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Where Did Nasi Lemak Come From?

Nasi lemak is one of the most prevalent dishes in Singapore — young and old, regardless of ethnicity or class, enjoy this well-rounded and wholesome meal. We see it everywhere, from the everyday nasi lemak in hawker centres to upscaled “coconut rice with spicy chilli jam and fried anchovies” in fancy restaurants. It’s a versatile dish that has become a staple in our breakfast repertoire, while also being a favoured fare for supper. But have you ever wondered what the origins of this beloved dish are? Let’s take a deep dive into the history of nasi lemak.

The Many Origins of Nasi Lemak

As with many origin stories of famous dishes, we do not have a single “confirmed” origin, but there have been a number of myths behind how this colourful dish came to be. What we do know for sure is that this dish has its roots in Malaysian culture and history.

1. Coconuts By the Sea

One of the most prevalent stories is the one that makes the most sense. Many believe that nasi lemak came about from the local Malay communities who lived by the seafront. All the ingredients were easily available to the farmers who lived by the ocean, and the dish is a lovely balance of something from the ocean and something from the hills.

There were coconuts from the beach, anchovies from the sea, and kangkong and other vegetables from the fields, all coming together to make a nourishing, filling dish, perfect for the hard day of work ahead on the fields. The story also goes that the meal was wrapped up in banana leaves and taken to the fields, which is where the dish gets its classic look from.

2. An Accidental Spill

We also have an origin myth that is more anecdotal — the story goes that in a small village in Malacca, there lived a widow and her daughter named Seri. Since her husband’s passing, the widow had to work to provide for her little family, leaving the young daughter to do the cooking.

One day, as she was cooking a meal for her family, Seri accidentally spilled some coconut milk, right into a boiling pot of rice. When the widow returned home and tasted the fragrant, creamy rice, she said to her daughter: “Apa kau masak ni, Seri?” (What did you cook, Seri?). To which, Seri replied, (a little cheekily), “Nasi le, Mak!” (Rice, mother!).

3. The First Written Evidence

Origin myths aside, the first known written account of nasi lemak actually comes from the book titled “The Circumstances of Malay Life”, originally published in 1909 by Sir Richard Olaf Winstedt, a British colonial administrator and scholar. He mentions that “the Malay cook” will boil the rice in coconut milk for festivals and marriages, noting down that this dish is called “nasi lemak”. Other early appearances include a newspaper article in The Straits Times from 1935, which lauded the nasi lemak from the Sunday Market at Kampong Baharu in Kuala Lumpur.

Nasi Lemak Through the Years

The humble nasi lemak, which began as a peasant dish meant for farmers, has not stopped evolving through the years. What began as simple fare of rice, ikan selar or ikan bilis, kangkong and sambal has seen many changes over the years.

Back in the 1970s, this famous dish was sold in small packets of rice wrapped in banana leaves for just 30 cents, peddled door-to-door by travelling vendors. Since the 80s, however, this beloved recipe has evolved to include the set meal accompaniments we know and love — the fresh, crunchy cucumber slices, crispy chicken wings, or a fried egg! There are even alternatives to the rice — some stalls tout nasi lemak kukus, which is steamed instead of boiled, while others offer green or blue rice as a novelty!

Even till now, nasi lemak continues to evolve, with every cook adding a unique flair. Our very own Chef Nolee is no different — taking nasi lemak to a whole new level with her innovative recipes with a twist of Thai!

Try our fragrant butterfly pea rice, together with some of our signature Thai-inspired sides such as sambal prawn, sweet and sour chilli fish, and our iconic mango salad. Visit our restaurant at Yishun or order cheap nasi lemak delivery online today.

The Nasi-ssary Ingredients Needed to Make Delicious Nasi Lemak

A staple in our wide range of breakfast foods, nasi lemak is a perfectly balanced dish that is both nourishing and filling. There’s no better way to start your day, or end it for that matter, with a hearty plate of nasi lemak.

There are probably thousands of different restaurants you could get nasi lemak at, each with their unique recipe, but if you’re thinking of trying to make your own at home, then this article is for you! Here is a breakdown of the ingredients you’ll be needing to create this delicious dish on your own.

For the Coconut Rice

The most essential part of the dish, the nominal Nasi Lemak, is simple enough in terms of ingredients. The rice, salt, coconut milk and pandan leaves are the basic ingredients. The coconut milk will bring creaminess and richness to the rice, while the pandan adds a fresh fragrance to the whole mixture.

