Nasi Lemak – Indonesia


Indonesian cooking ingredients

Coconut flavoured rice with Dried Anchovy Sambal
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: 100g
  • Calories: 106 kcal
  • Fat: 7.8 grams
  • Saturated fat: 2.7 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3.3 grams
  • Sugar: 3.2 grams
  • Sodium: 0.21 grams
  • Fiber: 0.6 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
Recipe type: Flavoured rice
Cuisine: Indonesia
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe is a typical combination of the sweet, sour, salty and pungent flavours that are popular in Indonesia. From a country that loves its Chillies,in this great tasting recipe , coconut flavoured rice is topped with Sambal Ikan Bilis (Dried Anchovies Sambal) and other accompaniments . Believe it or not, but this is usually a breakfast dish in that part of the world, but don’t let that sway you. It is fantastic whatever time of the day it is eaten
For the rice
  • Rice - two cups Basmati or similar
  • Pandan leaves - three (see note*)
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut milk - one can (400ml)
  • White onion – one medium (finely chopped)
  • Vegetable oil – one teaspoon
For the Sambal Ikan Bilis
  • Red onion – one finely sliced
  • Vegetable oil – one tablespoon
  • Dried anchovies – one cup (see note**)
  • Garlic – one clove
  • Shallots – four (coarsely chopped)
  • Dried chillies (see note)
  • Shrimp paste – one teaspoon ( see note ***)
  • Sugar - 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Juice of one lime (see note ****)
  • One cup of water
Other ingredients
  • Hard-boiled eggs - two cut into half
  • Dried anchovies - two handfuls ( see cooking instructions below)
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying anchovies (dependant on the size of pan/pot)
  • Roasted peanuts
  • Cucumber – one small ( sliced)
For the rice
  1. Place rice in a colander or sieve and run under cold water to release some of the starch (the water will run clear once this achieved. Drain and keep to one side
  2. Pour oil into a pot (big enough for the volume of rice that will be made). Bring oil to a medium heat
  3. Add the onions and fry until translucent
  4. Add the rice and cook for a minute or two
  5. Add the coconut milk, the Pandan leaves, salt and a little water. Bring to a simmer, stirring continuously
  6. Turn down the heat to low heat and then cover the pot with a lid
  7. Check the rice intermittently and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to ensure that it is not sticking
  8. Once the rice is cooked remove from the stove and keep warm
For the deep-fried anchovy accompaniment
  1. Deep fry in oil for five minutes until crispy,. Drain and keep aside
To make the sambal
  1. Rinse and drain the anchovies. Using a little vegetable oil, fry the fish until slightly browned. Keep to one side
  2. Place the shrimp paste, chillies, garlic and shallots in a food processor or blender with a little water. Pulse until combined into a paste
  3. Place one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and bring to medium heat. Add red onions and fry gently for two minutes. Add the fried anchovies
  4. Now add the shrimp paste mix from above. Stir, allowing onions and paste to combine
  5. Add the lemon juice, water and sugar. (if using tamarind juice, omit water and lemon juice) Stir until the sauce has thickened. Set aside. Keep warm
And finally
  1. To serve spoon rice onto a plate, add sambal and top with dried anchovies, shelled peanuts, eggs and cucumbers
This dish can be served on its own or as part of of a larger plate, It is sometimes combined with fried fish, chicken or beef

Any red chillies can be used for this recipe, but consider you are looking for a bit of heat. Consider Cayenne or Birds-eye type. As always, adjust to personal heat tolerance

*Pandang leaves provide significant flavour to this dish. Without them, it would certainly be lacking something. They can be bought online

**The Indonesian word for dried anchovies is Ikan Bilis. It can easily be found online using this term

*** Shrimp paste can be found online using the names “ Terasi”, “ Belacan.” or “ Kapi”

**** Authentic Nasi Lemak uses Tamarind juice. If you have this on hand, substitute it for the lime juice and the water

Keywords: Nasi Lemak

Serves: 4 portions