Malaysian Food Made Healthy: Nasi Lemak Recipe

malaysian food made healthy: healthy nasi lemak recipe

Hey guys! Am back with another malaysian favourite this week. For all nasi lemak lovers out there, this one’s for you. 😉  I’ve tweaked the traditional nasi lemak recipe to make it a nourishing, wholesome dish that you can enjoy regularly without harming your body. Same flavours, just better ingredients.

So, what makes a good nasi lemak?

🍚 Fragrant and fluffy coconut-flavoured rice

👍 Aromatic Sambal

👌 Crunchy Fried Anchovies (a.k.a Ikan Bilis)

🌱 Fresh Cucumbers

🐓  Boiled Eggs

That covers the basic nasi lemak bungkus you will typically get from a stall or mamak. I’ve experimented and made my own version that ticks all the boxes with these:

Fragrant and fluffy coconut-flavoured Rice Quinoa

Instead of white rice which is highly processed and refined, we are using quinoa that’s high in protein and rich in minerals and fiber. Check out the amazing benefits of quinoa here.

Sugar-free 📢Aromatic Sambal 

There is really nothing unhealthy about the main ingredients of sambal unless you add lots of sugar and processed oil in there, which they usually do. I’ve naturally sweetened mine with raw honey, and substitute the processed oil with good quality olive oil.

Now, by switching refined sugar with honey, you are not just merely taking out the empty calories, but you are also making your dish a nourishing one with the vitamins and antioxidants honey has to offer. Having said that, a little goes a long way. Just a minimal addition of honey enhances the flavour of sambal, ease the spiciness, and completes it perfectly.

Crunchy Baked Fried Anchovies

Why deep fry when you can bake? That’s exactly how I’ve made it for this recipe!


Now, we are doing this recipe sharing a little differently.... To make it easier for your cooking and preparation, I’ve broken down the recipe by sections; 

Nasi Lemak Rice Recipe: Coconut-Flavoured Quinoa Recipe

Ingredients: 1 Cup Red Quinoa | 1 Cup Water | ½ Cup Coconut Milk | 1 Tsp Coconut Oil | ⅓ Tsp Salt


  1. Wash and rinse quinoa.
  2. Heat up coconut oil in a saucepan before adding quinoa. Stir for about 5 minutes. Add water, coconut milk and salt. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat. Let it simmer till water evaporates. This takes about 20 minutes (if water evaporates quicker than that, just add more water as you go)
  3. Once it’s cooked, turn off the heat and fluff up the quinoa with a fork and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Nasi Lemak Sambal Recipe

Ingredients: 10 Dried Chillies (soak in hot water to soften) | 4 Fresh Chillies | 10 Shallots (sliced) | 5 Cloves Garlic (chopped) | ¾ Tsp Salt | 2 Tsp Turmeric | 2 Tbsp Olive Oil | ½ Tbsp Raw Honey


  1. Add all ingredients into a food processor, except raw honey and 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Blend it till you get a smooth consistency.
  3. Heat up the remaining olive oil, and fry the sambal mixture till it becomes fragrant.
  4. Take it off the heat, and add honey into sambal. Mix well and serve.

Nasi Lemak Ikan Bilis Recipe: Baked Ikan Bilis/ Anchovies

Ingredients: ½ Handful Ikan Bilis | 1 Tsp Olive Oil


  1. Pre-heat oven at 180C.
  2. Wash and rinse ikan bilis.
  3. Leave it to dry (or dry with tea towel)
  4. Add olive oil to dried ikan bilis. Make sure it’s well coated.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or till it’s browned and crispy.

Now all that’s left to do is plating them up with sliced cucumbers and a boiled egg.

This nasi lemak recipe is great for batch cooking or meal prep, because most of the ingredients can be prepared beforehand. Cook them over the weekend, store them into containers separately, and all that’s left to do is to assemble them.

So, there’s no reason not to be eating in, and eating healthy on the weekdays anymore!

I hope this helps you break the mindset of eating healthy being restrictive, boring and bland. You can make any of your favourite meal into a wholesome, nutritious one. Allow yourself to think out of the box and be creative! 

Lots of love, 


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