From there, it’s all up to your personal preference — basmati or short grain, fluffy and light or soft and squishy, boiled in a rice cooker or steamed (“kukus”), you are the master of your bowl! Depending on the variation you’d like to make, you can incorporate other elements, such as butterfly pea flower for a Thai-style twist or lemongrass, ginger and garlic for added aroma and spice.

For the Belacan Chilli

The chilli is often cited as the ingredient that can make or break a nasi lemak dish. Everyone has their favourite type of chilli, and there is a wide variety available here in Singapore — from the bright red and spicy versions to the sweeter, darker, more jammy kinds. The recipes for chilli vary greatly, and there are so many different kinds you could get your hands on. Some prefer their sambal to be full of onions for the sweet crunch, while another common version is sambal ikan bilis. This anchovy sambal adds onions, dried anchovies, garlic, shallots and tamarind juice to the classic blend of chillies, belacan, salt and sugar. The possibilities are endless!

Here at Lavender Nasi Lemak, we make our signature belacan chilli using a mix of Thai belacan, garlic, lime, Thai palm sugar and chillies — a wonderful fusion of salty, sweet, sour, and spice, which is a trademark of Thai cuisine.

For the Side Dishes

Nasi lemak side dishes are even more varied than the previous two categories of ingredients. This dish has been around for a long time and has evolved greatly over time. A classic take on the recipe will call for fried ikan selar (Yellow Tail Scad), freshly sliced cucumber (either the regular or Japanese kind will do). You can add an egg, which is traditionally hard boiled or made into an omelette, and fried ikan bilis and peanuts for extra crunch.

You can find these items ready-made in stores to save yourself the trouble of all that frying (and kitchen clean-up!). But there are also many other side dishes you could add to this fantastic dish — things like beef rendang, chicken curry, cuttlefish, otah or luncheon meat all go perfectly with the rich, fragrant rice and spicy chilli. Some fancier restaurants may even offer “premium” sides, serving this classic dish with lobster, for example!

Finishing Touches

Now to wrap it all up — go the extra mile and throw some banana leaves into your shopping basket! Nasi lemak is traditionally served all wrapped up in banana leaves, which also serve as the “plate” you can eat off when you unwrap it.

Too much hassle? Save your time and effort shopping for ingredients and toiling in the kitchen by visiting Lavender Nasi Lemak at Yishun! Our nasi lemak is inspired by Thai cuisine and made with passion by our lovely Chef Nolee. Get hearty Thai-inspired nasi lemak for you and your family delivered to your home in Singapore by placing an order online now!

What Goes Into Blue, Green and White Nasi Lemak Rice?

Nasi lemak may be known for its fried chicken, sambal chilli and ikan bilis, but it is the rice that will always remain the star of the dish. After all, the name “nasi lemak” literally translates to creamy rice, and it is this most abundant component of the dish that makes or breaks it.

Living in Singapore, you more than likely have come across an array of different-coloured nasi lemak rice. Sure, they are all delicious, but have you ever wondered what goes into making the blue, green, and white-coloured nasi lemak rice we see so often? Let’s find out!

Blue Nasi Lemak Rice: Butterfly Pea Flower

Ever come across those mesmerising colour-changing drinks that go from blue to purple the moment you add lemon juice? Those are made from butterfly pea flowers — the same thing used to create blue nasi lemak rice!

Butterfly pea flowers are used across Southeast Asia as a natural dye in various food items. There is another famous Malay dish called Nasi Kerabu, which also utilises the butterfly pea flower to colour the rice. This dish could have been the inspiration for the trend of blue nasi lemak rice.

So, how is it made? The blue flower releases its colour when steeped in warm or hot water. Rice is subsequently cooked in this infusion, together with the classic coconut milk, which gives rise to its distinctly marbled blue appearance.

But the beautiful colouring is not just for aesthetic reasons. Butterfly pea flowers are rich in antioxidants, which help to prevent premature ageing, improve skin tone and promote healthy hair growth! This method and recipe is an Asian secret that has been passed from generation to generation. At Lavender Nasi Lemak, our butterfly pea rice is crafted with only the best ingredients to give you soft, delicate rice that perfectly complements our menu of unique side dishes.

