Monday, January 23, 2012

Alison-style Malay-ish all-day breakfast

Malaysian food is fantastic!  In the week I was there, I barely scratched the surface, but I loved everything I tried.

One of the most popular dishes in Malaysia is Nasi Lemak.  This is kind of an all-day breakfast for Malaysian people, so popular there are Chinese and Indian versions of it too.  Of course it was what I had for breakfast every morning, but it was sold at street stalls, cafes and restaurants too.  At its most basic it seems to be coconut rice, with boiled egg, cucumber, fried dried anchovies and peanuts and a powerful sambal which is a chilli condiment.  I often ate it with a beef or chicken curry too.

For the last week or so, I've had Nasi Lemak cravings ;-)
Of course, I know I could make a much more authentic version than this, but wanted to try and limit myself mostly to using up what is in my kitchen (just had to buy coconut milk and peanuts)...  So my version has Thai, Japanese and Korean ingredients too, but misses out the fried anchovies.  Best not to think about the calories too much in this, just enjoy it!  Nasi Lemak actually means 'fat rice' in Malay...

I made this today.  It's my day off so I could afford to spend an hour cooking breakfast (and generate an awful lot of washing up for one person!), and 'twas so filling and tasty it'll definitely serve as lunch too.  I'll have the other portion for lunch at work tomorrow, so that's sorted too!

Ingredients for the rice (1 portion)
75g dried rice
60g coconut milk

Ingredients for the sambal (2 portions) - not so powerful
one medium onion, sliced into quarter rings
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp anchovy paste
1tsp ginger paste
juice of one yuzu
1-2 tbsp kimchi base
1-2tsp Thai sweet chilli sauce

Ingredients for the chicken curry (2 portions)
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp Thai curry paste
1 large chicken breast

Ingredients to serve 
Chopped cucumber
Natural shelled peanuts
Hard boiled egg

  • Cut the chicken up into pieces and marinate overnight in the Thai curry paste in the fridge.
  • Boil the egg until hard-boiled and then cool under a cold running tap to avoid a grey yolk.  Peel and quarter.
  • Chop the onion.  Chop the cucumber.
  • Cook the rice as normal with a fraction less water.  When the rice has almost absorbed the water (after about 40 minutes in my rice cooker), stir in the coconut milk and continue to cook.
  • Make the sambal.  Fry the chopped onion and anchovy paste in the olive oil until cooked.  Add the yuzu juice, kimchi base and sweet chilli sauce.
  • Make the chicken curry.  Fry the chicken for 5 minutes until browned and sealed.  Put in a saucepan, cover with water and a lid and continue to cook for 10 minutes until the water is mostly absorbed.  Add 2 tbsp coconut milk.
  • To serve, put the rice on the plate with the boiled egg, chopped cucumber, peanuts, chicken curry and sambal.  Enjoy!