Fragrant Coconut Rice

Nasi Lemak

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

    as part of multi-dish meal

Appears in

Each grain of rice is saturated with lightly sweet coconut milk. A knotted pandan leaf is commonly cooked in with the rice to perfume it. Coconut rice, usually served for breakfast, is usually accompaniment by fried peanuts, fried small fish, a hardboiled egg, chili sambal, and sliced cucumbers. In Malaysian and Singaporean eateries, guests select a myriad of curries, sambals, vegetables and other dishes to eat along with the rice. These determine the ultimate cost of the meal. Typically, the coconut rice is piled on a swatch of banana leaf, and all the other items are spooned on. Guests then eat right off of the leaf, or fold it up into a packet to go.


  • 2 cup Jasmine rice
  • 1 cup Canned coconut milk
  • 1¾ cup Water


  1. Rinse rice under running water in a strainer or fine sieve for 30 seconds, massaging gently to remove any talc or dust. Drain well, and then let the rice sit for 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. In a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine rice, coconut milk and water; stir. Add a knotted pandan leaf, if desired. Bring quickly to a boil, cover pan, lower heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow the cooked rice to rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Fluff gently with fork. Serve with traditional accompaniments (see headnote above).