White Nasi Lemak Rice: Coconut Milk

The quintessential white nasi lemak is the classic look of the breakfast dish that we all know and love.

This creamy, rich rice is traditionally made by steaming the rice in a mixture of coconut milk, water, salt and pandan leaves. Other spices and aromatics like ginger, bay leaf, and onion are added to the rice during this stage too. The fragrant ginger and pandan cut through the creaminess of the coconut milk, balancing out the flavours for a delicious, light rice base for the flavour-packed sides. It may be the most common type of nasi lemak rice available in Singapore, but it undoubtedly still holds its own!

Green Nasi Lemak Rice: Pandan

This variation of nasi lemak rice, also known as Nasi Pandan, takes the white coconut milk rice one step further. By adding pandan paste or pandan flavouring for that extra pandan punch, the rich rice is infused with the fresh, fragrant aroma of the pandan leaf. It gives it a unique sweetness that pairs well with the spicy sambal and the salty, crunchy ikan bilis.

Just like most pandan-flavoured cakes and desserts, a few drops of green food colouring are commonly added for appearances, giving the rice a vibrant green colour that contrasts nicely with the red sambal and the white egg — the perfect picture of a delectable dish.

Savour Butterfly Pea Rice At Lavender Nasi Lemak!

Never tried butterfly pea rice before? Get your first taste with our Thai-inspired nasi lemak and signature butterfly pea rice! The beautifully marbled rice and its slightly earthy flavour blend perfectly with the tangy, sweet and savoury Thai flavours in our special Thai-style sides. From the classic Thai mango salad, to the sweet and sour chilli fish, sambal prawn and more, spice up your nasi lemak experience and visit us at Yishun or order online for delivery today.

4 Reasons Why Nasi Lemak is the Perfect Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it’s only right that you tuck into a nourishing meal to power you through the day! We have a wide range of breakfast foods here in Singapore — from prata to soft boiled eggs and kaya toast, and of course, the ever-popular nasi lemak. 

Nasi lemak is an all-time favourite breakfast item in Singapore and Malaysia. It’s enjoyed by all regardless of age and ethnicity, and that didn’t happen by chance. Here are some of the reasons why nasi lemak is, in our opinion, a top-tier breakfast option.

1. It fills your stomach up

There are few things more embarrassing than getting on the silent train on your way to work, or sitting in an early morning meeting and hearing your stomach growl loudly! You can avoid this social faux pas and the judgemental looks by eating a well-balanced breakfast in the morning.

Skip the kaya toast and tuck into a substantial breakfast of nasi lemak. The healthy serving of rice will provide enough carbohydrates to satisfy your hunger pangs and give you the energy to take on your daily tasks! It also provides you with a little protein, fat, and fibre to start your day just right.

2. It energises you with a burst of flavour

Our Thai-inspired nasi lemak is a medley of flavours — the salty ikan bilis, the spicy belacan chilli, and the sweet and tangy mango salad (a quintessential Thai side dish) all come together in one neat little package. Instead of plain bread or an overly sweet breakfast cereal, a single serving of our scrumptious nasi lemak will tantalise your taste buds and tick off every craving you have. Having such an exciting experience at the beginning of your day can improve your mood, energising you and setting the tone for the rest of your day.

3. It has several health benefits

The name “nasi lemak” can sometimes be a little misleading. Sure, it translates literally to “fatty rice”, but in actuality, this modest meal is fairly well-balanced and nutritious! Named by TIME magazine as one of the healthiest breakfasts in the world, this unassuming meal brings a host of benefits. The chillies in the classic belacan can enhance metabolism and are also packed with vitamin C and antioxidants.

Research has also shown that the saturated fats in coconut milk can boost metabolism and potentially aid in weight loss. Eggs provide your body with good cholesterol, and all in all, this delicious dish carries all the important nutrients required for you to face your day with gusto.

4. It is super affordable

From its humble origins as a meal meant for farmers who worked the fields, to the breakfast staple we all know and love, nasi lemak is an easily accessible delight! There’s no need to scour the island for fancy restaurants or obscure eateries for a good plate of nasi lemak. You can easily get a simple set meal of rice, ikan bilis and peanuts, with cucumber slices and an egg omelette for a few dollars, just about anywhere in Singapore! You could also splurge a little to add special sides to your meal — fried chicken, otah, or even rendang!

