I think my first encounter with Nasi Ulam was at a Nyonya restaurant more than 20 years ago. I was simply amazed by all the different flavours every mouthful brought me.
With the upcoming Hari Raya celebrations, here’s a raw vegan version that I’ve developed for you to make for your friends and family. To top it all off, do remember to serve it with some raw vegan sambal belacan.
When I used to live with my parents, we would plant daun limau purut and cekur in the garden so it was so easy to just step outside to get these edible leaves.
Now I usually find my ulam-ulaman at the Pasar Tani, the Pasar Malam or the Taman Tun Dr Ismail Wet Market from the Sayur Kampung Azizah stall. Some supermarkets like Village Grocer and Ben’s Independent Grocer also have Malaysian herb sections.
My favourite herb in this dish is most probably Bunga Kantan which is also known as the Torch Ginger Flower because it has such a unique fragrance. I also love the pink hue which makes the dish so much prettier and interesting.
Raw Vegan Nasi Ulam
- 1 jicama (sengkuang), peeled
- 2 turmeric leaves (daun kunyit)
- 2 sticks lemongrass
- 15 wild pepper leaves (daun kaduk)
- 8 kaffir lime leaves
- 3 stalks of polygonum (daun kesom)
- 1 small bunch Thai basil leaves
- 20 mint leaves
- 2 torch ginger flower
- 1 small bunch coriander
- 3 shallots
- 2 four-angled beans
- 1 small bunch spring onions
- 10 cekur leaves
- 2 calamansi lime, cut into wedges
- For the rice, cut jicama into 1 inch pieces, then process in food processor until you get the consistency of rice.
- Slice all ingredients very finely. For the kaffir lime leaves and turmeric leaves, remove the vine first.
- Mix rice and ulam-ulaman together, then garnish with lime wedges and serve with raw vegan sambal belacan.
If you’re a visual person, check out exactly how I make this dish in the video here. Leave a comment and let me know what you think about this recipe!