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Traditional Coconut Rice Platter (Nasi Lemak) Recipe

Traditional Coconut Rice Platter (Nasi Lemak) Recipe

Traditional Coconut Rice Platter (Nasi Lemak) Recipe

Nasi Lemak is one of the most popular of Indonesian dishes, finding its way from casual street stalls to five-star hotels. There are many variations on this rich and full dish; here, I offer accompanying side dishes to the fragrant coconut rice that are savory and spicy without some of the heavier curries others like to use. Creamy coconut milk lends a smooth, sweet flavor to regular rice while side dishes of traditional fried chicken; spicy, salted anchovies; and fresh, cold cucumbers add a balanced contrast. Despite what seems like quite a few steps, Traditional Coconut Rice Platter is not very difficult to prepare and, with a lovely presentation, it can be an impressive dish to serve guests.

Ingredients :

    • 2 cups (400 g) uncooked rice
    • 21/2 cups (625 ml) water
    • 3/4 cup (185 ml) coconut milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt for the rice + 3/4 teaspoon for the chicken
    • 4 chicken thighs (bone in and skin on)
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 11/2 tablespoons oil + for deep frying
    • 1 cup (30 g) dried salted baby anchovies
    • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek
    • 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
    • 1 large cucumber


    • Shrimp Paste Chili Sauce or sambal oelek
    • Shrimp chips

Method :

    1. Rinse the uncooked rice under cold water using the container of a rice cooker, and carefully drain. Add the water, coconut milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, stirring the mixture thoroughly before returning to the rice cooker. Follow instructions for the rice cooker and let the rice cook accordingly.
    2. Rinse the chicken under cold water in a medium sized bowl and drain them thoroughly. Sprinkle the 3/4 teaspoon salt, turmeric, garlic, and pepper evenly over the chicken, rubbing lightly and tossing as necessary to coat. Allow the chicken to marinate for a few minutes.
    3. Heat enough oil to deep-fry the chicken in a wok or large pot over medium high heat. Once the oil has come up to heat, gently slide the chicken into the oil with the skin side down and fry it, frying for 9 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and continue frying for another 10 to 12 minutes. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels before placing one piece each on 4 serving plates.
    4. Heat the 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat in a small pan. Toss in the salted baby anchovies and stir-fry for just a minute until very lightly browned. Spoon in the sambal oelek and sweet soy sauce, continuing to stir-fry for another 30 seconds or until the anchovies and the sauces have mixed thoroughly. Divide the anchovies evenly between the four serving plates, near the chicken.
    5. Cut the cold cucumber in half, then into thin sticks. Divide evenly and arrange the cucumber on the serving plates.
    6. Place the coconut rice alongside the chicken, anchovies, and cucumber. Serve warm.