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Nasi lemak (Malaysian coconut rice) recipe

Nasi lemak (Malaysian coconut rice) recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Breakfast

A fragrant coconut rice dish that is a common breakfast in Malaysia and Singapore, nasi lemak is actually Malaysia's proclaimed national dish. Traditionally served as a platter of food wrapped in banana leaves, this is a gorgeous Malay breakfast that can make a lovely light supper as well.

42 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • For the rice
  • 475ml coconut milk
  • 475ml water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 (1.25cm) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • salt to taste
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 375g long grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • For the garnish
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cucumber
  • 240ml oil for frying
  • 150g raw peanuts
  • 125g white anchovies, washed
  • For the sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chilli paste
  • 125g white anchovies, washed
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons tamarind juice

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat stir together coconut milk, water, ground ginger, root ginger, salt, bay leaf and rice. Cover and bring to the boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until done.
  2. Place eggs in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring water to the boil, and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes; remove eggs from hot water, cool, peel and slice in half; slice cucumber.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan or wok heat 240ml vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Stir in peanuts and cook briefly, until lightly browned. Remove peanuts with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to soak up excess grease; return frying pan to stove. Stir in 125g of anchovies and cook briefly, turning, until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper. Discard oil and wipe out frying pan.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the frying pan. Stir in the onion, garlic and shallots; cook until fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes. Mix in the chilli paste and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the chilli paste is too dry, add a small amount of water. Stir in remaining anchovies and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in salt, sugar and tamarind juice; simmer until sauce is thick, about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve the onion and garlic sauce over the warm rice and top with peanuts, fried anchovies, cucumbers and eggs.

Tamarind juice

Tamarind juice can be found online or at Asian and Indian supermarkets.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(14)

Reviews in English (9)

I am a bit lazy and just cooked the rice with coconut The sauce I use sambal from MalaysianFoodSupermarket UK website.-29 Jul 2017

by ika

for the rice, do add one stalk of crushed lemongrass. it enhances the flavor and aroma. and for the sauce, blend the shallots and garlic together with the chile paste until smooth. First, saute the onion slices, then, add the chile mixture and go on with the directions provided here.-28 Oct 2010

by Annette

We substituted lemon juice for the tamarind, and it turned out great. The recipe is a little complicated, but it's worth it!-29 Apr 2007

Nasi lemak (Malaysian coconut rice) recipe - Recipes

Nasi Lemak is traditional malaysian coconut rice and its a malay word where this word literally means 'rice in cream'. This name is derived from the cooking process where rice is cooked in coconut cream..Malaysian people used pandan leaves to give a particular flavour this rice and spices like ginger and herbs like lemon grass are also added for additional fragrance..Traditionally this nasi lemak is served in banana lead with cucumber slices, small dried anchovies, roasted peanuts and boiled eggs with hot spicy sambal sauce, this rice dish can also be eaten with pickled vegetables, stir fried greens etc. Nasi Lemal is widely eaten in malaysia and even this dish is served in Malaysian schools, this nasi lemak can be also served as breakfast dish and sold early in the morning at roadside stalls in Malaysia where this rice is packed in newspaper, brown paper or in banana leaf, anyhow this rice dish is served as noon or evening meals in restaurants..Nasi Lemak can be prepared so many different version where some used to prepare with pandan leaves while some with bay leaves, as its kinda hard to get pandan leaves i prepared this Nasi lemak with bay leaves, ginger pieces and few pieces of lemon grass and i served with Malaysian Spicy Okra Kheema both together tastes marvellous and am sending this malaysian coconut rice to Vaishali's IAVW-Malaysian and to Think Spice-Think Bayleaf guest hosted by Apu of Annarasa, event started by Sunita..

