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Comfort Food From Home: Nasi Ulam

on January 23, 2010

I would like to start by saying, that I did not snap a pic of this before Hubby and myself both wolfed it all up for dinner. It was supposed to be just a side dish for dinner tonight. After all, I did not expect Hubby to even like it! I was thinking this was just going to be another one of the weird local dish that I fancied that he did not. I was wrong..

Nasi ulam or loosely translated into ‘rice with herbs’ was something I just grew up with. It is simply finely chopped fresh local herbs, some finely chopped french beans, finely chopped lemongrass and pounded fried salted fish – all mixed together and eaten with plain white rice. Some varieties include adding kerisek (grated coconut fried dry), chilli flakes for a bit of spicy kick and for the Thai variation, a certain black watery sauce made with a blend of fish sauce and some other stuff. One can also add grounded toasted peanuts if desired.

In the spur of the moment earlier this evening, I decided to pick some of the kaduk leaves and basil from our herb garden. I had some left-over french beans (you can indeed use other similar vege if you like) and lemongrass in the fridge – so scalded those with boiling water for a split second just to get the raw greeny taste away. The kaduk and basil must be chopped very finely, together with all the other stuff. I also added some salted fish meat, which I fried briefly in very little oil till crisp and then pounded to till fine. Next, mix everything together with some chilli flakes and thereafter toss the fragrant greeny mixture into steaming hot fluffy white rice and let the aroma infuse. Like I mentioned, LOVE IT!!! Now I do not have to beg Mum to ta-pau this from home anymore…!

For those of you who’ve never tasted this, I borrowed a pic from the web attached below. I have to admit, it is an acquired taste…the herbs do have a strong taste because they are eaten raw.

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2 responses to “Comfort Food From Home: Nasi Ulam

  1. whimsicaljottings says:

    Seriously made me salivate reading this. And coming from a person who’s just recovered from the worst food poisoning of her life, that says a lot! LOL. I like the sound of bits of kerisik or salted fish in the rice. Is it a lot of work to chop the veg finely?

    • Quen says:

      I am glad this can make you feel that way….good to know you recovered!
      Not a lot of work… I just cook for 2 persons at home anyway, so not a lot to chop! I have no idea how to make kerisik portions for 2 so I skipped that, but do add the salted fish! Got kick!

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