Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak is without doubt the best breakfast dish ever, although Malaysians eat it anytime of the day. It's the national dish of Malaysia, (unofficially of course) it's a national institution, an obsession, rather like how Laksa is in some 
states. It is available everywhere, from roadside stalls, bus station cafes to food courts, restaurants and even 5 star hotels. In some hotels we have stayed in, we have had to put it together ourselves at breakfast time.
It's a very simple dish consisting of a few core ingredients. Rice cooked in coconut milk and flavoured with pandanus leaf, ginger and lemongrass for fragrance. It is also served with fried anchovies, fried peanuts,  a hard boiled egg, a slice or two of cucumber, a dollop of chilli sambal. Some places we found serve it with fried chicken, a meat curry or even prawns. Malaysians sometimes have it with fried cows lungs in chilli and chicken liver curry. Not seen those yet. One place we were at, the waiter came back to us to apologise that the chicken curry was off but they had beef randang if we were interested. Of course we were. 
Once the Nasi Lemak is made, it's presentation time. Somehow, people have managed to wrap it up into a banana leaf, no idea how, whilst others have simply been piled together on a single plate and for the artistically gifted they have been presented on a plate, like a piece of art. Gordon Ramsey eat yer heart out. 
It has overtaken noodle soup as my favourite way to start the day. 

1 comment:

The Dinos said...

Nasi lemak wrapped in a banana leaf cone usually sold at MYR1.00. Those served on a plate with either a piece of chicken/beef/prawns are priced between MYR2.50-RM4.00. Have you tried the petai prawn? The petai beans are also a national Malay dish.