How to make Nasi Lemak

I searched all over Kuala Lumpur for a good Nasi Lemak, some were good and some not so good.

After checking on Google I came across Angie’s recipe on Youtube. This video is a collaboration with Angie from Huang Kitchen in Malaysia.

Being a fellow Youtuber I contacted her and she very kindly invited me to her kitchen to learn how to make a true Malay Nasi Lemak.

If you go over to her channel you will see I taught her how to make an Australian classic too.

Don’t forget to comment and say ‘Hi From Steve’

Nasi Lemak 08

Nasi Lemak

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How to make Nasi Lemak
Marinade the Chicken: Overnight
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes


Coconut Milk Rice

  • 1kg / 5 1/2 cups rice, preferably Basmati Rice
  • 6 cups Water
  • 200ml Thick Coconut Milk /1 Coconut
  • 3 Pandan Leaves / Screwpine Leaves, knotted and slightly bruised
  • 2 sticks Lemongrass, crushed
  • 1 Ginger, crushed
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt

Sambal Ikan Bilis (Chilli Anchovies)

  • 3 cups Ikan Bilis (dried anchovies)
  • 1 cup Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 12 Shallots
  • 30 dried Chillies or 150ml Chilli Paste
  • 3 tsp Belacan (prawn paste)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 3 Red Onions, cut thinly sliced
  • 1 tblspn Tamarind pulp soaked with 3 cups water

Other Ingredients

  • 6 Eggs, hard boiled, cut into halves
  • 1 Cucumber, cut into slices
  • 2 cups Peanuts
  • Anchovies

Fried Chicken

  • 6 Chicken Pieces, cut into medium size pieces, Skin on
  • 2 stalks Curry Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Chili Paste or ground Dried Chilies
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 3 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Cornflour
  • 1 Egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp Curry Powder

Coarsely Ground Ingredients

  • 2 inch Ginger, skinned
  • 6 cloves Garlic, skinned
  • 12 Shallots, skinned
  • 6 Lemongrass, use upper tender parts
  • 3 tbsp Water

Finely Ground Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • A tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Fennel Powder

For  products we use in this video visit Here

Watch the full Video Tutorial


In this recipe Angie used a rice cooker to cook the rice. This rice could also be cooked using my ’10 Minute Rice’ method but  below I am going to give the instructions for using a rice cooker.

Marinade the chicken.

  1. Blend coarsely the lemongrass, shallots, garlic and ginger. Add a little water when grinding. Transfer into a bowl.  Add in the Coriander Powder, Fennel Powder and Cumin Powder. Now mix in the chili paste and turmeric powder.
    Then mix in one egg. Followed by curry leaves and cornflour.
    Mix everything until well combined. Add salt and sugar to taste 
  2. Cut the chicken into medium size pieces or as desired. Then add the fresh herb paste into the chicken pieces. Mix with your hands until chicken is thoroughly covered with the aromatic spices and seasoning
    A long marinating time is quite important, so cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for several hours, preferably overnight.

  3. Once the chicken has had a long marinade remove it from the fridge 1 hour before frying to bring the chicken to room temperature so the inside of chicken meat isn’t cold. Otherwise, we will end up with meat that is burnt on the outside but raw on the inside.

Cook the Rice

  1.  First rinse the rice and drained it well.
    Place the drained rice in a rice cooker. Pour 50ml (1/4) of the thick coconut milk into a measuring cup. Add a little of the water to dilute it a little. Add in salt and sugar and stir to mix. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the drained rice in the rice cooker. Add in the rest of the water.
    Lastly add in crushed ginger, lemongrass and Pandan leaves.
    Switch on the rice cooker and cook the rice.

  2. When the rice reaches warming stage, remove the herbs and spices and add in the rest (150ml) of the thick coconut milk. Stir into the rice. Close the lid and let the rice absorb the coconut milk whilst you prepare the other parts of this dish..

Make the Sambal

  1. Having all the ingredients prepared and ready to use before you start to cook the Sambal is essential. Blend the soaked and deseeded dried chillies to a chilli paste.  Next, blend together the shallots and garlic. Rinse the dried anchovies in cold water and leave to dry thoroughly.

  2. Heat some oil in wok until almost smoking and fry the anchovies over a low heat until they turn light brown and crispy. Strain and set aside. Put aside a portion of the fried anchovies as a side dish to serve with the Nasi Lemak. Slice the onions into Slices.

  3. Soak the tamarind pulp in water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind to extract the flavour into the water. Using a strainer, drain the pulp and keep the tamarind juice.

  4. Now it’s time to make the sambal.  First heat some oil in wok. Add in the prawn paste and fry until it releases its flavour. Then add in the chilli and spice paste and fry until fragrant. Add in the onion rings followed by the fried dried anchovies and stir well.
    Then add in the tamarind juice. Next, season with salt and sugar. Simmer over low heat until the Sambal thickens.
    Set aside to be served at room temperature alongside the steamed coconut milk rice.

Cook the Peanuts

  1. Rinse the raw peanuts and drain the water. Heat a clean wok until it begins to smoke.  Put the raw peanuts (and optional salt) in to fry. Lower the heat and stir fry constantly for 5 minutes. Add in a drop or two of vegetable oil and continue to fry with a quick to and fro motion until they begin to turn brown and are coated with the oil.
    Remove and set aside to be served with the Nasi Lemak.

Fry the Chicken

  1. Heat up enough oil to fry the chicken over high heat. Oil is ready for frying when oil bubbles appear around the stick. (Or you can drop a small curry leaf in and it sizzles and bubbles.) When oil is ready, fry some stalks of curry leaves for about 2-3 minutes over medium to low heat. Curry leaves release a strong curry-like fragrance with a citrus overtone.
    Then remove the fried curry leaves from the oil using a strainer. Set aside the fried curry leaves for garnishing.

  2. Next, put in marinated chicken into the curry leaves infused hot oil, piece by piece. In batches, deep fry for 15 to 20 minutes until chicken is crispy, golden brown in colour and juices run clear.
    Once done, remove the fried chicken from oil using strainer. Drain the fried chicken on paper towel to remove excess oil.
    Also remove the fried spiced crumbs from the oil and set aside to drain off excess oil. Do not throw away these spiced crumbs as that is one of the tastiest part.

Serve the Nasi Lemak

  1. Fluff up the rice and serve it hot.Dish up the hot coconut milk rice on a plate and serve alongside with all the others. Enjoy!


    It’s important to note that you must not add in ALL the thick coconut milk right at the start. Otherwise the oil in the coconut cream will prevent the rice grain from cooking properly.

    Rule of thumb:

    For 1 kg of rice use 200 ml of thick coconut milk (1 coconut). However, use 50ml with water to cook first. Then the balance during warming stage. Also sufficient salt is necessary (2 teaspoon).

    If using chicken whole legs, score twice across the fattest part of the flesh all the way to the bone. This will help to cook the fried chicken through easier.

    Time to deep fry the chicken is dependant on the size of the chicken pieces. A bigger piece will take a longer cooking time.

    Large cuts of chicken is preferred as this helps to keep the meat moist inside with a crispy exterior when deep fry.

    A long and sufficient marinating time is important so do marinate the chicken for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

    Nasi Lemak 08

    Nasi Lemak

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