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  • Writer's pictureAlissa Love

Homemade Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

Nasi lemak is by far the most popular Malay dish in the country. You'll hear people of all sorts of races order a plate of nasi lemak, mostly without knowing what it actually means. In short, nasi lemak is loosely translated to 'fatty rice' and gets it's name from the coconut milk used to cook it.

It's a crowd favourite for breakfast and lunch - and is unique because the 'core' ingredient is the rice, roasted peanuts and sambal(chili) - but what makes it truly yours is the accompaniments you choose to eat it with. I love mine with crispy tiny ikan bilis(silverfish) and my mama's ayam goreng (deep fried chicken).

**See below my spread for a recent birthday lunch I hosted. The birthday girl is vegetarian so this came with a bonus jackfruit rendang! I also cheated with the sambal and bought THIS. - by far my favourite local sauce brand, the belachan is LEGIT for something that's store bought.

Use as much rice as you need. I gauge about 1 cup of rice per 2 persons.


2 cups rice

1 cup thick coconut milk/cream

2½ cups water

Pandan leaf, knotted

Lemongrass stalk, smashed

1 inch ginger

Salt to taste



1. Wash rice, drain and leave in rice cooker.

2. Add 1 cup thick coconut milk/cream and 2½ cups of water.

3. Add knotted pandan leaf, ginger and lemongrass and stir gently.

4. Turn on rice cooker and cook per regular rice setting.

5. When rice is almost done (~5 more mins), drizzle a few tablespoons of thick coconut milk/cream and add salt to taste.

6. Fluff up rice and mix gently once cooked.

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