Another episode and another amazing culinary adventure South-East Asian style – this time on the Malaysia island of Langkawi as we go on the hunt for Malaysia’s national dish, Nasi Lemak. Although there’s no such thing as a free ride and Brett McGregor must offer up a little something in return.
Nasi Lemak is a fragrant rice dish and literally translates as ‘creamy, rich rice’, derived from its cooking method of rice cooked in coconut milk. It is Malaysia’s national dish, which means it can be found all over the place from upmarket restaurants to roadside stalls and eaten at anytime of the day. It is often enjoyed with a hot and spicy condiment called sambal
Langkawi Island is the largest island in a cluster of 99 islands in the Straits of Malacca close to the Thailand border. From the rainforests, to the crystal clear waters lapping on its sandy white beaches littered with swaying coconut trees, it’s a tourist destination that keeps visitors coming back for more. Its food certainly doesn’t disappoint either making it the perfect spot for us to join our own Masterchef, Brett McGregor, as he visits the Fish Farm Restaurant - voted no.3 by Langkawi-info.com, in its top 10 places to dine in Kuah (Langkawi’s main town).
There are two conditions to the Fish Farm’s head chef sharing his Nasi Lemak recipe – the first is that Brett has to trade one of his recipes, a deep fried fish dish he learnt in Thailand with a Malaysian twist. And the second is he has to catch his main ingredient with a rod and hook - takes using fresh ingredients to a whole new level!
Back in a kiwi kitchen, Brett shows us how easy it is to recreate Nasi Lemak by throwing all of the ingredients, including Trident Coconut Milk, straight into a rice cooker. Brett recommends Trident Coconut Milk as it gives the dish a lighter texture vs Coconut Cream.
The hot and spicy Sambal condiment includes Ikan Bilis (pronounced eek-an bill-iss) or dried anchovies which gives a real fishy flavour - these can be left out. And as a further tip, the longer and slower the Sambal is cooked, the more intense the flavour. This Nasi Lemak dish, with it’s fresh, creamy and nutty condiments, offers a real mingling of flavours and textures.
For a taste of Malaysia that offers a real mingling of flavours and textures, try Brett’s Nasi Lemak recipe. And if you want to watch the full episode, including the step by step guide on the Nasi Lemak dish, click on the image below.