At Lavender Nasi Lemak, we up the ante with our unique Thai side dishes, like mango salad and our delectable sweet and sour chilli fish to add to your nasi lemak set.

Visit Lavender Nasi Lemak For a Nourishing Breakfast

For a unique and refreshing breakfast experience, come to Lavender Nasi Lemak at Yishun to get a taste of our authentic Thai-inspired nasi lemak! These classic Thai flavours bring a whole new dimension to the much-beloved breakfast staple, and are a good way to jumpstart your day with something new.

Visit us at Yishun Blk 504 to grab yourself a nasi lemak set with our special sides to take yourself on a culinary trip, all before you get to work!

What Inspires Our Tantalising Thai-Style Nasi Lemak?

There are many nasi lemak variations, but none quite as unique with a harmony of well-balanced flavours as Lavender Nasi Lemak’s Thai-inspired food! If you can’t get enough of our Thai-inspired version of Singapore’s national favourite, read on to take a peek behind the curtain and discover what motivated us to create our specialty menu!

Our Authentic Thai Origins

The star of the show and the mastermind behind it all, our founder Auntie Nolee came from Chiang Rai, Thailand, armed with nothing more than a pushcart, deep fryer and rice cooker. She had been cooking for the Thai people for 25 years, but now, 15 years since her arrival to Singapore, Auntie Nolee has launched Lavender Nasi Lemak to bring authentic Thai flavours to us.

With her in-depth knowledge of authentic Thai food and nasi lemak, Auntie Nolee brings a fresh perspective, combining the flavours of her culture with this well-loved local dish.

Bringing Truly Thai Flavours to Singapore

Thai cuisine is known for its delicate dance between sour, salty, sweet, and spicy, and Chef Nolee’s well-trained hand brings this wonderful medley to delight our taste buds! She combines these complex flavours of her roots with the delicious flavours that we are all familiar with, bringing us on a gastronomic journey. While nasi lemak might be considered a heavier meal, Chef Nolee brings an alternative flavour palette to the table — incorporating refreshing Thai mango salad, fluffy blue pea rice, and more.

Without compromising on the comforting flavours of this classic dish, Chef Nolee brings an authentic Thai twist to the table. This combination of Thai and local flavours comes from the heart — they represent both her roots and her new home here in Singapore, and Lavender Nasi Lemak is a testament to her love for both parts of her identity and a product of the best of both worlds.

Innovative Food from the Heart

Our Thai-inspired local fare pushes the boundaries of what Nasi Lemak is and can be, and Chef Nolee has brought together two complex cuisines in a graceful fusion. This innovative fusion fare didn’t appear out of thin air either — Auntie Nolee has spent countless hours researching, developing, testing and tasting every dish to achieve perfection, culminating in a skilful blend of the two cuisines.

Coming up with new Thai-inspired creations that you won’t find anywhere else in Singapore, Chef Nolee pairs unconventional side dishes and her signature belacan chilli with the comforting flavours we know and love. The typical Thai flavours of sweet and spicy provide a sharp counterbalance to the creamy rice, with Thai-inspired sides such as chilli fish with pineapple and onions adding a tangy twist. The quintessential mango salad also brings a lovely acidity and crunch to complement the soft rice.

Bringing Smiles to Our Customers’ Faces

Lastly, but certainly not least, are the wonderful, loyal customers we’ve had over the years. The feedback and support that we have received have motivated us to continue cooking and creating delicious food. We’ve been serving food from the bottom of our hearts for over 40 years and brought joy to over 100,000 customers in 9 different countries. What’s more, we are proud to be named one of the best nasi lemak in Singapore by Hawkerpedia!

We are deeply passionate about sharing our love for food and the warmth it brings to people, and we cannot wait to share this with many more to come! Looking forward, we hope to be filling the stomachs of nasi lemak and Thai food lovers alike with nostalgic flavours and a twist of Thai.

Visit Us at Yishun to Savour Our Thai-Inspired Nasi Lemak

Come see Auntie Nolee in action! Taste the authentic Thai flavours infused with local goodness all in one plate by visiting us in Yishun today. Alternatively, you can enjoy Thai-inspired nasi lemak delivered to your doorstep through our delivery partners!