1cup Long grain rice (i used basmati rice)
2cups Coconut milk
2nos Bayleaves
1tsp Ginger pieces
1/2tsp Lemon grass pieces
1tbsp Oil

Wash and clean the rice and put it in a heavy bottomed pan, add the coconut milk, bay leaves, ginger pieces, lemon grass pieces,salt ,oil and cook everything in high flame. when the rice begins to boil, lower the heat..keep in simmer and cook for 10-15minutes until all the water been absorbed, remove from the heat. stir the rice gently and cover the vessel with lid and keep aside, let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

To begin making the Malaysian Nasi Lemak Rice Recipe, wash the rice thoroughly.

In a pressure cooker, add the washed and drained rice, water, coconut milk, salt and ginger and mix well.

Close the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 3 whistles and turn off the flame.

Allow the pressure to release naturally, open the cooker fluff up the rice with a fork.

Transfer the Malaysian Nasi Lemak Rice to a serving bowl and serve hot.

Serve Malaysian Nasi Lemak Rice along with Malaysian Vegetable Curry Recipe for a simple Malay meal.

Nasi Lemak (Steamed Coconut Cream Rice – 椰浆饭)

Nasi Lemak, a common name in the list of the local food delicacies of Asia.

Nasi Lemak, one of the top Malaysian cuisine has its great influence to Singaporean. Many local Chinese, thus, eat and cook this aromatic rice dish, for breakfast, lunch and even dinner. As such, Nasi Lemak is not limited to just the Malay food stalls, it’s commonly sold in Chinese eateries everywhere in Singapore. For the Singaporean Chinese version of Nasi Lemak, it comes with even greater varities of side dish. What makes it different from the traditional Nasi Lemak which wrapped in banana leaf and comes with standard sides e.g. egg and chicken wing or fried tiny Kampung fish, the Chinese Nasi Lemak allows you to pick or choose your favourite side dishes from the pool of selections provided by the stall/ eatery, in general. Any versions, they all taste heaven..

Nasi Lemak, literally translated as “fatty rice”, the fat refers to no more than the fat of coconut milk added into the rice cooking. The aroma yields from the rich coconut milk flavour in the rice, making this Nasi Lemak dish so unique and delicious.

Now you know what’s about Nasi Lemak, if you weren’t at first. Here’s the recipe I’ve cooked. Easy and quick.

Ingredients for Nasi Lemak (coconut cream rice):
2 cups of rice, rinsed
350ml of coconut cream (Santan in Malay)
3 slices of young ginger
4 leaves of pandan (screwpine) leaves, tied into a knot
2 cups of water to cook rice (about 500ml)

Add all in ingredients in the rice pot to cook in electronic cooker, or steam the rice over stove till cooked.

Ideal side dishes to complete the Nasi Lemak meal:
Serving for 1 pax
1 portion of Sambal prawns
1 Fried chicken wing
1 tablespoon each of roasted/ fried peanut (kachang) and fried crispy anchovies (ikan bilis)
½ hard boil egg, sliced
Few fried tofu cubes (*Just cut and deep fry with oil)
Few slices of fresh cucumber
* Sides are optional. The above listed are my personal preference. Include all or pick your choice(s) to compliment your Nasi Lemak.

A serving of my Nasi Lemak meal (with a smal portion of sambal prawns, 1 chicken wing, few pieces of tofu cubes, some sliced cucumbers and kachang & ikan bilis) counts about 600kcal. It’s a little sinful, isn’t it? :p

Tips: The amount of water to cook the rice should be as usual, if you like softer texture.
* In fact, the amount and types of coconut cream/ milk used in Nasi Lemak recipe is pretty versatile. Simply add more coconut cream, if richer flavour preferred. Both the thick paste-like cream or fresh watery coconut milk versions are fine. For later option, the amount should be increased for better aromas, too (up to 500ml = 2 full cups).
* Most of the side dishes are easy to prepare. For chicken wings and sambal prawns, look at my recipes. :)
* Preparation of Kachang can be done by roasting or deep frying the peanut (usually fried with its skin remained intact).

