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  • Nasi Lemak

    Nasi Lemak is a popular dish based on rice in Malaysia and frequently referred to as the National Dish. It is customarily served with fried anchovies, peanuts, sliced cucumber, hard boiled eggs and sambal. Although it is often considered a breakfast dish, because of the versatility it is served in a variety of ways, it is commonly eaten at any time of the day. For a more substantial meal, Nasi Lemak may be served with fried chicken, curries, or a spicy meat stew called Rendang.
    Recipe by The Cheeseman's.

    Nasi Lemak - primary image


    400ml tin coconut milk
    thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    1 lemongrass stalk
    350g/12oz basmati rice

    For the Sambal

    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    1 tsp shrimp paste
    1–2 tsp red chilli paste
    250g/9oz dried anchovies, soaked in water and drained
    1 tbsp caster sugar
    250ml tamarind paste mixed with 400ml water

    For Fried Chicken

    6 cloves garlic, chopped
    4 tablespoons oyster sauce
    2 tablespoons curry powder
    1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
    100ml vegetable oil

    For the Garnish
    1 free-range egg
    vegetable oil for deep frying
    handful small dried white anchovies
    handful peanuts, skin-on if possible
    ½ cucumber, thinly sliced


    Put the coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass, rice and a pinch of salt in a large saucepan. Add 400ml/14fl oz water, stir and cook over a medium heat for 10–15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed.

    To make the sambal, heat the oil in a frying pan and sweat the onion and garlic for 5–7 minutes, until soft. Add the shrimp paste, chilli paste and most of the soaked anchovies and stir. Add the sugar and a pinch of salt and pour in the tamarind water. Simmer until it reduces to a thick paste. Set aside.

    To make fried chicken, marinate the ingredients with the chicken for 30 mins and deep fry until chicken is crispy and brown and juices run clear.

    Meanwhile, to prepare the garnish, boil the eggs in water for 7–10 minutes; the yolks should be firm. When they are cool enough to handle, peel off the shells and cut the eggs in half. Preheat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180C. Toast the peanuts in a dry frying pan.

    Put the rice in a small bowl and press down until it is compacted. Arrange the egg, peanuts, cucumber around the rice.


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