How To Cook Vegan Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak (coconut rice with sambal, egg, dried anchovies etc.) is often touted as Malaysia’s national dish, and if you visit Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur, you’ll find a number of famous restaurants selling Nasi Lemak with all kinds of different dish selections like fried chicken (ayam goreng), rendang etc. to go with it.

When I had my restaurant, I used to sell a similarly decked out version of Nasi Lemak, which I called “Nasi Lemak Deluxe”.

In this third episode of Street Food Journeys: Malaysia Plant-Based Edition I demonstrated how to make a vegan version of this Nasi Lemak Deluxe, which included separate instructions for each of the components – a quick and easy way to make the coconut rice, plus vegan sambal, my method for making a simple but delicious vegan ikan bilis (fried dried anchovies), vegan omelette, vegan rendang and vegan ayam goreng (fried “chicken”).

My recipes for all except the vegan rendang and vegan ayam goreng are republished here; there’s a link at the bottom of this article to the eMagazine you can download, which covers the other dishes along with every other vegan recipe featured in the series.

Watch the replay of Street Food Journeys: Malaysia Plant-Based Edition (Kuala Lumpur) here; my Vegan Nasi Lemak cooking segment starts at about 1:15 >>

Vegan Nasi Lemak


Cucumber, cut into chunks
Peanuts, skin on, fried or roasted

4 cups jasmine rice
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 pandan leaves, tied in a knot (optional), or 2
tsp pandan powder
2⁄3 cup coconut milk powder

1⁄2 onion, sliced
1⁄2 onion, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 large red chillies or 2 TBSP chilli powder,
mixed into a paste with onion
1 TBSP minced lemongrass (optional)
2 TBSP tamarind concentrate
2 TBSP mushroom seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground bean paste (optional)
4 TBSP sugar (or to taste)
1⁄2 cup coconut cream (optional)
1 tsp soya sauce
4 TBSP oil

2 sheets pliable beancurd skin
1 sheet seaweed
3 TBSP plain flour
1 TBSP rice flour
5 TBSP boiling water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp mushroom seasoning
1 tsp wakame powder (optional)
1 tsp pepper
Oil for deep-frying

1⁄4 cup besan or chickpea flour
1⁄2 piece white tofu, mashed
1 tsp tapioca starch
1⁄3 cup water
1⁄2 tsp Himalayan black salt (optional)
1 tsp mushroom seasoning
Dash of pepper
A few thin slices of onion (optional)
1⁄2 TBSP oil for frying


  1. To cook the coconut rice, combine all ingredients except the coconut milk powder in a pot or rice cooker and cook per normal
    rice. When rice is ready and still hot, stir in the coconut milk powder and mix well.
  2. Cover and rest a further 5 minutes to allow the flavours to absorb before serving.
  3. To make the sambal, fry minced onion and garlic with oil until lightly browned and oil separates.
  4. Add all other ingredients and simmer. Adjust seasoning, then remove from heat and serve.
  5. To make vegan ikan bilis, combine flours and seasoning with boiling water. Mix into a paste.
  6. Spread out beancurd skin and smear with paste. Place seaweed on it, then spread some paste on the
    seaweed layer.
  7. Fold in the sides of the beancurd sheet so they completely cover the seaweed.
  8. Spread the paste on the second beancurd sheet; place the first sheet on it and fold again so you end up with two sheets of beancurd sheet wrapped around one sheet of seaweed.
  9. Cut into strips about 1cm x 3cm.
  10. Heat oil lto 160-170C; fry strips in batches until crispy.
  11. Remove from oil, drain and allow to cool before serving or storing in airtight containers.
  12. To make vegan omelette, combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
  13. Heat oil in a pan, then add omelette mixture.
  14. Fry on low to medium heat until set, then flip and cook on the other side until lightly browned.
  15. Remove and cut into wedges before serving.


This episode of Street Food Journeys: Malaysia Plant-Based Edition (Kuala Lumpur) also features:

  • Vegan Nasi Lemak accompaniments including vegan ayam goreng and vegan rendang by yours truly
  • Vegan Pecel (vegetable and tofu salad with peanut sauce) by Leeza Yeo
  • The JetLag Warriors’ first impressions of Kuala Lumpur

The recipes for the entire series, produced in partnership with Tourism Malaysia Australia, can be found in the special edition MOMC eMagazine which you can download here >> Click to View or Download

Sign up to our email list so you don’t miss a single issue of our MOMC free recipe eMagazines >>

Share and Enjoy !


Join Jackie M’s Mailing List