Nasi lemak

Nasi lemak is a dish sold in Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Riau Islands and Southern Thailand. In Kuala Lumpur, it is called the national dish, a national heritage of Malaysia. It is not to be confused with Nasi Dagang sold on the east coast of Malaysia or Terengganu and Kelantan although both dishes can usually be found sold side by side for breakfast.

However, because of the 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. There is a similar dish in Indonesia called nasi uduk.

With roots in Malay culture, its name is a Malay word that literally means 'rice in cream'. The name is derived from the cooking process whereby rice is soaked in coconut cream and then the mixture steamed. Sometimes knotted screwpine (pandan) leaves are thrown into the rice while steaming to give it more fragrance. Spices such as ginger and occasionally herbs like lemon grass may be added for additional fragrance.

Traditionally, this comes as a platter of food wrapped in banana leaf, with cucumber slices, small dried anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, and hot spicy sauce (sambal) at its core. As a more substantial meal, nasi lemak can also come with a variety of other accompaniments such as chicken, cuttlefish, cockle, stir fried water convolvulus (kangkong), pickled vegetables (achar), beef rendang (beef stewed in coconut milk and spices) or paru (beef lungs). Traditionally most of these accompaniments are spicy in nature.