Skip to Content

Coconut Rice – Nasi Lemak

Coconut Rice – Nasi Lemak

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Coconut Rice, or Nasi Lemak, is a Malaysian dish served throughout the day. Nasi Lemak is so popular that it is considered the country’s national dish.

The rice is lightly flavored with ginger, coconut milk and pandan leaves. Pandan leaves are very common in Malaysian cooking and add a light floral note to the dish. You can find them in Asian markets, either fresh or frozen. But if you can’t find them just omit them from the recipe.

Malaysian Coconut Rice - Nasi Lemak

It is often served with sliced cucumbers, a hard-boiled egg, and fried anchovies, roasted peanuts and spicy Sambal Sauce (available in the Asian Food Section in most markets). Simple Sambal Sauces can be very basic, made with just hot chile peppers, vinegar and salt.

More complex versions of Sambal Sauce have other ingredients such as garlic, shrimp paste, and lemongrass. The simple version is fine for the purposes of this recipe.

While having Nasi Lemak as a complete meal with all of the accompaniments is delicious, the coconut rice by itself goes well with other Malaysian dishes, such as Spicy Prawn Sambal, Chicken Rendang or Ayam Masak Merah. Also, give it a try with other coconut milk based Asian dishes, such as Thai Green Curry or Massaman Curry.

Pin the recipe for later:

Malaysian Coconut Rice

Note: Coconut Rice can also be made in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

Additional Malaysian recipes you might enjoy

Yield: 4 Servings

Malaysian Coconut Rice - Nasi Lemak

Malaysian Coconut Rice

Malaysian Coconut Rice - Nasi Lemak. A traditional Malaysian rice preparation garnished with additional ingredients such as boile d eggs and peanuts. Coconut rice is also a wonderful alternative to plain rice because of it's rich creamy flavor.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 Cup (220 g) Long Grain Rice
  • 1 Cup (237 ml) Water
  • 1 1/2 Cups (355 ml) Coconut Milk
  • 1 Pandan Leaf (available in Asian Markets) Omit if unable to find
  • 2 Slices Fresh Ginger
  • Roasted Peanuts, Fried Anchovies, Cucumber Slices, Hard Boiled Eggs, Sambal Sauce, as accompaniments.
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste


    Add the water, coconut milk, rice and ginger to a sauce pan over and bring the pan to a boil. Tie the pandan leaf into a knot and add it the pan.

    pandan leaf

    Reduce the heat to simmer and cover. Continue to cook until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid and is cooked through (approximately 20 minutes).

    For traditional Malaysian Nasi Lemak, garnish with hard boiled eggs, fried anchovies and roasted peanuts. No Nasi Lemak would be complete, however, without some spicy Sambal Sauce on the side.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 163Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 19mgSodium 317mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 7g

Nutritional Values are Estimates Only




Monday 14th of February 2022

Tried it for the very first time ,,,,,, absolutely delicious .

dixya @ food, pleasure, and health

Thursday 3rd of March 2016

i have never heard of this dish..but the idea of ginger and coconut in rice sounds delicious!!

Raihanaa Firdaus Majeed

Wednesday 9th of June 2021

you simply HAVE to try it!!! it is absolutely delicious!

Skip to Recipe