Nasi Lemak or Coconut Rice
Aromatic & Fragrant Delight!

A dish that requires little introduction, Nasi lemak or coconut rice is one of Malaysia famous national dish. From kids to adults, any Malaysian that you approached can tell you what nasi lemak is and where to find the best one in town.

The famous dish is sold in every part of Malaysia, be it in a fancy restaurant or more humble mamak stall (hawker stall). It is normally wrapped in a fragrant banana leaf serve with basic ingredient such as peanuts, anchovy's eggs and spicy sambal (chili paste).

It can be eaten at any time - breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, supper,
post-booze-up - and the mingling of flavors and textures (creamy, hot and spicy, crunchy, nutty, etc) makes it simply -- Sheer ambrosia.

You can also order side dish to compliment the aromatic rice such as curry chicken, fried chicken, beef rendang, sambal cuttlefish, fried egg and more. Depending on what you choose, prices can range from RM2 to RM5 or even more.

*Photo by Flickr

Nasi lemak is also available in a pre-packed either pre-packed in newspaper and banana leaf, costing about 50 cent to one ringgit. A simple pre-packed serving of nasi lemak is topped with sambal, a sprinkling of fried peanuts and ikan bilis, sliced cucumber and a wedge of hardboiled egg. Many street vendors even toss in a plastic spoon to eat it with, so you can just dispose of everything after eating.

Preparation of the dish is very easy. First, the rice cooked in coconut milk and screwpine leave together with others ingredient such as shallots, ginger, fenugreek and salt. The rice is cooked until it is dry and a wooden ladle is used to loosen the grains. Sprinkle the rest of the coconut milk over the rice. Give it a stir with a pair of chopsticks to distribute the milk evenly. After about 10 to 15 minute, the rice is ready to be served.

Most people agree that this special dish ought to be eaten in an authentic setting -- At mamak teh tarik stall (wooden pushcart with wooden bench and tables arranged by the roadside, normally under a shady tree) and wash it down with a cup of teh tarik (mean "pull tea" or tea that is poured in mid-air from one glass to other)

If you visit Penang and will like to know where you can find the best one in town, no problem!

One of the best Malay style nasi lemak stalls in George Town is located in front of the Standard Chartered building in Beach Street. However these stall opens in the morning only. Others place worth going are the mamak stall in front of the RTM building, Jalan Burmah near Midlands
One-Stop Centre. Penang road opposite Oriental hotel, Penang Street opposite Ganesh Printers and at a coffee shop opposite Plus Zone in Pulau Tikus.

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