Nasi lemak – Malaysian coconut milk rice, served with sambal, fried crispy anchovies, toasted peanuts and cucumber.
Warm coconut rice infused with aroma of pandan leaves, lemongrass and ginger accompanied by a hard-boiled egg, crispy fried anchovies and peanuts, a few slices of cucumber, and a dollop of sambal.
The fried peanuts and anchovies brings complexity and crunch to the dish, can be fried and then stored in an airtight container at room temperature. The sambal can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and then microwaved when you need it.
The coconut rice, I like to use basmati rice and I like to cook it over the stove. Served piping hot along with warm hard-boiled eggs and fresh slices of cucumber.
Ingredients: Serves 5 – 6
3cups basmati rice
1 tbsp salt
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger
4 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
3 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
Fried Peanuts and Anchovies
2/3 cups peanut or canola oil
1 cup raw peanuts with skin on
1 1/2 cups dried anchovies, washed and drained
For the nasi lemak
1. Prepare the coconut rice. Wash the rice by gently rubbing it with your fingers in a bowl filled with water. When the water becomes cloudy, drain the water and repeat the process until the water is clear. Place the rice in a large saucepan and add the salt, ginger, pandan leaves, coconut milk, and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer, uncovered, until steam holes appear in the rice and the surface looks dry, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook, without stirring, until all the coconut milk is absorbed and the grains are tender and fluffy, about 20 minutes more. (Alternatively, you can cook all the ingredients in a rice cooker.) When the rice is done, discard the ginger, and pandan leaves and stir the rice.
Coconut Milk Rice in the process of cooking
Cooked Coconut Rice
2. Meanwhile, fry the peanuts and anchovies: Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over medium-low heat. When the oil shimmers, add the peanuts and cook until they turn brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the peanuts with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain
3. Next, carefully add the dried anchovies and stir-fry, moving the anchovies back and forth, until golden brown and crispy, about 7 minutes. Transfer the anchovies to a paper towel. Discard the oil. Set aside half of the anchovies to serve with rice.