Nasi Lemak (Malaysian Coconut Rice)

Shop Ingredients
Serves 2-4


1 C jasmine rice, washed and drained
1 1/4 C water
3/4 C coconut milk
1 knob ginger, sliced and bruised
1 stalk lemongrass if possible, bruised
2 pandan leaves if possible, tied into knots

spicy sambal
dried anchovies (rinsed and fried til crispy)


This could be one of the tastiest, most flavoursome comfort meals that you could possibly whip up. And everyone has told me the same this week. Coconut rice, a fried egg, some spicy sambal and hearts (and taste buds) are content.

Traditional accompaniments for a simple plate of nasi lemak would be crunchy fried anchovies (ikan bilis) and peanuts, fresh cucumber and a spicy chilli sambal packing a flavoursome punch. Alas, my pantry offered neither dried anchovies or peanuts, so roasted almonds held the fort, with crunchy veg on the side and a soft boiled egg to mix in with the sambal. Still a wonderfully tasty combination – though I fried an egg with a tin of sardines for the leftover rice, and man was that a tasty dinner. Not as fresh and photogenic, but oily and good. Also very popular with spicy chicken or beef rendang.


Nasi Lemak (Malaysian Coconut Rice)

You can make nasi lemak in a rice cooker if that is what you use. A saucepan with a tight fitting lid is equally fine, which is how I’ve cooked mine.

Pop the washed rice in the pot with the water, coconut milk, salt and ginger. Bruised lemongrass and pandan leaves too if you have them. Bring to a boil, then lid on if it isn’t already and reduce the heat to it’s lowest setting. Simmer (no peeking) for 10-15 minutes, until the water has gone. Turn off the heat but leave the lid on to gently steam for another 10 minutes.

Serve with sambal and egg, fried fish and something fresh. Or the aforementioned rendang.



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