6 Ingredients of Authentic Nasi Lemak
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6 Ingredients of Authentic Nasi Lemak


Quick simple steps to make one of the nation’s most favourite dish!

Nasi Lemak, loosely translated as rich or sinful rice, has come a long way since its humble beginnings of being the breakfast of villagers. The national dish of Malaysia, it is packed with carbohydrates and protein that fuels the villagers as they slog in the fields.

Must read: Exploring an Authentic Malacca’s Culinary in 24 hours.

Over the years, this dish has evolved, with variations of the dish being served. Fried chicken, beef Rendang, Sambal Sotong… the list of accompaniments are endless. Now, you can find Nasi Lemak almost anywhere, packet Nasi Lemaks from the road side stalls and a local mamak, a full meal in restaurants and even as an inflight menu option in our local airlines.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients that make an authentic Nasi Lemak:

1. Coconut rice

The rice is cooked in coconut milk and Pandan leaves, making it soft, fluffy and fragrant.

2. Sambal

Savoury, spicy and pungent, the Sambal (chili paste) is what gives this dish a kick. Mix it all up with the rice, if you like it hot, or take little bites at a time.

3. Egg

The egg helps make it a balance meal, adding protein to the dish. It’s usually served with a hard-boiled egg, but sometimes, you’ll find it replaced with a fried egg instead.

4. Cucumber

The cool cucumber helps balance the heat of the Sambal, while giving you your dose of the green that you know you need.

5. Anchovies and Peanuts

According to Chef Wan, a famous Malaysian celebrity chef, serving Nasi Lemak without its condiments is like serving a naked Nasi Lemak. The anchovies and peanuts are fried, giving the dish a crispy crunch.

6. Banana leaf

Traditionally, Nasi Lemak is served wrapped in a banana leaf, which when unwrapped, serves as a ‘plate’ to eat off from. These days, Nasi Lemak is also served on plates, and for an authentic touch, a banana leaf is placed on the plate.

Did we get your stomach growling? Here are some of our favourite Nasi Lemaks to help you in your hunt:

  1. Village Park, Damansara Uptown
  2. Nasi Lemak Tanglin, Desa Seri Hartamas
  3. Nyonya Colours, available in various shopping malls
  4. Heritage Village, available in various shopping malls