Add the water, coconut milk, rice and ginger to a sauce pan over and bring the pan to a boil. Tie the pandan leaf into a knot and add it the pan.

Reduce the heat to simmer and cover. Continue to cook until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid and is cooked through (approximately 20 minutes).

For traditional Malaysian Nasi Lemak, garnish with hard boiled eggs, fried anchovies and roasted peanuts. No Nasi Lemak would be complete, however, without some spicy Sambal Sauce on the side.

Note: Coconut Rice can also be made in an Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

Additional Malaysian recipes you might enjoy

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3 thoughts on &ldquoCoconut Rice – Nasi Lemak&rdquo

i have never heard of this dish..but the idea of ginger and coconut in rice sounds delicious!!

you simply HAVE to try it. it is absolutely delicious!

Thanks so much for taking time to comment. So glad you like the recipe!

Leave a Comment Cancel reply


Every time I come across a good rice recipe, my emotions are very similar to a dog that walks into a room full of tennis balls. With summer here and folks firing up their wicked grills, I figured there might be some of us who would like some summer rice recipes and this recipe absolutely shouts summer to me. Its a recipe that comes from Malaysia and is traditionally served with fried anchovies, sambal and freshly cut cucumbers and tomatoes. It pairs delightfully with seafood and the aromatics like coconut milk, ginger and pandan leaf, will leave you wondering how could something this simple taste so amazing.

Now, follow this recipe like a robot and this recipe will turn out just as good as mine or even better. But if you are one of those folks who has a hard time taking instruction, I have only one thing to say — May the Rice Gods be with you, Namaste!

  1. • Basmati rice — 2 cups
  2. • Coconut milk — 1 can, 2 cups
  3. • Water — 1 cup
  4. • Ginger root — 1/8-inch-thick 2 inches’ long
  5. • Pandan leaf or bay leaf — 1
  6. • Salt to taste
  1. The first step would be to rinse the rice to remove excess starch. To do this in a large bowl, rise the rice in room temperature water until the water runs clear. This should take about 2 to 3 rinses.
  2. Then soak the rice in water for exactly 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain the water from the rice with a strainer or colander and let it sit for another 10 minutes.

  1. Into a heavy bottom pan with lid (ensure its air tight), add the coconut milk, water, pandan leaf, ginger and salt. Give it a quick stir to ensure the salt dissolves. Turn on the flame to a medium, between 6 and 7.
  2. Now add the rice and make sure the rice is submerged in the coconut milk and water mixture. Place the lid to the pot and let it cook for somewhere between 20 to 25 minutes.
    If your feel like there is some steam escaping from the pot, you can wrap the lid with some aluminum foil. The idea here is to help the rice cook in its steam. If the steam escapes, there is a very high chance that the rice could burn in the bottom leaving your rice unevenly cooked because of the loss of water.
  3. After 20 minutes, check to see if the rice is cooked. If you think the rice isn’t, replace the lid and cook it for another 5 minutes.
  4. Now remove the rice from the flame and let it sit for another 5 minutes. Do not open the lid during this period.

Nasi lemak (Malaysian coconut rice) recipe - Recipes

First Published Sep 18th 2015

I have been on a sambal mission lately. The main reason: I have these precious bottles of home-made crispy ikan bilis and peanuts couriered from Singapore. Now that I have the sambal chilli handy, it is time to whip up the Nasi Lemak. The cast: coconut rice, crispy ikan bilis and peanuts, Sambal Telur (Eggs), Sambal Kangkong, and Ngor Hiang. Sedap!

Updated May 30th 2020. Another Covid-19 shelter-in-place weekend. It has become a routine to go through the recipes and cook my favorite dishes again. I made a jar of sambal chilli last week to get ahead of myself for Nasi Lemak this weekend. Knowing that going home this year is not an option anymore, I’ve shelved my hope to courier ikan bilis from Singapore. My last few attempts at ikan bilis and peanuts had pretty good results, made it again today, still good I replaced Ngor Hiang with bbq chicken wings this time and tweeked the sambal egg recipe by adding diced tomatoes. All in all, a great meal for a shelter-in-place weekend.

