It is my regret that I did not take down my grandma’s Nyonya nasi lemak recipe.
I knew I had to test this recipe out to preserve my Nyonya heritage – this recipe was taken from the Astro TV Cooking show called Comfort Food Recipes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQgcM41Ua5M). Thanks Astro and Nyonya Su Pei! Nasi Lemak Lover also tried it out here: http://nasilemaklover.blogspot.my/2016/06/nyonya-nasi-lemak.html.
There are a few components to Nyonya Nasi Lemak:
- Nasi Lemak
- Sambal Belacan
- Sambal Ikan Bilis
- Hard boiled egg
- Some households level up their Nasi Lemak with other side dishes such as Asam Fried Fish, Fried Chicken, Prawn Sambal or even good ol’ Fried Baby Ikan Bilis
- If wrapping or serving on banana leaf, run banana leaf over an open flame so that it softens and can be folded easily.
1. Nasi Lemak
- Soak 2 cups of rice for 30 minutes after washing.
- Drain water. Add pandan leaves and 2 slices of old ginger to rice in a steaming tray. Steam for 30 minutes.
- Add some salt into 200g santan (coconut milk) and 100g water. Pour 1/3 santan mixture over rice. Mix rice and santan with chopsticks (spoon will break the perfect grain of the rice). Steam for 3 – 5 minutes or until santan is absorbed by rice.
- Repeat Step 3 for 2 more times.
- Keep rice warm.
*We can alternatively cook rice in the rice cooker with water and add coconut oil onto rice after cooking. Mix will with a pair of chopsticks.
2. Sambal Belacan
- Toast belacan in wok. Use spatula to flatten it. End result should be a fragrant (borderline bakar smell) powder form belacan. Set aside.
- Slice fresh red chilis. (Optional) Add cili padi (bird’s eye chili) for heat. Pound halfway.
- Add toasted belacan from Step 1 into pounded chili mix and pound. Add bit by bit and taste as you go (do several taste tests).
- (Optional) Add in lime juice.
3. Sambal Ikan Bilis
- Wash and sun dry ikan bilis (anchovies) *alternatively, can toast in oven. If sundrying, put a moat of water around it to avoid ants.
- Pound: Shallots, sliced lemongrass. Then add and pound: dried chili paste, belacan and a little turmeric powder.
- Heat oil in wok and deep fry ikan bilis from Step 1. Drain and set ikan bilis aside.
- Use ikan bilis oil to fry pounded chili paste.
- Add 1 daun limau purut (kaffir lime leaf) and some asam ko juice (tamarind).
- Add sugar to taste.
- Add ikan bilis from Step 3 and fry to incorporate all ingredients.
- Wash and sun dry peanuts *alternatively, can toast in oven.
- Toast in pan over low heat till aromatic.
5. Hard boiled eggs
- Place room temperature eggs in pot. Add salt and water (water level = cover eggs completely).
- Boil water on medium/high heat until rapid boil (large bubbles).
- Switch off heat and let eggs stand for 10 minutes in the pot of water.
- Peel eggs and cut into desired size (half, quarters, etc)
- Wash cucumber and slice cucumber. Serve.