6 Interesting Facts About Nasi Lemak

Nasi lemak is common fare for Singaporeans. Not only is it a staple breakfast, one of the many available to us from a spread of foods from different cultures, but it’s also an integral part of our cuisine. We might squabble over which hawker centre or restaurant has the best nasi lemak in Singapore, but how much do we really know about this modest meal?

Here are 6 fun facts about the humble nasi lemak that you probably never knew!

1. Nasi lemak literally means” fatty/oily rice”

The word “lemak”, literally translated, means fat and can be applied to many different kinds of fat, like ghee or oil. The “lemak” in this creamy dish refers to coconut milk, which is high in saturated fats. The name of this dish comes from the process where the rice is soaked and then steamed in coconut milk with other spices and herbs like butterfly pea flowers, infusing the rice with a balanced blend of flavours.

2. It was once named one of the 10 healthiest international breakfasts

While nasi lemak is considered on the heavier side of breakfasts available to us in Singapore, in 2016, TIME magazine named nasi lemak as one of the healthiest breakfasts in the world. It might feel contradictory, considering how the name of the dish itself can be translated to “fatty rice”.

But according to TIME, its high fat content is “balanced with lots of manganese,” which is good for forming connective tissues and bones. Proteins and carbs create a balanced breakfast, and the chilli in the sambal is said to boost metabolism as well. The article described nasi lemak as being “supremely delicious” and we can’t help but agree!

3. It is considered Malaysia’s national dish

While it has not been officially named as the national dish, almost everyone in Malaysia would be able to rave about what they love about this quintessentially Malaysian dish. Nasi lemak is considered essential in a Malay-style breakfast repertoire, although it is served at all times of the day. In Malaysia’s multicultural society, this breakfast menu staple is often cited as a shared childhood experience, and unites the people as part of their common identity, just as is the case in Singapore.

4. It was once a farmer’s meal

Nasi lemak used to be a favourite of farmers! In the past, villagers would commonly eat nasi lemak as their morning meal before heading out to the fields. The combination of the carbohydrates and calories from the coconut steamed rice, together with the proteins from the ikan bilis and oils and antioxidants from the chilli make this dish a perfectly well-rounded meal, providing them with all the necessary nutrients (not to mention a delicious start) to power through a long day’s work!

5. There are many regional variations across Southeast Asia

This dish has spread across Southeast Asia, and as such has a great number of variations across the different cultures. For example, there is a Malaysian-Indian version of this dish which comes with curry, adding a little heat to cut through the rich coconut rice. Even within Singapore, there are many variations of nasi lemak, as different cultures and ethnicities bring flavours from their own cuisine to the mix! Some offer “gourmet” or fusion versions of the dish, while some Singaporean-Chinese renditions offer alternative sides and set dishes not usually served with nasi lemak such as luncheon meat.

6. Its origins are uncertain

This dish is so widespread that no one truly knows nasi lemak’s exact origins. One theory suggests that the answer is in its ingredients — living by the sea, the simple folk relied on the ingredients available to them. Coconuts from the coast, anchovies from the sea and kang kong (water spinach) plucked from the gardens all came together to create the explosion of flavour that is nasi lemak.

The signature banana leaf-wrapped look is sometimes attributed to the fact that this dish was often brought as meals to farmers on the field, providing them with a filling meal. While there might not be any conclusive answers for the origin of nasi lemak, there is no denying its importance in our local food scene!

One last fun fact — you can now try Thai-inspired nasi lemak in Singapore! Lovingly made with authentic Thai ingredients, Lavender Nasi Lemak brings together the best of Thai flavours and local cuisine. Visit Lavender Nasi Lemak at Yishun Blk 504, or order online for delivery to your doorstep today!

The Secret to Good Nasi Lemak Chilli

Nasi lemak and belacan chilli are simply inseparable. The sweet tang and spiciness of the chilli add layers of complexity and new dimensions to an already beloved dish. No nasi lemak set is truly complete without a generous helping of chilli on the side!

But how much do you really know about belacan chilli? There are many variations out there, with every restaurant in Singapore having its own secret recipe. From the traditional Malay sambal to our very own Thai-style signature belacan. Let’s take a deep dive into the critical qualities of amazing nasi lemak chilli and what makes Lavender Nasi Lemak’s signature chilli oh-so-special!

What Exactly is Belacan Chilli?

