Making Nasi Lemak for an Alpha Party of 190+ pax

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Alpha Course is starting again and once again, we can expect some good home-cooking from the Cathedral community. More info on the Alpha Course at the Cathedral can be found here.

We made Nasi Lemak again for the 190+ -pax Alpha Intro dinner.

At the Cathedral kitchen, the facilities are more limited. For the rice, we had to cook it using the electric rice cookers instead of steamers, our usual preferred method. I am learning that you can also do some really nice Nasi Lemak Rice without going the "kukus" way.

So, how did it go?

With some care, I will say that it is possible to cook some good NL rice this way. We were pretty happy with the results and I will detail here our cooking notes of what we did.

The Rice
10 kg of Jasmine Rice
Fresh milk from 6 coconuts
Pandan Leaves

A ratio of rice:water 1:1.1 was used to cook the rice. A tablespoon of salt was used for every kilo of rice. After the rice has cooked (when the switch goes to “warm”), coconut milk and pandan leaves were added. We used freshly squeezed milk which we bought from Tekka Market. Using a spatula, we fluffed the rice. Then we kept the rice cooking on warm till it was served for dinner later.

For good Nasi Lemak rice, the rice should be fluffy, with whole unbroken grains. Too much coconut milk will make the rice greasy and keeping to this ratio is important. Salt - and enough of it - is essential.

You need to imagine how the rice will go with the rather oily sambal and the salty ikan bilis. 10 kilo was barely enough for 190 pax and we could have cooked a kilo more.

The Ikan bills and Peanuts

This was made beforehand at home. For the peanuts, use the smaller variety. It was slowly stir-fried over a little bit of oil in the wok for about 30 minutes. 

For the ikan bills, we bought the Indonesian variety as I find that it crisps up well when fried. Deep fry in hot oil for a minute per batch. 


1.5 kilo dried chilli paste
1 piece of belachan
A bowl of fried anchovies
200 ml of Gula Melaka Syrup
8 tbsp of sugar
1 kilo of peeled and blended shallots
1 kilo of large onions, sliced into rings
2 bowls of oil
100 gm of tamarind paste

This is the soul of the dish. We used dried chilli paste from the wet market. The shallot paste needs to be sweated in oil for 20 minutes before adding the chilli paste. Nasi Lemak Chilli sauce should be on the sweet side. The quantities above are just a guide and you should train your palate to get the taste balance right. 

We offered this batch of Nasi Lemak with Ayam Goreng and acar (pickled veg). The recipe for this fried chicken is here. 

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