Nasi Lemak with Sambal Sotong


 Cuisine: Malay/ Malaysian   |   Prep Time: 15 minute   |   Cook Time: 25 minutes   |   Serve: 3 persons

Weekend is here! Just got back from a holiday down under, settled down and I’am back for more cooking!  It was a good vacation driving along the Great Ocean Road, while enjoying the magnificent coastal scenery with the whole family, we shift to different airbnb houses each day, from a pleasant one to the not so pleasant stay. We definitely got it all covered. I would probably blog about my vacation there soon if anyone will be interested to read about it. Nevertheless, got the chance to catch up with some best friends and relatives in both Melbourne and Sydney. 

It’s really funny when Malaysians meet the accent suddenly changes, from the Aussie slang ‘How R Ya?’ to ‘Eh how you lah?’. Despite a short catch up session, conversation over dinner is always a good place to see how is everyone doing. Being a Malaysian there is always one thing in common, all of them miss Malaysian Food, Mamak, Hawker Centre and roadside Goreng Pisang (fried banana fritters). It is just in our blood. So I came back and got the idea to cook up some typical Malaysian food which is none other than Nasi Lemak but this time with ‘Sambal Sotong’. There are many variation of Nasi Lemak, some with different side dish and some with more spices but this is how I made it easier for everyone and myself.

So here is my simple recipe for those living abroad!








Sambal Sotong (Squid Sambal)

2 medium size red onion sliced and another one roughly cut

1 clove garlic

4 shallots

10 dried chillies (seeds removed)

1 lemongrass

1 tsp belacan (prawn paste)

1 tsp of sugar

1/4 tsp of salt

1/2 cup tamarind juice (1/2 cup of hot water and 1 tbsp tamarind pulp)

2-3 medium size squid (cut into rings)

Nasi Lemak (Coconut rice)

2 cups of rice

3 pandan leaves (tie them into a knot as shown above)

1 small can/box of coconut milk

Salt to taste

Some water

Other ingredients

2 hard boiled eggs (cut into half)

1 small cucumber (cut into slices)

Fried anchovies

Fried peanuts



1. Start of with preparing all the ingredients, and proceed with cooking the Nasi Lemak (coconut rice).

2. Just like how you would cook your rice on a rice cooker, rinse and drained the rice. Pour in the box/ can of coconut milk, a pinch of salt, some water and the pandan leaves.

3. While waiting for your rice to cook, boil some water in a pot and put in the dried chillies (deseeded), this is to rehydrate the chillies so it will be easier to blend into a paste in the food processor later.

4. Now prepare the sambal paste. Put the shallots, garlic, red onion (roughly cut) and the hydrated chillies in the food processor and blend into a paste. If it turns out too think add in a some water until you have the right consistency.

5. Set the sambal paste aside. In a pan heat some oil and put in the sliced red onion. Fry them until they turn lightly caramelized, then add in the sambal paste. Continue to fry them and add in the lemongrass in medium high heat.

6. Fry them until they turn fragrant and add in the squid. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add in the 1/2 cup of tamarind juice, sugar and salt and let it simmer until it thickens and set it aside. Remember to take the lemongrass out before serving.

7. Prepare the other sides, fried both the anchovies and peanuts. Cook the hard boiled eggs and cut the cucumbers into slices.

8. Take the Nasi Lemak (coconut rice) out and serve it with the Sambal Sotong and the other sides.

9. Garnish and serve while it’s hot.