You are most likely familiar with sambal, a spicy condiment from Malaysia made with chillies. It is highly common across Southeast Asian cuisine and is often used in all sorts of local dishes. Belacan is a type of shrimp paste made out of small shrimp or krill. Mix chilli and belacan with citrus and sugar, and you have your basic building blocks of belacan chilli.

Here at Lavender Nasi Lemak, we take things one step further by incorporating unique Thai influences. By using Thai belacan and palm sugar, our signature belacan chilli infuses a distinct, well-balanced flavour into our Thai-inspired nasi lemak.

What Makes a Good Belacan Chilli?

1. Using Fresh Chillies for a Spicy Kick

Only fresh chillies will do the trick, so try not to use dried chillies. Commonly used chilli types include cayenne chilli or bird’s eye chilli, also known as Thai chilli. Naturally, the more chilli you add, the spicier your resulting belacan chilli will be. It takes careful balancing to nail the correct quantity of chilli so that the condiment will offer a satisfying spice without being too overpowering. One option is to scrape out the seeds from the chilli pod to reduce the spice levels while retaining the aromatic chilli flavour.

2. Adding the Right Amount of Lime Juice & Belacan

One way to enhance the flavour of your shrimp paste is to toast it in a frying pan before incorporating it with the other ingredients. Like toasting spices, doing so will bring out its aroma and give it a more potent umami punch.

Lime juice contributes a delightful tang and a freshness to the chilli, helping cut through the spiciness. In Singapore, the juice of calamansi is traditionally used over Key limes or Persian limes.

3. Grinding the Ingredients Together Perfectly

Now it’s time to bring everything together. Chilli, Thai belacan, Thai palm sugar, lime juice, and garlic need to be well-blended to release all their flavours and transform into a smooth condiment. In the past, this was done by hand using a mortar and pestle. Nowadays, people may prefer using a chopper or electric food processor to speed up the process. The key is to pound it until it reaches a semi-coarse texture — not too mushy, yet not too chunky.

4. Balancing Salty, Spicy, Sour, and Sweet

The hallmark of an excellent belacan chilli? It has to be perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

It is vital to get the proper ratio of sugar to counteract the sour lime juice, salt to introduce a delectable sense of umami, and spice to add complexity and heat. Our well-balanced belacan chilli goes beautifully with nasi lemak rice and adds a savouriness that will tantalise the taste buds! 

Give Our Signature Belacan Chilli a Try Today

Nothing compares to Lavender Nasi Lemak’s signature belacan chilli! We have perfected our recipe for an exquisitely balanced chilli that we make fresh in-house. It goes perfectly with our blue pea rice and range of unique side dishes such as sambal prawn and chilli fish. Try it for yourself by visiting our outlet at Yishun Blk 504 or order it online and get delicious nasi lemak and belacan chilli delivered to your doorstep today.

Here’s How You Can Satisfy Your Nasi Lemak Cravings

Can’t get enough of nasi lemak? We know the feeling. When your cravings are triggered, and you just need to get your nasi lemak fix, sometimes you need a hearty plate of aromatic steamed rice, egg, and perhaps a crispy chicken wing to feel satisfied. Well, Lavender Nasi Lemak is here to help. Here are our top four methods to satisfy your nasi lemak cravings in Singapore, any day of the week!

1. Visit Lavender Nasi Lemak in Yishun

Come one, come all! Lavender Nasi Lemak is serving up mouth-watering nasi lemak with a twist of Thai from 10 am to 8 pm daily in Singapore. Expect exactly what you see in the picture above — generous portions and an unbeatable variety of sides at affordable, value-for-money prices.

Take your pick from a vast range of nasi lemak sets in our menu — from the classic chicken wing or thigh to sambal prawn and chilli fish. Our dishes are made with high-quality ingredients and love, cooked to perfection for every order. Nestled in the heart of Yishun at Blk 504, we are easily accessible by bus from anywhere in the north.

For the best nasi lemak experience, you can never go wrong with Lavender Nasi Lemak. Visit our outlet to get your fill of Thai-inspired nasi lemak today! Available for takeaway and dine-in (subject to prevailing government regulations). 

2. Order Nasi Lemak Delivery Online

Feeling lazy to get dressed and go out? Is the weather too hot? You can get nasi lemak delivered to your home in Singapore with just a few quick taps on your phone!

