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Nasi Lemak – A Favorite Malaysian Breakfast

In Malaysia, people mostly begin the day with a heavy breakfast. A favorite Malaysian breakfast choice is Nasi Lemak.

The original recipe is actually just a small portion. This center, wrapped in banana leaf, might also be wrapped with another layer of used newspaper. Contents might include a few anchovies, small pieces of tuna, peanuts, or a few small slices of cucumber. And, it might include a quarter of boiled egg and don’t forget the hot Sambal.

The literal translation for Nasi Lemak is Fat Rice – the fat is referred to the creamy coconut milk that the rice is cooked in. The other distinctive feature of the rice is – it is cooked with pandan leaves, giving the cooked rice a very beautiful scent. The hot Sambal tasted differently, according to states or regions in Malaysia. The east coast Malaysians prefer their dishes to be little bit sweeter, by adding pinch of sugar in every main dish. While the people of the other part, prefer their dishes to be taste purely as it is. I prefer my dish to be a bit sweeter. For me, sugar play same role as salt, to enhance and to balance the overall taste.  Below is a Nasi Lemak recipe, exclusively created for vegan!





Vegan Nasi Lemak





Coconut Milk-Infused Rice



  • 2 cups each:
    • rice
    • coconut milk
    • water
    • pandan leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 half-inch  piece fresh ginger




  • Rinse rice, fresh ginger, and the pandan leaves.
  • Peel and slice thinly the fresh ginger.
  • If the pandan leaves are too big for the rice cooker, tie the leaves in a knot.
  • Mix everything in the rice cooker and leave to cook.



Vegan “Anchovies”



  • 2 sheets beancurd skin
  • 1 sheet seaweed, cut into 3cm strips
  • 3 Tbsp wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Oil



  • Make a paste out of the flours and 5 tbsp water.
  •  Put a thin layer of the paste on the beancurd skin just on 1 side.
  • Make another layer of seaweed on top of the paste.
  • Spread some more paste on the seaweed layer.
  • Roll the beancurd skin.
  • Steam for 15 minutes.
  • After that, remove from heat and allow it to cool.
  • Cut the beancurd skin into long thin strips to imitate the dried anchovies.
  • Heat oil up, and deep fry until crisp.
  • Remove the “anchovies” from the frying pan and drain.



Sambal Sauce



  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 tsp Cili Boh (chili paste)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp tamarind concentrate



  • Blend onion, garlic and shallot together.
  • Heat up the pan. Pour the oil. Add the blended ingredients.
  • Stir in until fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Mix in the cili boh. Let it cook for 10 minutes and occasionally stirring.
  • Add the sugar, salt and tamarind concentrate.
  • Let it simmer until the sauce is thick. Around 5 minutes.
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