Nasi lemak is an authentic dish originated from Malaysia wherein you cook the fragrant rice in coconut milk with screwpine leaves. Nasi lemak is considered a national dish of Malay cuisine and is prepared in various parts of Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. In Indonesia, Nasi means Rice and Lemak means Fat (the coconut milk fat). The rice is cooked in coconut milk fat and is served with fried anchovies, anchovy hot chile sauce, sliced cucumber or tomato, hard-boiled egg, fried peanut and chicken or fish.


1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

2 cups long grain rice, rinsed and drained (preferably jasmine rice)

1 package white anchovies, washed

For sauce

3 tablespoons white sugar

1 (4 ounce) package white anchovies, washed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced


  1. On a medium flame heat the pan, then add coconut milk, water, ground ginger, ginger root, salt, bay leaf, and rice and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until done.
  2. Meanwhile, let the rice cook side by side.
  3. Cover the eggs in the pan with cold water and let them boil. After a boil, immediately remove from heat. Let the eggs soak in hot water for 12 minutes. Remove eggs from hot water to cool, peel and slice the eggs in half. Slice cucumbers too.
  4. On a medium flame, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Stir in peanuts until lightly browned. Remove peanuts and soak the excess grease with a paper towel.
  5. On the same skillet, add in the contents of one package of anchovies. Cook & stir until crisp. Remove it and soak it with a paper towel. Clean the skillet
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet. Add onions, garlic, and shallots. Cook & stir until fragrant, for about 2 minutes. Mix in the chile paste, and cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally and add water if it’s too dry. Add in the remaining anchovies Cook & stir for 5 minutes. Add in salt, tamarind juice and sugar simmer until sauce is thick, about 5 minutes.
  7. Garnish the warm rice with the onion and garlic sauce with a side of peanuts, fried anchovies, cucumbers, and eggs.

Your nasi lemak is ready to be served! We hope you experience the best of Malay cuisine and for more authentic recipes from new cultures stay tuned!

Have a look at our Korean style Rice Bowl – Bibimbap recipe to try out new delicacies!

25 Easy Malaysian Recipes

Bursting with flavor, Malaysian recipes are as vibrant and dynamic as the country itself.

If you like your food fragrant, spicy, tangy and tempting, these 25 amazing recipes will give you lots of options for entertaining.

Malaysia has a rich history as a cultural melting pot. So it&rsquos no surprise that their cuisine is a unique blend of different tastes and traditions.

There&rsquos something for everyone here, and every dietary preference.

If mango chicken, followed by coconut ice-cream sounds like your idea of a perfect pairing, you&rsquore in the right place!

And I&rsquove included a bit of everything &ndash aromatic appetizers, mouth-watering mains, and delightful desserts.

If you love to cook (and eat!), you&rsquoll have a ball working your way through this list.

5. Hard-boiled egg

The last common ingredient to serve with Nasi Lemak is a hard-boiled egg.

We have a complete guide on how to make the perfect hard-boiled egg on this blog, which you can refer to the details.

In summary, here is a brief instruction on how to make it :

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  • Submerge the eggs in the water entirely, then simmer the eggs at the sub-boiling point by reducing the heat to barely enough to sustain minimal boiling.
  • Boil for sixteen minutes for hard-boiled and eight minutes for a soft boiled egg.
  • Transfer the eggs to ice water to prevent further cooking immediately.
  • Peel, cut, and serve.

Watch the video: EP64 Nasi Lemak Melayu Sungai Petani Street Food Malaysia马来椰浆饭双溪大年街边美食马来西亚Suzihasmi Nasi Lemak Royal (June 2022).


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