Order online at your convenience via our website or food delivery partners — Grabfood, FoodPanda, and Deliveroo. There are also self-pickup options available for easy and fuss-free takeaways. Enjoy the same big portions and the hearty meal that you love sent straight to you — and no, we don’t skimp on our signature belacan chilli! It’s easier than ever to fulfil your desires with tasty Thai-style nasi lemak without ever needing to leave your home. 

3. Make it Yourself At Home

If you’re stuck at home with nothing better to do, why not flex your cooking skills? Whip out your pots and pans to try recreating your favourite nasi lemak in your kitchen. For beginners, you could follow a simple recipe such as this one.  Make things easy by sticking to the basics — steamed coconut rice, egg, and a few garnishes of your choice, such as sliced cucumbers, peanuts, and ikan bilis. You could try making your own belacan chilli, or go for a store-bought jar of sambal to save time and effort.

If you’re feeling fancy, go ahead and get creative with your side dishes! Nasi lemak is generally a fairly straightforward dish that won’t take you long to cook, and you can choose to enjoy it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Plus, you can bet that your whole family will love tucking into homemade nasi lemak!

4. Try Unique Variations of Nasi Lemak 

As a popular dish in Singapore, it’s no surprise that many restaurants and food providers have developed weird and wacky variations of the food. Out there, you can find nasi lemak pizza, nasi lemak burgers, and even nasi lemak chips. These foods take the quintessential flavours of nasi lemak — egg, chicken, cucumber and chilli — and incorporate them into various fusion dishes. Of course, such variations can never beat the real deal, but they can help to satisfy your cravings in a pinch. If, for example, nasi lemak and pizza are your two favourite foods, then nasi lemak pizza will truly be the best of both worlds!

The Best Side Dishes for Nasi Lemak

You rock up to the nasi lemak stall and stare at the rows of dishes in front of you. Faced with the dilemma of the huge nasi lemak menu, which dishes do you pick? Do you go for the safety of the chicken wing, or try a new set with something different? To help you decide, we’ve curated a list of our favourite nasi lemak sides that will pair wonderfully with the base of aromatic steamed rice. Read on to check out our top picks for the best Nasi Lemak side dishes in Singapore!

1. Chicken Wing

Chicken wings are an absolute must-have when tucking into nasi lemak. Nothing beats sinking your teeth into crispy skin and juicy, succulent chicken meat. The humble fried chicken wing or chicken thigh is a beloved side dish among Singaporeans and a mainstay in nasi lemak menus across the country. So the next time you find yourself yearning for fried chicken from the ole Kentucky Colonel, you can easily satisfy your craving with nasi lemak fried chicken instead!

2. Fried Egg (Mixed) 

In the mood for an egg-citing and eggcellent side dish? Then a fried egg is your best bet! While it usually isn’t the star of the meal, a mixed fried egg offers lovely crispy edges and adds a subtle fragrance to the overall dish. You could opt for sunny side up as a healthier option (runny yolk, anyone?), but the irresistible combination of blue pea rice and mixed fried egg can’t be beaten.

3. Sambal Prawn

If you’re not a big fan of meat, then seafood is the perfect choice for your nasi lemak set! Sambal prawns are perfect for seafood lovers. After all, who can say no to a heap of big, juicy prawns coated in a luscious chilli sauce? Enjoy the incredible sensation of sweet, salty, and spicy on your tongue at the same time when you take a bite into our sambal prawns. Guaranteed satisfaction for all!

4. Ikan Bilis & Peanuts

No authentic nasi lemak can do without a generous spoonful of ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and roasted peanuts on the side. The ikan bilis provides a mouth-watering savouriness and umami, while the peanuts offer a roasted nutty flavour that enhances the overall dish. In addition, both of them serve as a crunchy element that adds a variety in texture to each bite.

5. Chilli Fish

Fish is no stranger to traditional nasi lemak in Singapore. It is often seen served in many different variations, from fried selar fish to fish fillet. Many people love sweet and sour fish from zi char stalls in Singapore, so why not try it with nasi lemak too — but with a Thai-style twist? The creamy blue pea rice of nasi lemak goes beautifully with fried fish covered in Thai chilli sauce, not to mention the tangy flavour of the accompanying pineapple and onions!

