC) to get some Malaysian food tomorrow.

    Great site. I enjoyed reading your recipes.

  29. elmomonster

    Man oh man. Nasi Lemak is my guilty pleasure. We have something similar in Indonesia called Nasi Gurih. I heard once that Nasi Lemak’s popularity is to blame for Malaysia’s rising obesity rates.

  30. Rasa Malaysia

    Fatboybakes – Yes, frozen ones. ;)

    Ming – That’s the very intention of this blog; to make my readers very hungry (for those who have tried Malaysian food) or intrigued and tempted (for those who haven’t tried Malaysian food). :P

    Elmo – I have never tried Nasi Gurih, will see if Java Spice serves it. About getting people fat in Malaysia, I am not surprised…santan (coconut milk) is creamier and heavier than heavy cream I think! ;)

  31. stefoodie

    oh, my!!! haven’t made this in a while. my family has been begging. i will have to do it soon! that’s a mouth-watering pic!

  32. Rasa Malaysia

    Stefoodie – thanks for visiting Rasa Malaysia. Yes, this is a all-time favorite in my family too! :)

    Mama Bok – If you can’t find pandan leaves, it’s OK. I am sure the nasi lemak will be great, but the pandan leaves make it extra fragrant and aromatic. ;)

  33. Anonymous

    I should have checked this recipe a long time ago. I’ve been craving for nasi lemak ever since I left my kampung. Yum. Thanks for posting it.

  34. sim

    I’m glad I found this blog. I am so in luv with it..especially the recipes section. Ofcoz, all the luv to the blogger too! Nice photos too!

    Drop me an email if you ever in NY. I definitely would like to buy u a dinner/lunch…

  35. Anonymous

    It’s fasting month in malaysia now. We enjoy nasi lemak almost very day. You will see office staff carry one bungkus of nasi lemak to office. We have variaty dish beside ikan bilis. Wash the ikan bilis a few time for less salty. my way of prepare the nasi, I put serai (lemongrass)and few slices of ginger it will give a very nice smell. I prepare nasik lemak for my family but I don’t like it cause of the cholestrol. Nice to hear you guy in New York loveeeeeeeeee our malaysia breakfast dish. Roti canai is malaysia breakfast dish too.

  36. Chris Nyles

    Hi Bee,

    Thank you. I read your blog today and your malaysian recipes (photos) made me salivate. It is such a shame for one who come from southeast asia and not know much about your neighbors’cuisine especially Malaysia. I come from the Philippines and I know that we have a region, called Bicol, in our country that uses similar spices and coconut, and other interesting ingredients to their cuisine. Where I come from, Luzon, the northern part, our cuisine tends to be more on the sour side. Tamarind, Kamias, and mangoes, are the local fruits we use to make our dishes sour, as we like it. We also use a lot of fish sauce, shrimp and fish paste we call “bagoong”.

    Keep up the good work and I will come and visit once a in a while.


    Chris Nyles

    • clark

      this dish is easy to find in Brunei, Singapore, Riau Islands and Southern Thailand too. Maybe with different name, so dont be confuse if you find similar taste in Phillipines. But in Kuala Lumpur, seems like the national dish, a national heritage of Malaysia, but honestly its not defacto…

  37. Matthew

    thanks for the recipes, done them on weekend… but my ikan billis sambal isn´t as red as yours… maybe because I use the small sized dried chillies? can that be the problem? anyway, they taste good…

  38. ragi 27 somc worker

    coconut milk 500ml milk 500ml full cream kara coconut milk 1 packet
    down pandan leaves for the smell
    dried chillys soaked and dried
    250gm grinded in the blender with tomatoes and tomatoes puree onions grinded 25 tablespoons garlc paste 8 tablespoons

  39. Anonymous

    I say don’t cut your cucumber so exactly into quarters… just cut it anyway you like thick thin irregular shapes just like the nasi lemak guy does it at my local roadside stall so that you’ll get that different taste with every mouthful!!! It makes a huge difference.. try it, lah

  40. Robin Tay

    all i have to say is… *drool*… *drool*… i have been thinking about nasi lemak all morning and i stumbled upon your website. definately going to try out your recipe at some stage. thanks!

