Nasi Lemak

Only the man who is not hungry says the coconut has a hard shell.
~ Ethiopian Proverb

We can never go wrong serving the ever favourite Malaysian Nasi Lemak. Nasi Lemak is a favourite rice meal normally eaten for breakfast. It is the closest to being the official national dish of Malaysia. Directly translated from Malay, nasi lemak means “rice in cream”. Nasi lemak is spicy.

When I was in Malaysia, I remember that we line up to buy the dish from the hawkers even before they get a chance to setup their stalls. Good Nasi Lemak is hard to come by now in Vancouver. I love the sotongs (cuttlefish) and cangkerang (cockles) for side dish … sigh.


Suanne made Nasi Lemak for dinner recently. The most important ingredient is the sambal which gives the dish the signature spicyness. Polly gave us some Malaysian-style fried anchovies which we have not found in Vancouver (thanks Polly!). The fried anchovies and fried peanuts gives the dish the crunchiness.


The nasi lemak rice must be cooked in coconut milk (otherwise, it will not be called nasi lemak, wouldn’t it?). Suanne put in some sliced ginger for flavouring.


While the rice cooks, Suanne prepared the all important sambal. There are several ways to prepare the sambal but it typically is cooked with onions and anchovies. We prefer the anchovies crunchy and so Suanne just cook the sambal with onions. Making the sambal is a lot of work and does make the whole house smells sambal for a week — Suanne just uses those bought from the stores.


Making peanuts is well, peanuts. Suanne just pan-fry it for about 10 minutes. Added some salt and once it’s all dark brown, it’s done.


It’s common to have eggs served with nasi lemak. They are served with either hard-boiled or sunny-side up. We prefer the sunny-side up ones because the soft yolk goes really well with the rice.


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  1. Loc Kee

    hii… just brwose arounf and found your blog…Yeah I love nasi Lemak alot.

  2. HanFei a.k.a. Nameless Remaining</a

    hey, i’m quite amaze to found someone who is a Canadian loves Nasi Lemak!Yeah! I loves Nasi Lemak too!Cheers to the Great Nasi Lemak!

  3. ron

    there is nothing but the REAL ingredients for the original taste (blachan, candle nuts etc).
    thanks for substitute recipe.


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