p Picks and Pecks: recipe: nasi ulam

Saturday, June 8, 2013

recipe: nasi ulam

Nasi ulam is more of an assembly job I guess. Since what I do is use an assortment of herbs mixed with white rice, it's not nasi kerabu, which is typically dyed blue with pea flowers and has kerisik (toasted coconut) added to it.

What to eat with it? Sometimes I add a rendang or some other stew-y dish with lots of gravy which I can pour over the rice - the rice can be quite dry to some people. Or it could be as simple as fried salted fish with a fried egg on top.

I have used four herbs/veggies this time around:
I first wash up all the veggies and leave them to drip dry - you don't want to run the risk of chopping up the veggies and having it all turn into a green mush, so make sure the leaves are very dry before you pick them off the stems.

The easiest thing to chop up first are the long beans. Just cut into shorter lengths and run the knife through them into 1/8th pieces.

Next is the torch ginger. Just peel off any brown petals, and slice thinly. Torch ginger has a really unique smell which I haven't been able to place - its very distinctive, but not sweet or floral.

As I mentioned, the basil and laksa leaves are just picked off the stems, and I use the knife to cut the leaves. Cut and not shred! This is also another reason why I wouldn't put the leaves into a food processor, even though it might speed things up - the chances of everything ending up in a pulp is too great! Sniff the laksa leaves as you slice them - they have a wonderful lemon-y scent.

Mix all the veggies with some cooled cooked rice. If the rice is too hot, the heat from the rice will end up "cooking" the leaves, and turn them into an unattractive black color.

I always feel quite virtuous when I cook this - it's like having a default salad with your meal without even realizing it! Super healthy and tasty!