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Healthier Nasi Lemak


Considered the national dish of Malaysia, nasi lemak is a breakfast staple in Singapore hawker centres, but is also recognised as one of the least healthy breakfast options - no surprise since lemak means 'fatty' and refers to the rich white rice cooked in coconut cream. When served with fried chicken, the dish really does pack a calorific punch. However, with a few tweaks and substitutions it is possible to create a healthier version of the dish to enjoy on weekends at home with family.












Trans-fat Free, Good source of fiber


Nasi lemak:
1 cup brown rice
or quinoa
cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 pinch garam masala
1 x ginger
sliced, to taste
1 x pandan leaves
tied into a knot
1 x sea salt
to taste
Baked spicy chicken:
1000 grams chicken breasts
free-range, trimmed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 x sea salt
to taste
1 x black pepper
to taste
Sambal tumis:
12 each red chilis, dried
soaked in cold water for 15 minutes
4 each thai bird's eye chili peppers
or to taste
3 medium red onion
4 cloves garlic
crushed and chopped
1 ½ teaspoons tamarind
2 teaspoons sugar
coconut sugar
1 x cucumbers
1 x ikan bilis (dried anchovies)
cooked (shallow fried in coconut oil)
1 x eggs
soft boiled


To make the nasi lemak simply put all ingredients into a rice cooker and cook as normal.

To make the baked spicy chicken:

Mix all the spices and yoghurt to make a thick paste.

Place the chicken into a large plastic bag, pour in the spices and rub well into the chicken pieces until well coated.

Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.

When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees cup

Place the chicken pieces on a roasting tray (to allow fat to drip down) and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until brown and cooked through.

To make the sambal tumis:

Blend chillis, garlic and onion until a thick paste forms.

Heat some olive oil in a pan and stir-fry the chilli paste until it separates from the oil.

Add tamarind and coconut sugar, and continue to cook until the paste turns dark red.

Add a little bit of water and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.

Adjust seasoning to taste. Let cool.

The paste can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a week in the fridge.

To assemble the nasi lemak:

Spoon a portion of rice onto a plate.

Add a piece of baked chicken, soft-boiled egg, ikan bilis, cucumber slices and sambal tunis.

Adapted from keelysiewcooks. com


* not incl. in nutrient facts

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 598g (21.1 oz)
Amount per Serving
Calories 56322% of calories from fat
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 21%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 214mg 71%
Sodium 231mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 13%
Sugars g
Protein 162g
Vitamin A 10% Vitamin C 27%
Calcium 13% Iron 27%
* based on a 2,000 calorie diet How is this calculated?


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