“Nasi” is the Malay word for cooked rice and “lemak” indicates that coconut milk is used in the dish. “Nasi lemak” is actually a grouping of dishes on a single plate, with the coconut rice at the center. Each vendor has the opportunity to showcase some of her best dishes here. Most versions contain coconut rice, fried anchovies, boiled egg, cucumbers, and at least one curry. Some cooks will serve as little as three side dishes with the rice, yet others believe in variety. Sometimes over twelve side dishes are available. Sometimes the Malaysian cook will add a knotted leaf of the fragrant Pandanus plant. The technique of letting the rice rest after rinsing softens the grains and will ensure that the rice cooks evenly.
© 2008 Robert Danhi. All rights reserved.