Nasi Ulam (Rice with Herbs)
An olden-day nyonya favourite that has long since been adapted to suit the tastes of food lovers. Throughout Malaysia, nasi ulam is, in essence, cooked white rice served with a variety of herbacious local greens and chili-based sambal. Often looked upon as a herb salad of sorts, this particular dish employs the use of hot rice to semi-cook the ulam, allowing for the greens to retain both texture and taste. Despite being an easy dish to prepare, nasi ulam nonetheless offers a realm of flavours that, blended together, somehow remind one of the best that Malaysia has to offer.
- 8 tbsp palm oil
- 1 ½ tsp anchovy granules
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt (to taste)
- 150 g shrimps – steamed & shelled
- 1 ½ tsp already fried & pounded dried small shrimps (geragau) (optional)
- 2 tbsp already roasted grated coconut and coarsely pounded but not until oily (kerisik)
- 500 g cooked rice, fluffed and cooled
- 5 long beans, thinly sliced
- 4 pointed young pepper (kaduk) leaves, finely sliced
- 1 stalk lemon grass, finely sliced
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 torch ginger bud (bunga kantan), thinly sliced
- 1 young turmeric leaf, finely sliced
- 2 stalks polygonum (kesum) leaves, finely sliced
- 2 hard tailed fish (cincaru) – grilled and remove flakes (220 g)
FINELY GROUND PASTE
- 100 g shallot
- 1 pip garlic
- 1 tsp crushed dried shrimp paste
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 stalk lemon grass, slice
- 3 tbsp crisp-fried shallots
- 1 cucumber seeded and cubed
- 2 red chillies, thinly sliced
To make chocolate slice
- Heat the palm oil and fry finely ground paste until fragrant. Add anchovy stock granules, sugar and salt and transfer to a bowl.
- Add fish flakes, prawns, small dried shrimp (geragau), pounded grated coconut and rice and mix well.
- Mix in the long beans and herbs.
- Garnish with crisp-fried shallots, cucumber and red chillies.