Saturday, 31 December 2011

My Secret Recipe: Nasi Lemak Sotong

Nasi Lemak used to be my everyday breakfast when I was still a small boy. When I said everyday I do mean EVERY MORNING I ate a pack of nasi lemak, either with sambal sotong (squid cooked in chili paste) , sunny top, fried chicken or just nasi lemak biasa, the one without any top-up especially during school break. All these happened at a town where I grown up -- Shah Alam.

At Shah Alam, nasi lemak stalls can be seen almost everywhere. Its the commonest food available in the morning, where people who are rushing to work will stop by to get a pack or two of nasi lemak, fried meehun or kuih as breakfast. Its so convenient that most of the nasi lemak stalls open in front of their own house or just beside the bus stop!

Back then, my mom always buy us nasi lemak from a Malay "Mak Cik" (synonym of "aunty") who stayed not far from our house. I can't clearly remember her name, but what left in my memory was her always-happy voice and the beautiful daughter... AHEM... I mean her spicy sambal and aromatic rice cooked in rich coconut milk. Not forget to mention about the sambal sotong which is sweeter compared to the normal sambal. I often asked for extra fried  ikan bilis (anchovies) because I love the blend of crunchiness with spiciness.

This is my version of nasi lemak, based of my memory for how a nasi lemak should be. Its not difficult to cook you don't have to watch movie 《Nasi Lemak 2.0》 or follow Namewee's pathway to learn how to cook a nice nasi lemak. Here is my recipe where I learnt from my memory of how to prepare a good Nasi Lemak Sotong:

For the sambal:
Onion, big: 3
Shallot: 5
Garlic: 3 cloves
Chili paste (Chili "Boh"): 3 big spoon (to taste)
Salt: To taste
Brown sugar: To taste
Turmeric Powder: 1 teaspoon
Cooking Oil

Finely chopped the onion, garlic and shallot, leave aside. Blend all the remaining in a blender / food processor thoroughly until its smooth. You can add more cooking oil if the mixture is not blend properly. Taste it, I always let my tongue and nose to learn if I got a right ingredient and amount. 
Over hot pan, brown the onion and shallot before add in the blended stuffs. Shimmer it. NEVER add in too much water, we don't want our sambal become a curry! Once the sambal is cooked with right taste, add in the squid.

Sotong (Squid):
Get a medium size "sotong kering" (dried squid) from any wet market. "Sotong kering" is a squid which was dried for storage and before is sold to the customer, the stall owner will soak it with some kind of alkaline or plain water to "restore" it. A few mm thick of dried squid will expand to nearly double its thickness, interesting?!! If you are not from Malaysia, feel free to substitute it with any kind of squid.

For the rice:
2 cups of rice (for 2-3 persons)
Coconut milk, preferably fresh from shredded coconut
otherwise 1 small pack of prepacked coconut milk
1 small teaspoon of salt
1 inch of ginger, slice
Don't forget water for cooking the rice

If you are from Malaysia / Asian, I am sure you know how to use a rice cooker. Just follow "half-finger rule": add water to the rice pot for about "half-a-finger" height from the top layer of the rice. That's inclusive of coconut milk in this case.

Anchovies, 1 small bowl, deep fried.
Boiled egg, 2 (1 person each, add more if you like)
Cucumber, 1

Brown the shallot, garlic and onion

Deep fried anchovies

Squid cooked in sambal

Dang! Dang! Dang! This is how my nasi lemak looks like!


Anonymous said...

I love this dish i hope i can make it

Unknown said...

Hi, the ingredients are normal except for the tumeric. Is this necessary?


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