Nasi lemak is a Malay fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. It is commonly found in Malaysia, where it is considered the national dish, and also popular in neighbouring countries such as Singapore; Indonesia especially in Eastern Sumatra; Brunei and Southern Thailand. Nasi Lemak also can be found in the Southern Philippines prepared by Filipino Muslims, it is considered one of the most famous dishes for Malay-type breakfast. It is not to be confused with nasi dagang sold in the Malaysian east coast states of Terengganu and Kelantan, although both dishes can usually be found sold side by side for breakfast. However, because of nasi lemak’s versatility in being able to be served in a variety of manners, it is now served and eaten any time of the day.
“Food to a large exent is what holds a society together and eating is closely linked to deep spiritual experiences.” -Peter Farb
The traditional Malaysian version offers sambal, ikan bilis (anchovies), peanuts and boiled egg. This is the most traditional version. Nasi Lemak stalls can be found serving them with fried egg, sambal kerang (cockles) – a local favourite, sambal squids, sambal fish, chicken or chicken/beef rendang, squid fritters or even fried chicken or fish. It can be consumed for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, dinner and even supper. (In Malaysia this meal is usually consumed during morning, nasi lemak hawkers can be seen anywhere nearby schools, offices etc..)