Nasi Lemak

with Sambal Ikan Bilis

Based on 22 ratings













A classic Malay dish consisting of fragrant rice cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaf.

Let's start cooking!

Coconut milk added to rice cooker
Step 1 - Prepare and cook coconut rice

  • In the rice cooker, place 2 cups basmati rice, 1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup water, 4 Tbsp salt, crushed shallots, crushed garlic and knotted pandan leaves. Cook according to rice cooker instructions.

Make blended spice paste

Step 2 - Blend spice paste

  • In a blender or food processor, blend onion, garlic, dry chili and chili padi.
  • If mixture is too dry, add vegetable oil to achieve a smooth consistency. Set aside.
Nasi lemak is considered one of Malaysia’s national dishes and is often eaten for breakfast.

Shallow fry ikan bilis
Step 3 - Fry Ikan bilis and peanuts

  • In a pan on high heat, add enough oil for a shallow fry.
  • Fry peanuts for 1 minute, until lightly browned. Remove peanuts and place on paper towel-lined plate.
  • To the same pan, fry ikan bilis for 1 minute, until crisp.
  • Remove ikan bilis and place on paper towel-lined plate.

Sambal ikan bilis
Step 4 - Make sambal ikan bilis

  • Remove excess oil from pan until about 2 Tbsp oil left.
  • Add belacan and fry for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • Pour spice paste into the pan and fry for 10 to 15 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • The paste should be deep red in colour and oil is separated.
  • Add in tomato paste, tamarind paste and 1 cup water.
  • Simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until sauce is thickens.
  • Season with 4 Tbsp salt and 1 Tbsp sugar.
  • Add crispy anchovies into the sambal and set aside.
Some popular Chinese variants of this dish are made with a vibrantly colored emerald-green rice, which catches the attention of potential customers.

Plate and serve!

Nasi lemak with sambal ikan bilis
Place rice onto serving plate with sambal ikan bilis, peanuts, halved hard boiled egg and sliced cucumber. Serve hot.

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