Nasi Lemak (coconut rice with vegetables and fried dried anchovies)

Nasi Lemak (coconut rice with vegetables and fried dried anchovies) – from the Delicatessen with Love project by Gabriele Galimberti – as prepared by Thilaga Vadhi, 55 years old from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Nasi Lemak is a traditional Malaysian dish. It is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner in restaurants. You can find it whenever and wherever you want in Malaysia!

Visit infopedia for more about Nasi Lemak.


3 cups long-grain rice
250 g. coconut milk (1 cup or can)
1/4+2 tbsp rock sugar (use slightly less if using regular white sugar)
1 knot or about 15 screw pine / Pandan leaves
Palm Oil
1 cup Peanuts
dried anchovies, 1-2 cups
4 eggs
1 large bunch spinach or kangkong (water spinach) is available
1 cucumber

1 onion

For sambal paste:

20 red chillies
up to 15 shallots
1 onions
57 garlic cloves
2 cm. ginger
2 tsp. shrimp paste

1. Wash the rice in cold water. Then, put it in a pot with 250 g of coconut milk, 50g of rock sugar and 15 leaves of screw pine. Cover the pot and cook slowly on a low heat for 35 minutes. Using a rice cooker.
2. Roast the peanuts in a non-stick pan with a spoon of palm oil and a pinch of salt.
3. In another non-stick pan, fry the dried anchovies with a spoon of palm oil.
4. Put 20 red chillies, 15 shallots, 1 onion, 5 garlic cloves, 2 two-cm pieces of ginger and 1 spoon of palm oil in a blender. Blend everything until you get a smooth paste.
5. In a mortar, crush 2 spoons of shrimp paste and 2 garlic cloves until minced smoothly.
6. Now, cook the 2 pastes in a pan with 3 spoons of palm oil and one of salt. Heat for 15 minutes and then, add a chopped onion and two spoons of sugar. Let it cook for 5 more minutes.
7. In the meantime, harden 4 eggs in boiling water and sauté some fresh spinach in a pan with palm oil for at least 5 minutes.
8. At this point the rice should be ready, the eggs hardened, the spinach sautéed, the anchovies fried and the peanuts roasted. You only need to get a cucumber, slice it and adjust all the ingredients on a dish, as it is shown in the photo. Enjoy your meal!