So there I was, dreaming up of preparing nasi lemak already. Taking some reference from her post, I went to search for nasi lemak recipe. As I've not prepared this before, I wanted a recipe that will at least guide me on making the chilli, the rice and perhaps, marinate the chicken or kuning fish. Somehow, I didn't manage to find one complete recipe. In the end, I just based on my gut feel (equal to "aga-ra-tion") to come up with my own version of nasi lemak. One thing I like about cooking is, there no hard and fast rule to follow the ingredients closely, quite unlike baking.
These were the different combinations of my homemade nasi lemak. Guess which set is mine?
1. Pandan coconut rice - I cooked two cups of rice. Added four tbsp of pandan juice and 100ml of Ayam coconut cream (plus enough water to cook the rice). I also added three pandan leaves tied in a knot into the rice cooker. Overall, the rice wasn't very fragrant. The rice colour was a faint green and the coconut taste was mild.
You can find very useful information from Wendy as she explained how to extract pandan juice. Very informative, thanks Wendy!
My verdict: I will make two cups of rice with 200ml (one packet) of Ayam coconut cream and six tbsp of pandan juice. Then topped up with enough water to cook the rice. I'll add in the knotted pandan leaves also.
2. Ikan bilis (fried anchovies) - A handful of ikan bilis was washed and fried. This consistently has been tasty, and prepared by my helper.
3. French beans and carrot - A packet of french beans and half a carrot was shredded and stir fried. This was also prepared by my helper. It is my favourite.
4. Fried eggs (sunny side-up) - I fried five eggs individually with my egg frying pan. Fast, easy and fun! However, my children said they preferred omelette! *sigh*
5. Spiced drumsticks - I marinated them with 5-spice powder, curry powder and salt for about two hours. Then I baked them in the oven for 45mins at 220C. They liked it very much. My elder son commented that it was very nice. I was glad they liked it. Initially I wanted my helper to fried them, but I realised they were too huge, and also the fish needed to be fried and it would take up a lot of time. So in the end, I decided to bake it instead. Wise decision. :)
6. Spiced kuning (fish) - I marinated them similarly to the drumsticks. My helper fried them. They were very crispy and tasty. My spouse even eat up the fish heads. It was that crispy and good! I simply loved them.
7. Chilli sauce - I got to admit this wasn't well done. I used one packet of dried chilli, two small red onions, one piece of ginger and one clove of garlic to grind my chilli. Then I cooked it in the wok. I didn't add too much oil, so it was quite dry. I had to add more oil in between. The chilli absorbed the oil very quickly. After I finished cooking, then I realised I have forgotten to add salt!
My mum taught me to add sugar to a small portion to be used for nasi lemak only. So I kept a small portion in the wok, added some sugar and some fried onions to mix them together to be used as my nasi lemak chilli.
My verdict: My chillli was too dry. It is neither smooth nor tasty. Salt should also be added as a form of preservatives too. I also felt that I didn't cook long enough. My mum commented that my chilli was still too raw. For the next round, I would use the same portion of ingredients, poured in more oil, add some salt and cook it longer. For chilli that is not cooked long enough, it will turn bad very quickly. I put the rest of my chilli in the freezer to preserve it.
Overall Verdict: I guess it was a good attempt for a nasi lemak meal, though not perfect and well done. A lot of improvements are required. I hope I can help others to learn from my experience too. As a consolation, all food were finished at that time.
I had the set 3, without the chicken drumstick and with lots of french beans. I try to avoid meats if I have the choice. I'll go for anything fish or seafood.
After spending the whole morning preparing nasi lemak, I continue with my preparation for chee cheong fun, also known as rice rolls. I had cooked my sauce and chilli the night before, only the batter to be made that day. It took me almost two hours to make about 30 rolls! I used up a packet of 600g rice flour, which explained why there were so much rice rolls to be made!
I added spring onions to some of the rice rolls. The first few rice rolls were rather thick. Subsequent ones were thinner. It also required the skills of unmoulding them and rolling them up. Some were quite well done, others were not. Therefore, those truly up to standard ones, were only about 10 rolls! I just needed more practice on estimating the batter and the unmoulding part. Having said that, I doubt I'll make it again in months to come, as standing in a 'sauna' kitchen for two solid hours is truly not my idea of spending a Saturday afternoon!
Making the rice rolls is perhaps, worth once a quarter's sacrifice. LOL. My poor family had to sacrifice their tummy to taste my unsightly rice rolls. Fortunately, the sauces were good enough to make up for the look of the rice rolls!
These were the sauces I gave to my parent and siblings.