Malaysia is a country of diversity, and the food reflects that. Chinese, Indian, and local southeast Asian Malay flavors are the trio blend of ingredients and cooking techniques that have been adopted into Malaysian cuisine.
Nasi lemak, possibly the national dish of Malaysia and beloved by all local Malaysians is a dish known as nasi lemak. It’s something you most definitely must eat when you’re in Malaysia.
There are a few different varieties of nasi lemak and many variations, but the basis of the dish is rice cooked in coconut milk, topped with spicy sambal chili sauce.
The most basic version is a pocket of rice topped with sambal, perhaps a hard boiled egg on the side, and wrapped up in a banana leaf.
coconut milk steamed rice
2 cups rice
3 screwpine leaves, tie them into a knot
salt to taste
1 can coconut milk (5.6 oz. / /150 ml-180 ml)
1 cup 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
10 dried chillies
1 teaspoon belacan, prawn paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 hard boiled eggs, cut into half
3 small fish, sardines or smelt fish
1 small cucumber, cut into slices and then quartered INSTRUCTIONS
1 – 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.
2 – Rinse the dried anchovies and drain the water. Fry the anchovies until they turn light brown and put aside.
3- 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.
4- 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.
5- 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.
Malaysia has many flavors and secrets.