BONUS: Mango Salad

Believe it or not, traditional nasi lemak isn’t the healthiest dish in the world as it often lacks a serving of fruits or vegetables. The cucumber you’d usually get is more of a garnish, as only one of two sleeves are normally included. With a set of Thai-inspired nasi lemak, you can enjoy a refreshing side of mango salad!

Apart from the satisfying crunch, the green mango offers a tanginess that cuts through the rich, creamy rice and fried chicken. It adds a healthy helping of fruits to a meal of meat and carbohydrates that leaves you feeling energised!

Spice Up Your Meal with Thai-Style Sides at Lavender Nasi Lemak

Still not convinced these are the best nasi lemak side dishes? Well, you will never know until you try! Here at Lavender Nasi Lemak, our selection of unique Thai-inspired sides is sure to add some spice to your life and leave you wanting more. Tuck into all these side dishes and more by dropping by our outlet at Yishun Blk 504. Alternatively, you can order from our online menu and enjoy fast delivery of nasi lemak to your home. 

Traditional vs Thai-Inspired Nasi Lemak: What’s the Difference?

We all love a good plate of nasi lemak. It’s something most Singaporeans have grown up with and are more than familiar with the traditional flavours of aromatic steamed rice, spicy sambal chilli, and savoury sides. But have you ever tried Thai-inspired nasi lemak? With a twist of Thai, this beloved dish takes on a whole new form that is both classic and delicious. Read on to discover what sets Thai-inspired nasi lemak apart from the traditional food we know and love!

The Ingredients

Grab a plate of nasi lemak at most hawker stalls in Singapore and you’ll experience the traditional flavours of coconut milk, pandan, and anchovies. As nasi lemak originated from Malaysia, it’s most traditionally made using these typical Malaysian flavours. However, Thai-inspired nasi lemak takes things one step further. By incorporating classic Thai ingredients and sides like mango salad, sour belacan chilli and blue pea-infused rice, a whole new version of nasi lemak is born! 

Not only are these Thai ingredients flavourful and delicious, but they also offer nutritional benefits! For example, the Thai green mango (also known as raw mango) that we use in our mango salad is packed with antioxidants and vitamins. These are great in helping to boost your immunity and the overall health of your heart, liver, and digestive system! 

What’s more, the blue pea flowers used to create our signature blue pea rice also contain powerful antioxidants that can enhance your skin tone, prevent premature ageing, and promote healthy hair growth. Who knew a plate of Thai-inspired nasi lemak could have so many benefits?

The Blend of Flavours

Traditional nasi lemak mostly comprises salty and spicy flavours from the side dishes and sambal chilli.  While savoury, this could end up tasting rather one-note after a couple of bites. In comparison, by adding a twist of Thai to nasi lemak, it opens up a whole new world of flavours! 

Traditional Thai flavour profiles are a well-balanced combination of sour, sweet, salty and spicy. The sweet and sour sauces go perfectly with the creamy steamed rice for an explosion of flavours in your mouth. There’s no better way to get a cross-cultural taste of both Singapore and Thailand together on one plate!

The Unique Side Dishes

Most of the time, nasi lemak comes with the standard fare of side dishes — chicken wing, cucumber, egg, peanuts and ikan bilis. Even at stalls where you have an array of dishes to choose from, most of them don’t stray far from typical ones like begedil, luncheon meat, fish fillet and other deep-fried items.

With Thai-inspired nasi lemak, you get to enjoy many unique and different side dishes that you don’t often find in Singapore. These include sambal prawn, chilli fish, mango salad, and more. And for those that love the crunch of ikan bilis, get ready for the superbly shiok crunch of crispy Keropok that accompanies every nasi lemak dish here at Lavender Nasi Lemak!

Get Your First Taste of Thai-Inspired Nasi Lemak at Lavender Nasi Lemak

Drooling for some Thai-style nasi lemak now? Lavender Nasi Lemak has got you covered. Our very own Chef Nolee (Auntie Nolee) is ready to whip you up a delectable plate of Thai-inspired nasi lemak to satisfy your tastebuds! With years of experience cooking in Chiang Rai, Thailand, Auntie Nolee’s famous nasi lemak menu is cooked with love and loved by many for its perfectly harmonious blend of local and Thai flavours. Try it for yourself by visiting us at Yishun Blk 504 or simply order online and enjoy delicious Thai-inspired nasi lemak delivered right to your doorstep in Singapore today!