Nasi lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and "pandan" leaf commonly found in Malaysia, where it is considered the national dish.Traditionally, nasi lemak is served with a platter of side dishes wrapped in banana leaves, including cucumber slices, small fried anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, and hot spicy sauce (sambal). As a more substantial meal, nasi lemak can also come with a variety of other accompaniments such as ayam goreng (fried chicken), sambal sotong (cuttlefish in chilli), cockles, stir fried water convolvulus (kangkong), pickled vegetables (acar), beef rendang (beef stewed in coconut milk and spices) or paru (beef lungs). Traditionally most of these accompaniments are spicy in nature.
Today I have prepared this nasi lemak dish in a vegetarian version, onion and garlic free to accommodate friends who are strictly on a vegetarian diet.One can add onions and garlic in the stir fry and sambal dish if preferred as it will enhance the flavour of the dish .
Nasi Lemak / Rice cooked in coconut milk
420gm jasmine white raw rice (do not use par boiled rice)
700ml coconut milk
3 screw pine leaves,shred slightly and knotted
3 slices ginger,julienne
1/4 tsp salt.
¼ cup thick coconut milk
Wash the rice,and drain. In a rice cooker, add in all the ingredients except the thick coconut milk.Leave to cook. Once it goes to warm, shut off the power and pour in the thick coconut milk in a circular motion. Close . The rice will expand slightly when you do this method at the end. You can omit it .
Sambal with Dried Bean Curd sheets
1 bean curd sheet ( break into smaller parts and soak in water )/ fu chu sheets
10-15 dried red chillies(soak in lukewarm water)
3 candlenuts(buah keras)
3/4 in ginger
1 in fresh turmeric
1 stalk lemongrass(bruised)
¼ cup oil
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp tamarind juice
¼ cup water
Grind into a fine paste dried chillies,ginger,fresh turmeric and candlenuts.
Heat up oil, sauté until fragrant the paste. In between throw in the bruised lemon grass. Once the oil starts to float on top, add in tamarind juice and sugar .Leave to simmer ,the sugar will caramelise and change the paste into a darker colouring.Then add in ¼ cup of water , the soaked bean curd and salt to taste. Leave to simmer until it reaches the required consistency.Close fire and dish out.
Usually I use vegetarian prawns, unfortunately this time, I could not get it ,therefore had replaced it with bean curd sheets...there are a few places that prepare the sambal using bean curd sheets or even fried tofu !
Chinese Water Spinach/ Water Convolvulus/Kangkung Stir Fry
300gm water convolvulus
½ a fresh red chilli
1 slice of ginger
Wash the leaves, use your fingers to separate the leaves from the stems. Use only the required amount of stems , if too tough,discard them.
Pound coarsely chilli and ginger ,saute in oil, add the water convolvulus,salt to taste .If the stems are tough, than add in the stems first and soften them slightly before adding in the leaves.
Once the leaves have soften, dish out.
Vegetarian BBQ Chicken
3 pieces of BBQ chicken ( I used the VegeMore Brand)
1 tsp Worcester sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
colouring - yellow and red colouring
Coat the sauce,sugar ,honey and the colouring to the mock meat. Leave for 2 hrs. Grill.
Or use a non stick pan.Grease with some oil.Place each pieces on high heat and let it cook or get a crispy texture.Slice thinly and serve.Best eaten while still hot.
Other accompaniments : Fried Groundnuts and Sliced cucumber.