Nasi Lemak is often served for breakfast, although it is now also prepared for other meals throughout the day. It was traditionally wrapped in banana leaves and accompanied with fried anchovies, fried peanuts, cucumber slices, omelette and spicy sambal. These days, nasi lemak may also be accompanied with ayam goreng berempah (page 36). In out household , our mother served nasi lemak with sambal tumis ikan bilis, sunny side up eggs, kangkong belacan (page 126), fried fish and/or fired chicken.


  • Long grain rice 640g (1 lb 7 oz) rinsed and drained
  • Coconut milk 400ml (13 1/3 fl oz)
  • Water 240ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup)
  • Salt ½ Tbsp or to taste
  • Vegetable oil ss needed
  • Pandan leaves 3, tied into a knot
  • Sambal Tumis Ikan Bilis
  • Garlic 5 cloves, peeled
  • Dried chillies 15-20, according to taste, soaked in water to soften, then cut into short lengths
  • Dried prawn (shrimp) paste (belacan) 20 g (2/3 oz)
  • Onions 3, peeled and sliced
  • Vegetable oil 2 Tbsp
  • Dried anchovies 200 g (7 oz)
  • Tamarind pulp 30 g ( 1 oz), mixed with 6 Tbsp water and strained
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar 1 Tbsp or to taste



  • Eggs 5-6
  • Raw skinned peanuts 100 g (3 ½ oz)
  • Cucumber 1, peeled and sliced


  1. Prepare rice. Using a rice cooker, combine rice with coconut milk and water. Add salt and 2 tbsp oil. Stir well, submerge pandan leaves in pot and leave rice to cook. When rice is cooked, use a rice paddle to stir rice so the flavors are well mixed. Keep warm.
  2. Prepare sambal tumis ikan bilis. Combine garlic, dried chillies, dried prawn paste and 2 sliced onions in a blender. Process into a paste.
  3. Heat some oil in a frying pan.  Add dried anchovies and fry lightly. Drain well. Set half the anchovies aside for serving plain.
  4. Reheat pan with some oil. Add ground paste and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add tamarind juice and season to taste with salt and sugar. Toss in balance of sliced onion and cook for a further 10 minutes. Return half the fried anchovies to pan. If mixture is too dry, add a small amount of water and simmer over low heat until mixture thickens. Set aside to cool
  6. Prepare accompanies. Heat some oil in a frying pan and cooks eggs individually, sunny side up. Set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 190°C (370°F) and bake peanuts for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Alternatively, heat some oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry peanuts until lightly browned. Drain well and set aside.
  8. Serve rice with sambla tumis ikan bilis, fried anchovies and eggs. If desired, serve with additional accompaniments such as ayam goring berempah (page 36) and kangkong belacan.