Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time:1 hour
Ingredients needed to make Nasi Lemak:
For the coconut rice:
- 2 cups white rice
- 1 small can (5.6 oz) coconut milk
- 3 screwpine leaves, tied together in a knot
- Water, as required
- Salt to taste
For the tamarind juice:
- Ping-pong ball sized tamarind pump
- 1 cup water
For sambal ikan bilis:
- 1 cup dried anchovies
- 1 tsp belacan or shrimp paste
- 10 dried red chilies, deseeded
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- ½ red onion, peeled and sliced into rings
- 4 shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- Vegetable oil, as required
- 2 hard boiled eggs, halved
- 1 small cucumber, sliced
- 3 small sardines, cleaned and halved
Cooking instructions for Nasi Lemak:
- To cook the rice, wash the rice under running water until the water runs clear and drain into a large pot.
- Empty the can of coconut milk into it, along with a dash of salt and pour in water until its just covers the rice.
- Drop the knotted pandan leaves into the pot and cook the mixture over moderate heat.
- Drain it out in a colander and keep warm.
- While the rice cooks, wash the dried anchovies or ikan bilis under water and drain them out.
- Toss them into a skillet, greased previously with a lashing of oil and sauté them briefly until they brown slightly.
- Place the belacan in a mortar and throw in the chillies, garlic and shallots.
- Pound them with a pestle until they are smashed into a smooth paste and set aside.
- Place the tamarind pulp in a cup of water and set aside for 15 minutes to soak.
- Squeeze the pulp into the soaked water to extract maximum amount of juice from it.
- Pass it through a fine mesh sieve to drain and set the strained tamarind juice aside; throw away the solids.
- Drizzle a lashing of oil in a pan and heat it over moderate flame.
- Spoon the spice paste into it and stir fry until the raw smell disappears.
- Throw in the onion rings as well as browned anchovies and stir them all together to mix well.
- Pour in the tamarind juice and sprinkle the sugar as well as a pinch of salt into it.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer and continue to cook at slow flame until it turns thicker; remove from heat and set aside.
- Toss the sardines with a dash of salt until well-seasoned and deep fry in hot oil until they aturn golden brown.
- To serve, pile the coconut rice on serving plates and spoon the sambal ikan bilis over each serving.
- Scatter the fried fish, hard boiled eggs and sliced cucumber around the rice and serve right away.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons