Nasi Lemak with Sambal Udang Restourant style Malay Sea Food


In the realm of Malaysian cuisine, few dishes command as much reverence and adoration as Nasi Lemak with Sambal Udang. This iconic dish, hailed as Malaysia’s national treasure, embodies the essence of the country’s rich culinary heritage—a tantalizing fusion of flavors, textures, and aromas that captivate the senses and ignite the palate.

Nasi Lemak, literally translated as “rich rice,” is more than just a meal; it’s a cultural institution, deeply ingrained in the fabric of Malaysian society. Historically, it emerged as a humble breakfast dish enjoyed by villagers and farmers, providing sustenance and energy for a day’s labor. Over time, it evolved into a culinary masterpiece celebrated across the nation and beyond.

At the heart of Nasi Lemak lies its signature component: coconut rice. Fragrant and fluffy, it owes its distinctive flavor to the infusion of coconut milk, which imparts a creamy richness and subtle sweetness to the grains. Complemented by aromatic pandan leaves and a pinch of salt, the rice serves as the perfect canvas for an array of vibrant accompaniments.

Enter Sambal Udang—the fiery soul of Nasi Lemak. This spicy shrimp sambal, with its bold flavors and robust spices, elevates the dish to new heights of culinary excellence. Made from a potent blend of shallots, garlic, dried chilies, and belacan (shrimp paste), the sambal tantalizes the taste buds with its complex layers of heat, sweetness, and umami.

The star of the show, fresh shrimp (udang), takes center stage in the sambal, adding succulence and depth to every bite. Cooked until tender and infused with the flavors of the spice-laden sauce, the shrimp become a culinary revelation—a testament to Malaysia’s bounty of seafood treasures.

But Nasi Lemak is more than just rice and sambal; it’s a symphony of textures and flavors that harmonize in perfect balance. Crispy fried anchovies (ikan bilis) and roasted peanuts lend a delightful crunch, while slices of cucumber provide a refreshing contrast to the bold spices. Hard-boiled eggs add a creamy richness, completing the gastronomic experience with their velvety texture.

Beyond its culinary prowess, Nasi Lemak with Sambal Udang holds a special place in Malaysian culture, serving as a unifying force that transcends social divides and unites people from all walks of life. Whether enjoyed as a hearty breakfast, a satisfying lunch, or a festive feast, it fosters a sense of camaraderie and shared identity among Malaysians near and far.

In this detailed recipe, we embark on a culinary journey through the heart and soul of Malaysian cuisine, unraveling the secrets of Nasi Lemak with Sambal Udang and celebrating its timeless allure. So join us as we delve into the intricacies of this beloved dish, exploring its origins, techniques, and above all, its irresistible flavors that continue to captivate food lovers around the world. Selamat makan!

Ingredients: For Nasi Lemak:

  • 2 cups of long-grain rice (preferably jasmine rice)
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 pandan leaves, knotted
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

For Sambal Udang (Spicy Shrimp Sambal):

  • 300g fresh medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 5-6 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5-6 dried red chilies, soaked in hot water and deseeded
  • 2 tablespoons of tamarind pulp, soaked in 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 3 tablespoons of palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of belacan (shrimp paste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil

For Garnish and Accompaniments:

  • Hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • Fresh cucumber slices
  • Fried anchovies (ikan bilis)
  • Roasted peanuts
  • Slices of fresh pineapple (optional)


  1. Preparing the Rice:
    • Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear to remove excess starch.
    • In a rice cooker or a pot, combine the rinsed rice, coconut milk, water, pandan leaves, and salt. Stir well to combine.
    • Cook the rice according to your rice cooker’s instructions or bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the rice is fluffy and cooked through.
    • Once cooked, fluff the rice with a fork and keep it warm while preparing the sambal udang.
  2. Making the Sambal Udang:
    • In a blender or food processor, combine the soaked dried chilies, shallots, garlic, and belacan. Blend until you get a smooth paste. You may need to add a little water to facilitate blending.
    • Heat a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the blended spice paste and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and the oil starts to separate, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Add the peeled shrimp to the pan and stir-fry until they start to turn pink and curl up, about 2-3 minutes.
    • Squeeze the soaked tamarind pulp to extract the juice, then pour it into the pan along with the sugar and salt to taste. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency.
    • Once done, remove the sambal udang from heat and set it aside.
  3. Frying the Anchovies and Peanuts:
    • In a separate pan, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the dried anchovies and fry until they turn crispy and golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
    • In the same pan, add the peanuts and fry until they are golden brown and crunchy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Assembling the Nasi Lemak:
    • Serve the warm coconut rice onto plates or banana leaves.
    • Top the rice with a generous portion of sambal udang, ensuring each serving has a good mix of shrimp and sauce.
    • Arrange the halved hard-boiled eggs, cucumber slices, fried anchovies, and roasted peanuts around the rice.
    • Optionally, garnish with slices of fresh pineapple for a refreshing contrast to the spicy sambal.
    • Serve immediately and enjoy the flavors of Malaysia’s national dish!


Nasi Lemak with Sambal Udang is more than just a meal; it’s a culinary journey through Malaysia’s vibrant flavors and cultural heritage. By following this detailed recipe, you’ll be able to recreate the authentic taste of this beloved dish in your own kitchen. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and embark on a delicious adventure into the heart of Malaysian cuisine. Selamat makan (enjoy your meal)!


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