How to Make Nasi Lemak – Part 1

Nasi lemak is the unofficial ‘national dish’ of Malaysia, and a popular breakfast item that you’ll find wrapped in banana leaf at street-side stalls. A number of side dishes and condiments go into this dish and they vary slightly depending on where you are, but at my restaurant I always served Nasi Lemak with coconut rice, cucumber slices, dried anchovy, chilli sambal, egg, peanuts and mixed vegetable pickle.

(Serves 4)


  • Coconut rice
  • Acar
  • Ikan Bilis
  • Chilli Sambal
  • 2 eggs, boiled, peeled and halved
  • 4 Tbsp peanuts (skin on), roasted
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced
  • Banana leaves, cut into 20 cm squares (optional)

Assembly –

  1. Line plates with banana leaves if using. Scoop rice into a small rice bowl and press to gently before turning rice out into the centre of the plate.

  2. Arrange all the components around the rice and serve with a side of Malaysian Chicken Curry or Toor Dhal. 
jackie M's Nasi Lemak

Jackie M’s Nasi Lemak


Coconut Rice –


  • 2 cups jasmine rice, soaked in water for at least an hour
  • 1 pandan leaf, bruised
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut cream


  1. Drain the soaked rice, add salt and pandan leaf and spread in a tray or a muslin-lined bamboo steamer. Cover and steam over high heat for 30 minutes.
  2. Pour coconut cream over rice, mix well and steam a further 30 minutes or until tender. Add a little water if rice looks too dry during the steaming process. 

Ikan Bilis (Dried Anchovy) –


  • ½ cup dried anchovies, headless & de-boned style
  • ½ cup oil


  1. Rinse anchovies in cold water, strain and pat dry.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the anchovies and fry until they start to crisp up and turn a light brown colour.
  3. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve oil for sambal.

(To be continued…)

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