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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nyonya Egg Sambal With Steamed Nasi Lemak

Sambal Egg 6

Sambal Egg 1

Nasi Lemak

Egg Collage

Sambal egg 4

Can you remember the first serious dishes you cooked in your new kitchen? I can... it was some 7-8 years ago when I excitedly cooked my first house warming dishes in my then shiny new kitchen. Among the dishes were 2 Nyonya dishes which I had learnt earlier from Shermay's Nyonya Cooking Class - Tempeh Goreng and Sambal Egg. The Tempeh Goreng, in particular was exotic and had a spritely appetising flavour which never failed to wow and I had repeated that for 3 separate house warming sessions... I didn't repeat this sambal egg dish as often because the vanity in me had felt that it was too easy and was not impressive enough.... Sigh.. I was much younger then and was more full of hot air! As age catches up,the character mellows and starts to appreciate the value of simplicity and functionality.

I have quite a few cookbooks on Nyonya Cuisine but the one that I refer to when I need reliability and authenticity is usually Shermay Lee's double volume 'The New Mrs Lee's Cook Book : Nyonya Cuisine'.  I have bookmarked the Traditional Nasi Lemak(Coconut Rice) recipe in the book for quite some time and have finally decided I would try this to go with the Egg Sambal which is also featured in the book. 

Forgoing the convenience of the modern rice cooker, the Nasi Lemak is cooked by gently steaming rice in 2 stages.For those who have tasted steamed rice, you will be able to appreciate the soft fluffy texture of the rice grain. The rice grains also tend to stay separated and not stick together in clumps as is sometimes seen in rice cooked in boiling water. Steaming the rice takes a longer time and requires one to 'watch and control the fire' more carefully. In addition, fluffing the rice with a pair of chopsticks also needs to be done to ensure that the rice is cooked evenly.

In Shermay's cookbook, apart from the tedious method, she had also published a simplified method. This calls for cooking the rice briskly in boiling water for 5 minutes before draining it out and steaming it for another 5-10mins.
Sambal Egg 2

I truly enjoy the rice with the Sambal Egg - which is a little sweeter and a little more tangy than the versions cooked with sambal belachan chilli paste. Hence for those who are less accustomed to flavours with more heat, this would be a delicious alternative. It has just occurred to me that this could be an interesting recipe for those who are looking to cook something a little more exotic for Easter :) 

Sambal Egg 6(250)
Recipe : (Adapted from Shermay Lee's 'The New Mrs Lee Cookbook' )

Nasi Lemak (Simplified method)
Pandan Leaf           2 pieces
Water                    2.3 liter
Jasimine Rice         600g
Coconut milk         220g
Salt                        1 tsp

Egg Sambal
Quails Eggs            30 (or 10 small hens eggs) (Hardboiled and peeled)
Coconut Milk         80g
Oil                         4 tbsp
Tomato Ketchup    5 tbsp
Lime Juice              1 tsp
Sugar                      to taste
Salt                        1 tsp

Rempah for Egg Sambal
Ginger                   1 thumb size piece
Shallots                  12 bulbs
Garlic                    2 cloves
Chilli powder        1 tsp (I added more)

Method :
1. Wash rice. Boil water in a heavy saucepan and add washed rice and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Drain the water from the rice and quickly add coconut milk and salt. Stir well to combine. Cover to infuse for 10mins.
3, Transfer rice to a steamer. ( I place the rice on a shallow bowl and place this in a steamer) Add pandan leave and steam for 10mins.

Egg Sambal
1. Pound / grind the rempah ingredients to form a paste.
2. Heat up a wok until smoking hot. Add oil and (1). Fry for about 1minute. Add tomato ketchup and fry for another 1 minute.
3. Add eggs and fry for 1 minute. Add coconut milk stir well and simmer over medium low heat for a few minutes. Add lime juice and salt & sugar seasoning. Simmer for another 3-5 minutes until gravy turns thicker.


Pei-Lin said...

Love this kind of Nyonya dish. Since you have so many quail's eggs there, I won't mind having some. Time for a late lunch!

I actually prefer traditionally steamed rice to rice-cooker-steamed rice. I didn't have rice cooker back in the States, and since was only cooking for one to two persons, I just steamed rice with steamer. I doubt even know how to use rice cooker as of this point. LOL!

Indonesia Eats said...

