Malay Nasi Lemak with Chicken Sambal

This Nasi Lemak recipe combines creamy coconut rice with a spicy and tangy chicken sambal, offering a fulfilling meal that's a delight to share. The sambal, adaptable for both chicken and seafood, allows for varied culinary exploration, making it a versatile addition to your recipe collection. Enjoy this rich and traditional dish at any gathering or family meal.


For the Nasi Lemak:

  • 3 cups of jasmine rice
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 1.5 cups of coconut cream
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 2 lemongrass stalk, crushed
  • Optional: 1 pandan leaf, knotted
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

Nasi Lemak Preparation:

  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly and drain.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté the shallots, ginger, fenugreek seeds, and lemongrass until fragrant. If using, include the pandan leaf.
  3. Add the rice, ensuring it is well coated with the fragrant oil mixture. Pour in the coconut milk and cream so that the liquid is approximately one inch above the level of the rice.
  4. Season with salt, stir gently, cover, and cook in a rice cooker or continue on the stove until the rice is tender and fluffy.

For the Chicken Sambal:

  • 1/2 a chicken, cut into 5 pieces with bones
  • 6 tbsp of chili paste
  • 1-2 tablespoon of sugar (or as you preferred)
  • 1 tbsp of tamarind paste mixed with 1 cup of water
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, bruised
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup of chicken broth
  • Chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnishing (optional) or sprinkle some fresh mint leaves instead.

Sambal Paste Preparation:

  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic

Chicken Sambal Preparation:

  1. Blend the ginger, onion, and garlic into a paste. Heat oil in a skillet and sauté this paste along with the lemongrass until golden and aromatic.
  2. Stir in the chili paste and cook until the oil separates, indicating it is well-fried.
  3. Add the tamarind juice and bring to a simmer. Incorporate the sliced onion, salt, sugar and chicken broth, mixing well.
  4. Place the pre-fried chicken pieces in the skillet, coating them thoroughly with the sambal. Cook until the onion is soft and the chicken is completely heated through.
  5. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Alternative Seafood Sambal:

  • The sambal sauce is also suitable for fish steaks, which should be pre-fried, and for prawns, which require no pre-frying.
  • Substitute the chicken with your seafood of choice and adjust the cooking time as needed.


  1. Place beef bones, lemongrass, and galangal in a large pot. Cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, skimming off any foam.
  3. Add carrots and onion in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

We hope these recipes bring as much joy to your table as they do to ours. Enjoy the cooking, the tasting, and the sharing with those near and dear. Your thoughts and experiences mean the world to us, so please take a moment to leave a review below.

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Malay Nasi Lemak with Chicken Sambal

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