  41. dbsgege

    I wish to apologize for the misunderstanding caused but the article was meant to translate to Chinese in CHina by showing them your best food.

    we did write down your url but due to some technical errors, it was covered by the last 2 photos ….

  42. Anonymous

    Thanks for the nasi lemak recipe. I have recently migrated to Canada and I’m now pregnant with my first child. Craving for all the local food that I always take it for granted. Now I got the recipe, I have some hope that I can cook them at home. Keep the good food recipes posted. I can’t thank you enough Rasa Malaysia.

  43. Will

    This looks delicious. I have a Malaysian Roommate who has been very homesick as of late. I am going to try to make this for him! Thanks!!

  44. fashion shopper

    can i ask whether there is a need to put garlic, ginger n shallots to prepare d nasi?
    and how much water is some water?
    amateur cook ni…. thanks.

  45. shakheela

    awesome food…i love this…and i miss it!!!!
    nasi lemak i love you hahaha
    and thanks for the recepie

  46. Hi there! I’m a Malaysian living in Italy. I’ve made nasi lemak a number of times since moving here a year ago. Unfortunately, I can’t find pandan leaves here. I usually have to use the food processor for the sambal, but just like you, I prefer the lesung batu. My hubby bought me a teeny delicate one pestle and mortar, more suitable for use in apothecaries, not for stuff like onion and chili! I searched the Ikea Italy site, and they stock the same pestle and mortar that you have. May I ask whether it is in any way delicate? Coz if its hardy and not too small, I will make a trip to the next town to get it from Ikea. Thanks a bunch!

  47. Sue

    Hi! Gosh this recipe brings back some great memories of my trip to Malaysia umpteen years ago! I’ve missed the yummy food but never thought of trying to making it. Just found this recipe a few days ago. Had a question for you though. I’ve bought a bag of dried anchovies from the Asian market, but they don’t look like the ones in your pic. Mine are silvery w/eyes. I’ve been told they need to be cleaned before…however, I don’t know how to…any tips?

  48. Dan24

    Wow, excellent description of the Nasi Lemak preparation!
    I tried mine but the rice came out soft and breaks easily.
    I have tried lessening the water but not sure if there are other
    things to consider, like the type of rice, coconut powder over coconut milk, etc?
    I used long grain thai rice with coconut milk (packet)

    How can I make my rice slightly harder and not stick together
    too much(like individual grains). Not sure if you understand what Im trying to say.


  49. Hi,
    Can I ask what kind of rice do you use to make nasi lemak? Jasmine or basmati? I usually use jasmine and somehow it doesn’t taste authentic (my recipe is similar to yours) but just wondering if using basmati will yield a better result…Thanks!

  50. moamrif fadzil

    thanks to RASAMALAYSIA!!

    im in single status..
    full time work + part time study..

    a lot of recipes i have tried myself
    d taste..not bad, juz nice for me!!

    and recipe of nasi lemak had been chosen for
    my presentation of English subject


  51. Jenny

    I wasn’t sure how these flavors would go together, but it turns out awesome. I can’t imagine it without the anchovies! They add the perfect amount of salt.

  52. WorldFoodLover

    omg..i can’t but help applaud your devotion to food at its simplest…just looking at the pictures bring back home memories and the irresistable flavour that your pics just conveys…thank you so much..

  53. Andy

    Went to Malaysia last year and the food was amazing! Had nasi lemak for breakfast every morning and have been wanting to make it back home in NZ. Have found some ‘must have’ ikan bilis so now I can make it. Miss all the fresh fruit that was also had for breakfast. Also need to find a recipe on how to make a clay pot meal with rice as the rice went crispy around the edges, yum. Thanks for your recipe.

  54. Anty Harton

    Hi. I just made your sambal blinis and I was wondering if you used up all the 1c of tamarind juice. I just put half of it and the sambal is sour enough already. Or the original malaysian sambal blinis is really sour?
    Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to make nasi lemak soon but I’m going to put lemon grass instead of pandan leaf.

      • junhoe

        Wow, thanks Andy for mentioning lemongrass! I completely forgotten about that! I was thinking of trying this version of nasi lemak..when you mentioned lemongrass I recalled one of the best nasi lemak I had was at this place called Lemongrass Cafe (too bad they closed down). And yeah, some nasi lemak versions do use lemongrass and I think it adds nice flavour to it.

