Crispy Nasi Lemak

This dish was inspired by a now legendary gaffe on Masterchef UK, where John Torrode criticised a contestant’s Rendang for not being crispy.

Malaysian Twitter went crazy. The nation was laughing as anyone who’s eaten Rendang should know that it’s never crispy #CrispyRendang.

It’s weirdly one of the main things a Malaysian will say to me the second they hear I’m from the UK. I’m sure most in the UK won’t remember this, however Malaysia definitely hasn’t forgotten.

To play on this I decided to completely bastardise a dish that Malaysian love, even more than Rendang – Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice). Fusing it with an Iranian dish I love - Tahdig/Tachin (Crispy Saffron Rice).

This was a risk... but I think it paid off.


300g of Jasmine or Basmati Rice

300ml of Coconut Milk

300ml of Water

1 tsp of salt

2 Pandan Leaves, knotted

5cm of Ginger, slices

1 stick of lemongrass, bruised

Coconut Oil

To Serve

Fried Anchovies

Fried Peanuts

Sliced Cucumber

Sambal Ikan Bilis

Wash the rice 3 times, or until the water runs clear. Mix with the coconut milk, salt, pandan, ginger and lemongrass in a large pot. On the hob, bring to a boil, cover tightly and turn off the heat. Leave to steam for 20 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 180C.

Grease a small casserole dish with the coconut oil and fill with the rice. This should still be a little undercooked and wet, this is fine.

Cover in greaseproof paper and tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes, until the rice is golden brown at the edges.

Turn, out onto a plate and serve with the anchovies, peanuts, cucumber and sambal.

Crispy Nasi Lemak and all the trimmings!

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