Growing up, I think I ate Nasi Lemak (literally means Fatty Rice) at least once a week. It used to cost 60 cents and came wrapped in a leaf. I’m sure once a week applies to the average Malaysian as well.
Lily visited Chicago a couple of weeks ago, and of course, to complete the trip, we had to concoct this wonderful Malaysian dish. My mother told me very early in my life that too many cooks spoil the soup. She often used this to get me out of her kitchen and on to more important things, like studying. Anyways, I decided that we had to approach this dish very methodically. We first divided the labor – Lily with food processing and general preparation work. Me with the chicken curry. I am the curry and rice girl (link to hilarious video: http://urloid.com/youtube34). An invisible line separated the stove into 2 quadrants and we got working.
We started with the rice and pandan leaves, naturally. Within minutes of putting the rice to boil, we had several people emerge from their sleep after getting a whiff of the wonderful aroma. Lily proceeded with slicing shallots and mincing the shallots and prawns to make belacan. We then made the sambal and chicken curry side by side. After preparing the boiled eggs, roasted peanuts and another half bottle of wine, we finally sat down to enjoy this wonderful dish.
A few tips, though this is a very easy dish to prepare – there are a lot of small things to do and the more you focus on the preparation, the easier the final assembly will be. Always a good idea to get a ramekin or small bowl to compress the rice in, so you will have better plate presentation.
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