October 19, 2011

Nasi Lemak

Recipe: Nasi Lemak (Fragrant Coconut Rice)椰浆饭
Serves: 4 - 5

Coconut Rice
  • 420g rice (about 2 cups)
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 230ml water
  • 2 pandan leaves (tie in knots or cut into 5-inch length pieces)
  • 2 slices fresh ginger (about 0.5cm thick)
  • some red onion slices (about the amount of 2 onion rings) * optional
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (crushed) * optional
  • ¼ tsp. to ¾ tsp. salt or to taste
Condiment Side Ingredients For Wrapping
  • 4 - 5 pcs banana leaves, 9.5-inch x 12-inch
  • 4 - 5 pcs old newspapers or waxed papers, 18-inch x 7-inch
Measurements: tsp = teaspoon | TBSP = tablespoon

Nasi Lemak / Coconut Rice
  • 1. Slice red onion and ginger. Wash pandan leaves and tie into a knot or cut them into smaller pieces.
  • 2. Wash and drain rice. Repeat until water runs clear.
  • 3. Put rice, lemongrass, pandan leaves, ginger, red onion, and salt into rice cooker.
  • 4. Add coconut milk and water. Let rice soak in rice cooker for 30 minutes. Then, turn on the rice cooker.
  • 5. When rice is cooked, break up any clumps and roughly separate the grains using a spatula. Let rice rest in rice cooker for at least 10 minutes, for the flavor to steep. After 10 minutes, discard pandan leaves, ginger, lemongrass, and red onion or leave them in the rice cooker until rice is ready to serve.
  • 6. Slice cucumber. Quarter each hard-boiled eggs.
  • 7. Serve coconut rice with sambal nasi lemak and the side ingredients.
  • How To Wrap Nasi Lemak
  • 1. Wash banana leave. Pat dry with paper towels. Trim off any hard edges from the banana leaves. Cut banana leaves into appropriate sizes.
  • 2. Fill a rice bowl with rice, about 80% - 90% full. Press rice with back of a spoon.
  • 3. Turn the bowl of rice upside down onto a piece of prepared banana leave. Remove bowl, leaving rice on banana leave.
  • 4. Put a slice of hard-boiled egg, Malay spiced fried chicken (boneless; cut), some anchovy crisps, and roasted peanuts on top of the rice.
  • 5. Add cucumber.
  • 6. Add sambal.
  • 7. If rice is not at the center of banana leave, carefully push rice to the center with a knife.
  • 8. Fold one of the short side edges close to the rice as indicated in the photo. With thumb and index finger pinching point 1 & 3 and point 2 & 4 respectively at edge 1 & 2, form a peak between point 3 & 4 at about two third position from edge 1 & 2 to 3 & 4. Point 1, 2, 3, 4, and the peak should look like a half-cone.
  • 9. Now, make another fold at the other short side edge. Same folding as step 8. You will get a cone like wrap after this fold.
  • 10. Fold paper 1-inch inward on both long side edges. Place the half-wrapped nasi lemak in step 9 on center of paper, short sides in parallel with the long sides of paper. Fold paper to cover about half of the "cone" at one side from the bottom, as shown in photo, start from the opposite side of step 9.
  • 11. Now, fold paper on opposite side, same folding as step 10. Paper will basically cover banana leaf at bottom, leaving top (the peak on banana leaf) uncovered.
  • 12. Lift the wrapped nasi lemak with one hand, fold short sides of paper downward. Turn wrapped nasi lemak bottomside up, tuck in the ends, then revert it to the right side.
  • 13. One wrapping is done!

  • Notes
  • Use just waxed papers if you can't get to buy banana leaves at your place. You might need to cut papers into bigger sizes in that case.
  • For your convenience, prepare sambal nasi lemak ahead and store in refrigerator. Reheat sambal when you need it.

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