2 tbsp coconut oil
2 cups cauliflower (cut to chunks)
¼ cup coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 pandan leaf
10 blue butterfly pea flowers, infused in ¼ cup hot water
2 pieces chicken thigh with skin
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fried anchovies
2 hard boiled eggs
6 pieces sliced cucumbers
2 tbsp toasted peanuts
1 tbsp sambal chili (homemade)
What’s one classic dish that many people in Southeast Asia love, adore, and can’t live without? That is indisputably – Nasi Lemak. This legendary dish needs no introduction. We all know that the savoriness and creaminess of it have made the dish an ultimate indulgence for true food connoisseurs all across Asia. Traditionally, Nasi (rice) Lemak (rich and creamy) is a humble Malay cuisine that encompasses the infusion of rice with coconut milk and pandan leaf, bringing out a vanilla-like aroma that lingers in your mouth. The fragrant flavor of the rice is also enhanced by the distinctive sambal chili, small fried anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, and other side dish combinations that complement it perfectly. As everybody’s favorite sinful delicacy, Nasi Lemak has undoubtedly come a long way.
However, for those on a diet, “breaking clean” with the beloved Nasi Lemak can be onerous. Right here at Asian Food Network, this recipe is going to give you the green light to indulge in the same great taste, minus the guilt, as we put a unique spin on this prominent gourmet food. Have you ever heard of keto-friendly Nasi Lemak? Yes, you heard it right. With this keto-friendly Nasi Lemak recipe, you no longer have to give up on the wholesome dish completely. In this recipe, we transform the unofficial Malaysian national dish into a bowl of brilliant blue rice that not only delight your taste buds, but is aesthetically appealing too. Using the crumbled cauliflower to substitute the actual rice, you will find a unique touch of natural sweetness in your dish. Of course, your Nasi Lemak is not complete without the iconic creamy coconut and aromatic pandan leaf.
No. In fact, butterfly pea flowers have long been used as a natural source of food coloring in food and beverages around the world. Also known as Clitoria Ternatea, Asian Pigeon Wings, and Blue Bell Vine, butterfly pea flowers are said to be an effective brain-boosting herb. On top of that, its reputed health benefits include enhancing memory, balancing mood, alleviating stress, and more. Besides these significant health benefits that butterfly pea flowers have to offer, they are ideal for your Nasi Lemak because of their odorless and flavorless attributes. This means that you can reap the benefits of them without tweaking the flavors of your dish.
Frankly, it goes well with any of the side dishes that you would add to your traditional Nasi Lemak, really. If dieting is not of your concerns, there is an assortment of side dishes that you can add to complete your dining experience. This includes the conventional ones like ‘Ikan Kuning’ (fried fish), ‘Sambal Udang’ (sambal shrimp), ‘Sambal Sotong’ (sambal squid), boiled eggs and ‘Ayam Goreng’ (fried chicken), or even the extraordinary ones like Beef Rendang and more. Of course, for a true-blue Nasi Lemak experience, you can’t miss out on the essentials: Roasted peanuts, fried anchovies, sliced cucumbers, and sambal chili – Lots of it.
Yes, of course! It is entirely up to you to include what suits your palate best. We personally think the sambal squid makes a fun replacement. You can also choose to do entirely without meat if you are going for a meat-free option. Alternatively, if you are adventurous enough, this dish has tons of great experimenting possibilities waiting to be explored.
Extracting the food coloring from your butterfly pea flower for your blue rice: Extracting the coloring is as easy as dunking them into hot or boiling water. If you would like to ‘go for the aesthetic’, you can easily control the intensity of coloring from your butterfly pea flower. For a darker pigment, all you need is to add more blue pea flowers or let them sit for a longer period of time. On the contrary, you can choose to dilute them with more water if the coloring is too dark for your liking. Use low-fat coconut milk as a healthier choice: For the foodies who are on a healthy diet, you can opt for low-fat coconut milk or even low-fat evaporated milk instead of the full-fat ones. Take note of the ingredients in your sambal chili: If you are on a keto meal plan, make sure your sambal has no sugar. You can also replace the lime juice with tamarind paste. Prepare your cauliflower beforehand: You want to make sure that the cauliflowers are as dry as possible. Upon cutting them into chunks, dry the cauliflowers by squeeze the water out. Make sure only to use the cauliflower florets and not the stems.
Your cauliflower rice with fried chicken, hard-boiled egg, fried anchovies, cucumber slices, and peanuts are now ready to be served! Dig into the fragrant cauliflower rice as well as the tender chicken sizzled in turmeric, tangy mustard, and salt.