If you have kept a foodblog for a while as I have, I am sure some of you will share this experience – I have horror moments every time I click on my old posts! Sometimes I feel like pinching myself for the unflattering food shots – or for wrong spellings – or simply inexcusable mistakes in recipes. The only thing I can do so I can sleep peacefully at night is to re-do (or attempt to) some of the posts. My mother was like “Again? You are going to cook that again and take the pictures again? But you did that before!” And this Nasi Lemak is one of those posts
If you have been raised in any of the following three countries (Indonesia, Malaysia or Singapore), you will love Fragrant Coconut Milk Rice, also known as Nasi Lemak or Nasi Uduk. It is one of the most delicious rice dishes, amazingly easy to find on street/hawker stalls or traditional markets, and even spanking and shiny food courts in malls.
Nasi Lemak is cooked by using coconut milk, instead of water. The traditional method used in preparing Nasi Lemak is by boiling the coconut milk in advance, the rice is added and simmer till the rice grain enlarged from taking in all the coconut milk liquid. The last step is to steam the rice in a steamer until the rice is soft and fluffy. Different countries or regions will have different spices added into the rice, the most common are lemongrass, bay leaves, coriander seeds, cloves and galangal.
Nasi Lemak is served warm with sambal teri (anchovies and peanuts with chili), sambal belacan (chili dip with shrimp paste), sambal telur (chili egg) and some crackers. The hawker versions of Nasi lemak is a portion of rice with bits of everything, wrapped in banana leaves.
Families who reside in many regions in Southeast Asian have their own Nasi Lemak recipes. Our standard nasi lemak is prepared with sliced cucumbers, omelette, sambal belacan, fried anchovies and peanuts with crackers. I can just have the rice and sambal belacan. Seriously good. Another comfort food ..
Fragrant Coconut Milk Rice, Nasi Lemak
For fragrant rice
400 g medium grain rice
600 g coconut milk
1/2 tbsp salt
2 stalks lemongrass, white part only
4 kaffir lime leaves
6 bay leaves
30 g galangal, scrubbed skin clean
4 eggs, cooked into thin omelette and sliced
Shrimp paste chili (sambal belacan), recipe here
Anchovies with peanuts (sambal teri kacang), recipe here
Cucumber, peeled and seeded, sliced thinly
Gnenom crackers (emping), fried, alternatively, prawn crackers can be used
Bruise galangal and lemongrass lightly using back of cleaver or pestle to release flavor
Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over high heat till boiling, about 15 minutes
Lower heat and cover. Cook for another 10 minutes. The grain should be sticky and puffy, all liquid should be entirely absorbed by now
Prepare a double-steamer pot. Fill the lower pot with water, 1/3 of the pot
Pour the rice into the top pot of the steamer. Steam for 20 minutes over medium heat covered
Turn off heat, fluff the rice with fork and cover. Leave for 10 minutes
Serve with other condiments
Pepy of Indonesia-Eats has posted tip on preparing Nasi Lemak using rice cooker. I have been dying to try!
The rule of thumb for rice and coconut milk is 1:1,3 in weight for slightly al-dente cooked rice. If you prefer nice soft and fluffy rice, the measurement should be 1:1,5.