Nasi Lemak for the 21st Century

How to make Nasi Lemak that does not put on any extra love handles

If you’re a Malaysian or have been to Malaysia (or Singapore, teehee), you’ve probably have had Nasi Lemak, an insanely fragrant rice topped off with egg, cucumber, fried anchovies, peanuts and the most glorifying spicy condiment, sambal.

The only issue with Nasi Lemak?
It’s historically made with a lot of love… I mean fat from coconut or added oils (in the sambal or other side dishes), excessive rice portion in certain instances and the tiniest amount of protein (well unless you upgrade by forking out more money).

So I’ve devised a simple, easy, healthy but delicious way to make your favorite nasi lemak at home, without any extra tires extruding from your body.

If you’re too lazy to read, you can watch an entire video series I made about how to make Nasi Lemak here:

For you readers,
There are essentially 2 main component you have to excel and the rest are kinda based off your whim
Here you go:

Nasi Lemak, Sambal, 4-8 servings


  1. Dried Chillies, ½ cup, deseeded and soaked in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Dried Anchovies, heads removed and gutted, ¼ cup, soaked in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Garlic, 2 cloves, roughly chopped
  4. Shallots, 2 whole, roughly chopped
  5. Water, ¼ – ½ cup
  6. Oil, 1 teaspoon
  7. Tamarind water (made from ¼ cup tamarind paste and ½ cup hot water)
  8. Brown sugar or gula Malacca, 1 tablespoon
  9. Salt, 1/8 teaspoon


  • Place the soaked dried chillies, dried anchovies, garlic and shallots into a blender and blend, adding water as you need to get a smooth consistency.
  • Add the oil into a saucepan and add the blended mixture and cook over low heat and the color turns dark red and is fragrant.
  • Season with the brown sugar, tamarind water and salt to your liking.
  • Add water to dilute until the desired consistency, around ½ cup.

Nasi Lemak: Rice, 4 servings


  1. Fenugreek seeds, ½ teaspoon
  2. Ginger, 3-4 slices
  3. Galangal, 3-4 slices
  4. Lemongrass, 2 stalks, bashed
  5. Garlic, 2 cloves, crushed
  6. White rice, 1 cup, washed and rinsed 3 times
  7. Packaged Coconut milk, 100ml or approximately ½ cup
  8. Water, 1 cup
  9. Pandan leaf, 1, tied into a knot
  10. Salt, 1/8 teaspoon


  1. Into a saucepan over low heat, toast the fenugreek seeds until fragrant.
  2. Add the ginger, galangal, lemongrass and garlic, and gently toss until fragrant.
  3. Add the rinsed rice and gently toast for 2-5 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk, water, salt and pandan leaf and bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, maintain at low heat and cook for approximately 8 – 10 minutes or until the liquid has run dry and the rice is cooked through.
  6. Once done, switch off the heat, add a cloth on the bottom of the lid and cover.
  7. Serve after 10 minutes. Each serving is 2/3 a Chinese rice bowl or 2/3 a cup.

When you have those 2 components all settled; all that’s left is to plate up!
Serving it with some veg, Pan fried marinated sambal tofu, roasted peanuts and anchovies and you’re good to go!

Heck you might even want to add some gooey yolk hard boiled eggs!
Recipes here:

Hard Boiled Soft Yolk Eggs

Stay cooking & stay healthy! 🙂

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