Breakfast chronicles – Nasi Lemak

Ingredient of the day – cucumber. Yup, i decided to do Nasi Lemak (for the first time ever) because i wanted to use up the cucumber i bought for making cucumber sandwich last week. Well, i also have frozen mid-joint wings that has been sitting in my fridge for some time, and Nasi Lemak is the perfect idea.

To make the Nasi Lemak, i’m referencing Kenneth Goh’s recipe again. I tried making the fried chicken wings such that it mimics the one by my favourite Nasi Lemak stall – International Nasi Lemak at Changi Village, using ginger and tumeric in the half-flour half-rice-flour batter. Rice flour would give the wings a crust that remains crispy for a prolonged period. Well, the result wasn’t even close, but i know how to improve next time.

I am guilty of taking Nasi Lemak for granted, since it looks deceptively simple to put together, but is actually made up of at least five different items, each of which needs to be prepared separately – coconut milk and pandan infused rice, fried chicken wings, Ikan Bilis or anchovies (which i omitted), fried eggs and sambal chilly. Not to mention sliced cucumber as well. Together, it makes for quite a sumptuous breakfast.

The rice undoubtedly plays the most important role. The entire dish is ruined if the rice is too soft or too hard. I realized that the addition of the coconut milk actually makes the cooking of the rice a little different from cooking plain rice. Be careful not to add too much water when cooking. Anyway, making Nasi Lemak has made me appreciate this national dish of Malaysia even more, and I certainly will continue to patronize hawker and Mamak stalls to enjoy it, even though it is doable at home.

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