I made Nasi Lemak for dinner a few days ago. Nasi Lemak is hailed by many as Malaysia's national dish. I do not quite agree with that (I believe there is no such thing as a national dish, there are just so many good food in Malaysia :P) but I can say that it's an all time favorite among all Malaysians. Nasi Lemak is rice cooked in coconut milk and is usually served with anchovies, roasted peanuts, cucumber, hard boil eggs and sambal. The Nasi Lemak that I made was a little different though. Instead of the usual sides, I served it with Sambal Terung (Eggplant in Chili Paste), Belacan Fried Chicken, half a hard boiled egg, some cucumber slices and keropok ikan (fish crackers) all the way from Kuantan, Malaysia.
I didn't take any step by step photos for this dish, so I'll just explain how to make the individual dishes briefly. The main star of the meal is the rice. You would need to rinse and drain two cups of rice. Put it into the rice cooker. Add in a small can of coconut milk, some salt and some water. To give it a fragrant smell, tie some pandan leaves (screwpine leaves) into a knot and drop it into the rice cooker as well. I also added in a few slices of fresh ginger. Just set the rice cooker to "COOK" and it's all set to go. Remember to stir the rice occasionally to prevent it from burning at the bottom of the pot.
To make the Fried Belacan Chicken, you would need some chicken drumsticks, belacan powder, some fish sauce, pepper, sugar and some chinese white rice wine (optional). I have deboned the chicken drumsticks so that it cooks faster and more evenly later on. Mix the belacan powder, fish sauce, pepper, sugar, chinese rice wine together to form a marinade. Put the chicken pieces into a ziplock bag and add in the marinade. I would usually let it marinade overnight. When you are ready to fry the chicken, take it out of the marinade and dip it in some egg and then some self rising flour. Deep fry the chicken in hot oil, skin side on top first. This is to prevent the chicken from curling. Once its cooked through, put t on some kitchen towels to drain away all the excess oil and it's ready to be served.
I sort of cheated when it came to making the Sambal Terung. I used a premixed instant marinade that I bought from the Asian grocery store. Just cut about 2-3 eggplants into little tubes. Deep fry them in hot oil and set aside. Mix the instant mix with water and stir fry in a wok until its hot. Add in the eggplant and continue frying until it's done. Very easy peasy! :D
I bought the keropok ikan from here. Just fry them up in hot oil, drain the oil on a kitchen towel for a bit and it's done. It just love freshly fried fish crackers. They taste so yummy (especially those that originate from the east coast of Malaysia)!! The Non Traditional Nasi Lemak is almost done. Just make some hard boil eggs and cut up some cucumber slices and it's done!!
Here is another close up photo of the Non Traditional Nasi Lemak that I made. The Nasi Lemak rice is so versatile. I would sometimes eat it with Chicken Curry, Pork Rendang or even General Tsao's Chicken! Yes, I know that's a bit weird but it works. Nothing beats a hot steaming plate of Nasi Lemak, it just makes home feel a little bit closer...