Nasi lemak

It's hard not to love this popular rich and creamy Malaysian rice dish.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
This traditional Malaysian nasi lemak consists of a basic plate of coconut milk rice, 'sambal', cucumber salad and fried hard boiled egg.


Nasi Lemak
  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed well
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 350 grams white fish fillets, cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, plus extra to shallow fry
  • 12 green prawns, peeled, deveined, tails intact
  • cucumber salad (see tip)
  • wok-fried eggs (see tip)
  • blanched choy sum, roasted peanuts and coriander to serve
Fresh sambal
  • 3 long red chillies, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 4 eschalots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind puree
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
Cucumber salad
  • 500 grams cucumber
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup rice wine
  • sliced chilli


Nasi lemak
  • 1
    Place rice in a large saucepan with coconut milk, water and pinch salt. Bring to boil on high. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 5-10 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and rest, covered, 10 minutes.
  • 2
    Make sambal. Using a mortar and pestle, pound chillies and garlic to a rough paste. Heat oil in wok on medium. Stir-fry eschalots 4-5 minutes, until tender. Add chilli paste. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients with a little water. Stir-fry 3-4 minutes, until thick.
  • 3
    In a medium bowl, toss fish with soy to coat. Set aside 5 minutes.
  • 4
    Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan on medium. Stir-fry prawns 2-3 minutes, until they change colour. Drain on paper towel.
  • 5
    Heat extra oil in same pan on high. Shallow-fry fish pieces 3-4 minutes, turning until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel.
  • 6
    Serve rice with fish, prawns, cucumber salad, wok-fried eggs, choy sum, peanuts, coriander and freesh sambal.
Cucumber salad
  • 7
    Remove seeds from cucumber and slice thinly.
  • 8
    Sprinkle with sugar, salt and drizzle with wine. Add chilli.


Wok-fried eggs - fry hard-boiled eggs in oil.

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