Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice) With Prawn Sambal (Sauce)

Nasi lemak needs no introduction to Malaysians.  This popular coconut flavored rice is eaten almost any time of the day. A basic and simple nasi lemak is served with plain chili sambal/gravy, cucumber slices, fried/boiled egg, fried peanuts and anchovies. The elaborated versions on the other hand consists of  a huge spread of dishes such as the ayam goreng berempah, chicken or beef rendang and addition of seafood, mostly cooked in some sort of chili gravy.  If I feel like eating nasi lemak, it will always be from the Malay hawker stalls. Somehow the sambal served with the nasi lemak at these stalls are a standout from the rest. I have noticed that the sambal is nothing fancy but the taste is so good.  After all, a nasi lemak meal will not be the same without the crucial tasty sambal.

We don’t eat nasi lemak often but when we want to, I normally pack back from my favorite stall near my place. Nasi lemak is seldom made at home because for the two of us, it's convenient to eat out or buy back.  To accommodate the request of one of my Facebook page fans, I am sharing this recipe of mine to all of you.  My recipe is in between the basic and elaborated versions with the essential condiments - boiled eggs, fried anchovies and peanuts. Rather than cucumber slices, I made a stir fried kangkung (water spinach/convolvulus) and the main dish of course was the prawn sambal/sauce.

Cooking the coconut rice is quite straightforward if you use the rice cooker. Start off by washing the rice and add into the rice cooker. Pour in coconut milk (depending on how thick or diluted you like the milk to be).  The quantity of milk will be same as the amount of water needed to cook rice. Throw in a couple of pandan leaves (sliced into medium sized pieces), a few pieces of sliced ginger and salt to taste.  Stir these ingredients gently and cook in the rice cooker. When rice is already cooked, use a pair of chopsticks to gently stir the rice again. For the stir fried kangkung --- remove the roots, slit the stems into two and sliced them.  Stir fry with oil and and pieces of garlic, seasoned with salt to taste. 

The prawn sambal was prepared in an authentic and typical Malaysian style. If you can’t find any of the ingredients, replace with what you think will be the best substitute.  This complete meal of nasi lemak is awesomely fabulous and if you are going to eat with your hands, its finger licking good!!!!!

400g medium size prawns - de-vein and leave the tail on
1 piece of turmeric leaf/daun kunyit - sliced thinly
4-5 tbsp oil
salt to taste
1 tbsp lime juice

Chili Paste - To blend/ground
8-10 fresh red chilies
2-3 birds eye/chili padi (optional)
5 shallots
1/2 inch ginger
1 inch galangal/lengkuas
1 serai
Heat oil and fry chili paste till aromatic and oil splits up.
Add prawns and stir into chili paste.
Pour water only if you prefer more gravy.
Watch the prawns because over cooking will create a rubbery texture.
When prawns are cooked, add lime juice, turmeric leaf and salt to taste.
Give a good stir and remove from heat.

To serve
Serve with coconut rice, stir fried kangkung/water spinach and the rest of the condiments.
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  1. Looks delicious!!! not easy to cook coconut rice. The coconut need to be fresh

  2. Your coconut rice is really winning my heart. The whole dish in itself with sambal prawns and boiled eggs looks so appetizing. And I see that you made the sambal from scratch. I would try once my bottle of sambal olek is done.

    How did you cut the eggs in half with their shells?

  3. Hi Bal,
    Use a sharp knife and cut through the eggs. Thats what I did.

  4. OH!! look greats!! really look so delicious, im gonna bookmark this entry link in that way if someday i want to cook nasi lemak, will follow ms.nava recipe :D

  5. I love nasi lemak. This should be Malaysia National Dish. =)

  6. one of my favorite is the prawn sambal..
    My MIL use the dried prawn + the fresh prawns..

  7. I simply love the exotic combination of flavours in this dish my friend :D


  8. This looks great. I really want to try coconut rice.

  9. Like you, I normally buy nasi lemak outside since its quite tough to cook for 2 unless I were to make it into our breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, I am quite keen to try my hand on fine long weekend I shall do so.

  10. same like missyburkit. Usually i tapau from outside rather than cook coz only 2 person eating

  11. Great clicks! I want to dive right in. :)


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