Better next time…

I often saw enticing photographs or people blogging about the nasi ulam but I don’t think we can get that here and all the while, I was wishing I could give it a try. It so happened that one morning, I saw Martin Yan on AFC cooking it and it looked kind of simple and I decided to give it a try.

I got these leaves and herbs from my garden…

Leaves & herbs

…ready and cut them thinly…

Cut thinly

…except for the pandan leaves.

Yes, I had a look at somebody’s recipe and she added a whole lot of things such as daun limau perut (kaffir lime leaves), torch ginger flower (bunga kanta) and kerisik (toasted grated coconut) even but I did not have those so I just went ahead and did without them. I should have added some chili though – we always have those in the fridge/freezer, ever ready for use as and when the need arises.

I did have some fish flakes and also some udang kering (dried prawns) soaked to soften…

Fish flakes & udang kering

…and pounded well…

Udang kering pounded

I think I should cook the rice afresh but I had a lot in the fridge so I decided to just use that instead. I mixed some sliced shallots and the pandan leaves, cut into shorter lengths, added a bit of salt and Thai fish sauce…

Rice for steaming

…and put that in the steamer to steam.

Once done, I added all the aforementioned ingredients…

Ingredients added

…and tossed well.

It so happened that my Bintulu brother-in-law came to town for the Ching Ming Festival and he brought us these…

From Bintulu brother-in-law

…it being the bubuk (krill shrimps) season right now, thank you so much to him. I was quite tempted to add the dried bubuk or the cincaluk (fermented krill shrimps) and pound some sambal belacan (dried prawn paste dip) to eat with the rice but I did not and I lived to regret it.

The rice was all right…

Better next time

– fragrant with all the ingredients added but I was pretty sure that the real thing with all the extra ingredients and everything else would be a whole lot nicer. As it was, I think I would enjoy the East Coast delight, the nasi kerabu here, a lot more.

Never mind! I will do it again one day and being older and wiser now, I do think it will be a lot better next time. Any pointers from anybody in the know to help me improve are most welcome!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

7 thoughts on “Better next time…”

  1. With all the herbs added into the rice, I bet it is bursting with flavours. My eyes are on all the goodies your bro-in-law brought for you. You should have prepared some cincalok to go with the rice.

    Yes, that would probably make it just right, not so dry. Bintulu cincaluk, best in the world…will make eating plain rice nice even, what more to say my half-past-six version of the nasi ulam.

  2. Never make my own so sorry, can’t give you any pointer. However I think you did well. Any homemade ulam is better and fresher.

    Nasi Kerabu? Miss that.

    Will try again, and I will cook the rice afresh and I will make sure I have all the ingredients – hopefully, it will be better next time.

  3. I’ve never had nasi ulam as an adult. Had it as a young kid and didn’t like it, probably because of all the herbs. An adult’s tastebuds would be different, I think, and I’d like to try it again one day.

    Yes, some people have told me that they do not like some of the dishes at Payung and I found out that it was because of the herbs added, like the Thai basil in the pomelo salad, for instance. I love Thai basil and I’ve acquired the taste for sawtooth coriander now – did not like it before.

    I don’t know if the real/actual nasi ulam is anything like mine – if it is, you will not see me rushing to give it a try. With all the ingredients, I do think it would be very much nicer if I had fried the rice instead.

  4. I need pointers from you how to grow herbs, etc. as I have no green fingers…

    Have you tried? I just simply plant one, if I am lucky, then they will grow. I’ve planted a lot of things that did not live to see the light of day.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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