Healthy Nasi Lemak Recipe
Mains & Sides

Healthy Nasi Lemak Recipe


22 May 2017


It’s no secret that Malaysians are huge foodies. Most of us grew up enjoying our local delights – Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai, Cendol – you name it, we love it. Which quickly becomes one of the most challenging things about eating clean in Malaysia. Give up our local favourites? That’s a tall order!

Well, good news. You don’t have to cross out these dishes from your diet. In fact, depriving yourself may just backfire when you start to crave for some of your favourite foods. Plus, many ingredients in our local delights are actually nutritious. Just be sure to swap the less good-for-you ingredients with better ones. And one of the safest way to indulge and still reap the benefits, is to make your own. So, if you’re looking for a healthy local recipe, here’s my very own take on Nasi Lemak that is equally as yummy and even more nutritious.

Mama M 2

Coconut Rice


  • 2 cups multi-grain rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1” ginger, sliced
  • Pandan leaves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil


  • In a rice cooker, place all ingredients and set to cook.

Chilli Sauce


  • 4 red chillies
  • 4 dried chillies
  • 10 shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½” ginger
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


  • In a blender, blend chillies with shallots, garlic, ginger and water.
  • Fry mixture in a pan with coconut oil until the oil separates or the chilli mixture gets slightly crispy. Add in sugar.
  • Add water and leave to simmer. Keep adding water until you get the right consistency and spiciness. After 30-45 minutes, add in lime juice and tamarind water.
  • Cook until the sambal turns slightly dark red.



  • 2 blocks tempeh, cubed
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt

Tempeh Sauce


  • 1 cup fresh coconut milk
  • ¼ cup cashew butter
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt


  • Season the tempeh and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes at 180C.
  • For the sauce, add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Once the tempeh is baked, pour the sauce over and mix well.



  • Kangkung, washed


  • Place kangkung fingers in the rice cooker for a few minutes.
  • Once cooked, serve with pine nuts and cucumber.

Give this recipe a try and you’d be surprised at how delicious healthy food can taste. Want more local recipes? Check out another one of my healthy takes on the all-time popular Char Kuey Teow

P.S. Are you familiar with the history of Nasi Lemak? Find out where it all started here.