        Going to look for a version with lemongrass now.. (but still keep this Rasa Malaysia version bookmarked :P)

  55. thank you for the recipe! I tried the sambal recipe and it turned out well! I think the tamarind juice requested in the recipe is a little too much. My sambal is slightly too sour, I added more sugar than you suggested, it still very delicious!! Thanks!!

  56. Peter Kong

    Usually I blend some old ginger (fine) and throw into the pot also to cook the rice.

    Some hawkers add some cloves to the rice.

    Fried assam fish (kembong or other similar sized fish) served piping hot from the wok to go with the nasi lemak and sambal or sambal blacan is truly fantastic.

  57. sri suryanti

    I love very much the sambal blacan, but in my country hardly find the best yummy shrimp paste, What kind of brand may I know? thanks very much for sharing the recipe.
    Best rgds

  58. Jaclyn Chan

    Every time I try to cook sambal (I blend it with a food processor) I get a very bitter aftertaste. I suspect it’s from the shallots, but is there anything can I do about it? Adding sugar doesn’t help at all.

  59. tim

    This is my all time favorate food.I could eat it all day long.Thanks for the recipe. I tried it at Panang Restraunt in Boston. Your recipe is way better. Two thumbs up!!! :)

  60. chinchyesek

    Don’t they sometimes make it using lemon grass
    as an additional ingredient?

    All specified ingredients available in London that I shall
    certainly have a go at making this dish…. on the upside, it’s
    an economical dish too especially in view of
    generally the very high costs of other foods imported
    from Malaysia and elsewhere.

    Is there a Popiah recipe here?

  61. chinchyesek

    Made the dish yesterday following recommended steps…
    find the ginger I used somehow detracts from overall
    flavour of finished rice product…. next time shall use
    lemon grass instead which btw was if I correctly recall,
    used in the nasi lemak dish I bought from school tuckshop
    so very long ago…pandanas does indeed add
    fragrance and enhances flavour to some extent.

  62. chinchyesek

    Hello again

    Re (Shrimp & Boy Brand) Petis Udang

    I notice I have a 230 gm jar,UNOPENED and lurking in my
    store cupboard unrefrigerated having an expiry date of some 6 years ago… rather not throw it away if still usable….can I safely still use it?

  63. Thanks so much for this recipe! I’ve been missing and craving for nasi lemak! Ok, so a few things… I don’t know if Spain has daun pandan or belacan. I’m getting my friends to bring me belacan, but daun pandan? Is there an alternative?

    Also, what in the world is tamarind pulp? :P Maybe if you say it in Malay I will understand.. lol! Anyway, thanks again!

  64. chinchyechia

    Greetings RM, you’re a veritable repository of Malaysian recipes with enviable looks to die for….. no problem getting pandanas in London but sometimes belacan hard to come by… what then do I use as substitute or alternative…. ?

    Ever been to London….? very nice city as you may you know.

    (Hani of Espana… pandanas also comes in essence form lah…. passable fragrance
    /flavour but not as nice as the real McCoy!… ditto tamarind extract possibly….)

  65. nicole

    It’s best to use long rice as it absorbs liquid well. I’ve tried jasmine & basmati and they turned out a bit mushy!

  66. J&S

    Bee, thank you so much for making these recipes available to the community! My boyfriend is from Malaysia and he often tells me how much he misses the food. Awhile ago I asked him what his favorite dish was and of course, without hesitance he replied, “Nasi Lemak”. I’m sure you can guess what I ended up doing next. ;)

    He is away on a business trip and won’t be back til the weekend. I am going to attempt this dish and surprise him! Please wish me luck as I am not that gifted in cooking :P

  67. Sha

    Hi there,
    Thanx so much for the great recipe.
    This is the first time I’m trying it out based on ur suggestions.
    It turned out superb. I’m indeed very happy.
    Just a few comments to share with the rest, I used betas jati the ordinary rice, used the same amount of liquid for cooking but half was water and half was coconut milk. The rice turned out very fluffy and soft. I also added a few slices of onion and ginger and it worked like magic. The rice smelt so good.

