Friday, 19 September 2008
Malaysia's National Dish - Nasi Lemak
Without a doubt, Malaysia's National Dish would be Nasi Lemak. This would translate literally into "Fatty Rice". Lemak means 'fat' but in this context it actually refers to the 'richness' of the rice as it is cooked in coconut milk this giving it a special flavour.
Nasi Lemak is usually a breakfast meal although now it has also become an all-day, anytime kind of dish. In my younger days, after a heavy night of partying (read drinking) with my friends, we would all adjourn to the all night roadside stalls for a welcome plate of Nasi Lemak.
There are various types of Nasi Lemak with the most basic being rice cooked in coconut milk and a knotted screwpine leave for added fragrance, fried Ikan Bilis (small anchovies), cucumber slices, , roasted peanuts and half a hard boiled egg. This will be serve with a lovely sambal (hot spicy chili paste).
Sometimes, different meats such as chicken, squid, beef and even prawns are added to make a more substantial dish. Some hotels and restaurants serve Nasi Lemak as well nowadays but of course those have some meat and vegetables added and the servings are much larger. The best kind of Nasi Lemak though is the kind sold at roadside stalls where it is more often than not wrapped in banana leaf and then covered in newspaper or brown paper. Of course this must be eaten with the obligatory plastic spoon!
I'm going to leave the rest of this post as a photo essay of a trip we took recently to the Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur where the kids had a lot of fun and where we all enjoyed Nasi Lemak for brunch!
Open the package to reveal the rice and sambal inside. Note that the sambal is also placed on a banana leaf for more flavour!
Egg, Anchovies and nuts all mixed with the sambal
Another angle of the delicious Nasi Lemak
Can you feel his anticipation??
I"m hungry Mummy! I can't wait!
Nasi Lemak can be a little spicy on the taste buds... Nothing a good glug of water wont fix!
Enough with the photos Dads! I want to go play!
And while we are on the topic of Malaysia, this is our National Flower - Bunga Raya or more commonly known as the Hibiscus.