Well, I'm the opposite of Pei-Lin. I didn't know how to cook rice without a rice cooker. OMG, my Canadian husband taught me how to cook rice on stove-top.

I usually cook nasi uduk (nasi lemak) using a rice cooker. Anyway, love your sambal, but no egg for me please :))

yummylittlecooks said...

WOw, it reminds me of my mom's sambal.She used to cook this with chicken egg.yummy!

Passionate About Baking said...

When I looked at your sambal, it made me salivate! :p It's so nice. I was only thinking of cooking some sambal chilli the other day. Don't tell me you finished up all the quail eggs yourself??

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@ Jane: I lost count how many I ate...:)

mycookinghut said...

Ohh I love this kind of simple dish that u can just have it with rice n nothing else!

pickyin @ LifeIsGreat said...

I have a weakness for quail eggs, cholesterol be damned. Quail eggs sambal? Yes, I can finish that entire plate.

Lisa H. said...

Very delicious... love quails egg :D
I can't even cook rice the old way (stove top absorption method)... very much dependent on rice cooker

hanushi said...

Quail eggs with nasi lemak, sound interesting!! :)

Maria said...

This sounds so exotic! I've never had this dish, but I definitely like the sound of it!

Unknown said...

Shirley, this looks so yummy. I have been down under for 2 days already and am now craving nasi lemak after seeing your pics.

Edith said...

Wow that is alot of quail eggs you have got and the patience of peeling off the shells. Kudos.

Yes, I prefer steamed rice than rice cooker method personally and had been doing this for the last 5 years. Now where is my rice cooker went to?

Joanne said...

I feel like I learned SO much from this post! I don't know if I've ever had steamed rice before...but now I'm pretty sure I need to try it!

Zurin said...

Ive never tried quails eggs. Have never eaten them either. But that looks like one appetizing dish! The smallness of the eggs are so cute. Beautiful.:)

ICook4Fun said...

I too used to steamed my rice too when I first moved to the US but it was too much work and I quickly went out and get myself a rice cooker. It has been a long while since I had quail eggs as we can't get it from the supermarket. I like how it look in the sambal compared to the regular eggs. I can just imagine the wonderful taste with Nasi Lemak.

pigpigscorner said...

I've yet to try steaming rice, it's always rice cooker for me =P The eggs look amazing! Gotta love hard-boiled eggs with nasi and this in sambal - YUM!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

I have yet to success with steamed rice, thanks for sharing and I must try this method soon. I wish to have a plate of your yummy nasi lemak for my supper now...

Cooking Gallery said...

I normally eat these with plain white rice but I can imagine that it tastes wonderful too with nasi lemak :). Have a great weekend!

Happy Homebaker said...

I learned how to cook stove-top rice by following the instructions on the back of a rice package when I was living in the States ten years ago ;) So far I have yet to try steaming rice, thanks for sharing the method!

The Sweetylicious said...

wow! is such a nice and savoury dish with unique cooking method. im sure it taste flavourful! (:

Jeannie said...

I cook my rice using a double boiler, a great substitute for a rice cooker:) I so love the eggs sambal, am going to bookmark this! Thanks for sharing:)

Anonymous said...

Wow..yummy. I love quail eggs.

penny aka jeroxie said...

I must get more nonya cookbooks when I return. Miss nyonya cooking so so much.

Cosy Bake said...

Wow, this is a simplest yet one of the most delicious dish I find. YOur Egg sambal really makes me very hungry!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

daphne said...

it's not often that "simple" and "nonya" go together! Thanks for sharing this recipe. It reminds me of home!!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I love the idea of an egg curry. This looks so flavorful I can almost taste it and my mouth is about to water!

tigerfish said...

I agree with Daphne. "Simple" and "Nyonya" do not always come together. But in this case, simple and delicious , yes ! Fragrant and aromatic!

chopinandmysaucepan said... have enough eggs there to feed the entire army, well almost, I counted at least 25 eggs :) Love this sambal egg on my nasi lemak!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@chopinandmysaucepan: LOL... So many? I thought one tray is just 12 eggs- I had 2 trays... Very small - so not too bad..

baobabs said...


Noob Cook said...

oh I love this! can eat the chill! looks so heavenly...

petite nyonya said...

yummy nasi lemak n always a favorite for many!

tinytearoom said...

One of my malaysian workmates made this for me many many years ago. I have lost contact with her and you reminded me of our friendship. thank goodness I now have the recipe. thank you


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