    I had also blend my chilly in the grinder separately and then mixed all the other ingredients and ground them together in the mortar and pestel. It was my husband’s idea, I guess he was too hungry by then. But hey, guess what, it turned out just fine.
    I think I’ve made him very happy and we just finished eating our second plate. The only problem I have now is that I have more work at home as he is never gonna have nasi lemak other than mine :-) .

    Thank you so much. You’ve made both of us happy.

  68. Sha

    Oh yea, just a question, how could I get my sambal to look dark in colour as in the photo here, do I need to add the commercial chilly paste or colouring or something ? Thanx…

  69. lauren

    I used to pick out the anchovies when I ate this in KL. Can you make the sambal without the achovies or would there be no point? Any ideas for making it vegetarian besides leaving them out? thanks. Love your site.

  70. Eddie Hoos

    Nasi Lemak was one of the first Malaysian things I learned to make. But I want to try this recipe now. It is a little different than the one I used and have been thinking about making it again for the last few weeks.
    Thank you!

  71. Lynn Chua

    Can I prepare the sambal ikan bilis in advance, say one day? If yes, how do I store it? Inside the fridge or at room temperature? Thank you

  72. Jillian

    Hi, I was wondering why my sambal is dark-ish in color instead of red. I used dried chilies as the recipe. I thought of substituting with fresh chilies to get the beautiful red color. The recipe didn’t say soak the chilies, but should I have? Thanks

  73. Like you, I didn’t perfect my technique for Nasi Lemak until late in life – it is definitely not a breeze in the wind making this beguiling dish. I discovered from my last trip to Malaysia last year that adding some slices of galangal, Lengkuas, adds a subtle dimension to the dish, in addition to the Daun Pandan. I cook my rice in two stages to avoid gumminess in the final product; 3/4 cooked with water and the rest 1/4 with the salted coconut cream. I must say that it came out the best ever in all the years of cooking the dish. Thanks for sharing.


    I love your
    cookbook and I love your web page Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift of cooking with us!

  75. Really good recipe! I, as well, don´t get the redish color for the ikan bilis sambal so I added some red-chilli paste – worked fine and makes it a bit more spicy (nice) Used tamarind paste, diluted in water – works fine. When we ate it in KL mostly served with fried peanuts and ayam instead of fish.

  76. Phyllis fred

    Instead of sambal chilli, can i subtitute that with ayam masak merah but not hot. Nasi lemak ayam masak merah. Becos my daughter is craving for nasi lemak but not spicy. Pregnancy doctor’s order.

  77. Suzi S.H.Koh

    Living in a rather off-beat town in Italy, Trieste, with only 2 stores catering for Asian ingredients and the better of the 2 is closing down ai the end of this month….. !!! How I envy all of you who live elsewhere…..

    My thanks and compliments to those who made this website possible,for bringing me back all those fond childhood memories of daily food fragrance wafting in the air, as Ah Foon (our amah) struggled to drag us off to the doctor, the dentist whatever….

    None of the Peranakan/Nonya food I try to cook here really measures up to what my memory holds… 70 percent of the spices are substitutes… and the remaining 30 percent is genrally stale… Oh, how I envy all of you……

  78. Hi Bee,

    Can you share the brand of dried anchovies you use? I’m in NYC and in the Asian market, I find the variety of brands confusing.

    Thanks very much!


  79. Nasi Lemak was my childhood breakfast on my way to school in Singapore. i remember paying just one SGD$1 for a packet of banana-leaf wrapped goodies. I do miss those times when I was just discovering the intriguing and intoxicating flavors and smells of our local cusine. I definitely have to make this to try to recapture a little of that sense of wonder.

  80. Nicole

    5.6ounces of coconut milk is 165ml? Do I then add enough water to make a total of 480ml (2cups)? Same measurement as I cook my normal white rice is 2cups rice and 2cups water. :)

    Also million thanks for ur awesome recipes, I am really having fun with them. :)

  81. Bill

    Hey! It is amazing! I like cooking in Redmond 4500 multicooker, I think it is much better, but recipe is fantastic! But, maybe there should be another cheese? I try to experiment and find the best one.

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