Nasi Lemak Sambal Ikan Bilis | Simple Coconut Milk Rice With Spicy Fried Anchovies Red Gravy
Nasi Lemak or Coconut Milk Rice is a popular dish in Southeast Asia especially in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. In Malaysia, where it is known as the national dish, it is usually served with a spicy sambal iklan bilis or spicy fried anchovies gravy, deep-fried anchovies, fried peanuts, hard-boiled eggs, sliced cucumbers and occasionally deep fried chicken in turmeric spices. Although historically served for breakfast, it can also be served for lunch or dinner.
In Thailand it is usually accompanied or served with Thai curries and other dishes.
If you aren’t already excited about this dish, wait until you start to smell both the incredibly aromatic coconut scent and the amazing aroma of pandan leaves (pandanus amaryllifolius) emanating from that pot of cooked coconut rice!
In Thailand it is common to cook coconut milk rice using jasmine grain. In Malaysia, traditionally they’ve been using regular long grain rice, although they are alternative variation or Pakistani-Indian (Mamak) styled nasi lemak using basmati rice. In addition to the different kind of raw rice being used, there are also many different ways of preparing this amazingly delicious dish.
There are many variations of the sambal or the spicy gravy as well. Even though the anchovies gravy is the most popular, shrimps, prawns, squids and eggs have been used as substitutes in the sambal.
In this video, Aiman will show you how to cook the simple version of Coconut Milk Rice and the Spicy Fried Anchovies Gravy.
Ingredients For Nasi Lemak or Coconut Milk Rice:
1. 6 cups of long-grain white rice
2. 1 can of coconut milk, add water to make 7.5 cups of liquid
3. An inch of ginger sliced into thin pieces
4. 4 long pieces of pandan leaves (also known by other name such as pandang, baythoy, screwpine, palmpine and pandanus amaryllifolius)
5. 1-2 teaspoon of salt
How To Cook Coconut Rice:
Rinse the long-grain white rice and put into rice cooker. Mix a can of coconut milk to water with a ratio of 1:1.25. If you want to use jasmine and basmati rice, the water/milk ratio would be different. Add salt, slices of ginger and pandan leaves that have been knotted together. Turn the rice cooker on. Remember to stir the rice several times before the rice cook and after the liquid has dried (warm setting) to ensure the coconut rice is cooked properly.
Ingredients For Sambal Ikan Bilis or Spicy Fried Dried Anchovies Gravy:
1. 2 cups of dried anchovies, preferably already split in halves
2. 1 cup of sambal Oelek (chili paste)
3. I whole yellow onion cut into thin slices
4. 1-3 cloves of garlic cut into thin slices
5. 1/2 inch of turmeric paste
6. 1/4 inch of belacan (dried hard shrimp paste)
7. 2 tablespoon of dark brown sugar
8. 3/4 cup of oil
How To Prepare The Sambal or Red Spicy Gravy:
Pour oil into a wok or pan and heat it medium high. Once the oil is hot, put the dried anchovies in. Fry the anchovies until golden brown, usually only about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook or undercook. Remove the fried anchovies from heat and divide them into 2 equal portion. Heat the same oil used to fry anchovies (might want to remove a couple of spoonful so that the sambal will not be too oily) and then add the chili paste. Cook for about 6-7 minutes until the oil separates, then add the garlic-onion slices and belacan that has been mixed with water. Sautee for another 5-6 minutes, then add 2 tablespoon of brown sugar, salt and tamarind juice. Give it a minute or two and then add the already fried anchovies. Mix them in the sauce properly for about a minute or two and turn the heat off.
In the meantime, you can save time by boiling eggs in a pan. You can also add to dish fried chicken. To do so, cut chicken in small or large pieces to your liking. Mix the chicken with turmeric and salt and deep fry them in a wok or saucepan.
Once done, you can serve the coconut rice in a plate laced with banana leaves (for flavor and aroma). Add anchovies gravy on top of the rice, add garnishing agents such as eggs, fried chicken, fried anchovies, roasted peanuts and slices of cucumber.
Speaking of sambal, at the end of the video, Aiman also showed you other types of sambal such as sambal telur (egg), sambal petai (sator or parkia speciosa). We will do another video on petai, whch according to research through the New England Journal of Medicine discovered that every day practice of consuming petai or bitter bean is capable of preventing death from over 23 health related problems. It has been used in folk medicine to treat hypertension, diabetes, and kidney problems.
Aiman also showed a dish made of ikan talang (leatherskin or queen fish). This fish is exclusive to the northern region of Malaysia.
Thanks for watching, we hope you enjoyed it. Please watch Aiman’s other videos, especially the authentic Malaysian Cuisine & traditional delicatessen in his outdoor cooking series.
⊰⊱ EYEONAIMAN (Eye On Aiman) ⊰⊱