Nasi lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf commonly found in malaysia, where it is considered the national dish and the riau province of indonesia. It is also popular in neighbouring countries such as brunei singapore, indonesia especially in Sumatra; and southern thai. Nasi Lemak can be found in the wouthern philliphines prepared by Filipino Muslims, it is considered one of the most famous dishes for Malay-type breakfast. It is not to be confused with nasi dagang sold in the Malaysian east coast states of terengganu and kelantan although both dishes can usually be found sold side by side for breakfast. However, because of nasi lemak’s versatility in being able to be served in a variety of manners, it is now served and eaten any time of the day.

This fast and hearty breakfast with its wallet-friendly price has been fuelling us Malaysians every morning since… well, it feels like forever. No longer just limited to early birds, night owls can also satisfy their nasi lemak cravings from stalls that open till late at night. You even have 24-hour stalls that peddle nasi lemak bungkus (a small portion wrapped with banana leaf and newspaper) for a quick snack.

The basic serving of nasi lemak consists of a portion of rice cooked in coconut milk and served with a dollop of spicy sambal. On the side, you will also have sliced cucumbers together with crunchy fried peanuts and ikan bilis. Your dose of protein is a piece of hard-boiled egg. The size depends on the generosity of the stall owner. Some stalls prefer greasier fried eggs. Going beyond the basic serving, there is very often these days a choice of add-ons from a buffet of dishes like sambal sotong, ayam rendang and the list goes on.


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