Nasi Lemak, sometimes referred to as the national dish of Malaysia, is an aromatic rice dish cooked in a base of coconut milk and pandan leaf. Featured in the Times Magazine as one of the top 10 healthy breakfast dishes across the globe, it is a must-have when you visit Malaysia.
Nasi Lemak became popular worldwide after it was mentioned in “The Circumstances of Malay Life”, a book by Sir Winstedt. The dish gets its name from the cooking method used and translates to creamy rice. While the rice is cooked in a method common to Southeast Asia, the difference in taste and aroma are attributed to the use of Pandan leaves. The rice is cooked in coconut milk and steamed along with the knotted leaves of Pandan screwpine. The leaves are added to enhance the flavour and fragrance. Few recipes even involve the addition of spices such as ginger and herbs like lemongrass for a distinctive flavour.
How it’s served
Traditionally served with a sambal, a hot spicy sauce, the dish comes with a variety of garnishes that include cucumber slices, fried anchovies, crushed roasted peanuts and fried or boiled eggs. You can customise the dish by adding a meat of your choice from the selection of fried chicken (Ayam Goreng), fish, squid or cockles. During your city tour of Kuala Lumpur, you will come across many stalls or small restaurants that have portions of Nasi Lemak prepacked in banana leaves and ready for you to eat on the go.
Sometimes the best way to explore a city is through the eyes of a local guide. Opt for a guided city tour so your local travel expert from Locaguide can take you to some of the best places that serve the most authentic Nasi Lemak in Kuala Lumpur. Order a side of Malay-style fried chicken and a glass of chilled Milo, and you’re sorted for the next few hours!0