Nonya Recipes #5

Nasi Ulam

Recipe Name: Nasi Ulam

Category: Nonya/Singapore-Malacca

This is a Malacca recipe of another well known Nonya rice (nasi) dish, which can only be rarely found in some Nonya restaurants.
However, like all Nonya cooking, this home-made version will be much better than what one would find elsewhere.
Traditionally, Nasi Ulam calls for the fish to be baked or grilled, then shredded. However, frying the fish will do just as well in order to simplify matters. This dish is always served cold.

Ingredients List: goto glossary

a) 5 cups of cooked rice
b) 5 oz of belachan
c) 3 cups of prawn stock made from pounded/fried prawn shells and water
d) 16 limau-purot leaves
e) half a coconut, grated (optional)
f) 250 gm red onions (about 30 small onions)
g) 250 gm garlic (about 30 cloves of garlic)
h) half cup dried prawns
i) 1 Kg of mediun prawns
j) 2 Kg of fish (ikan selar, or preferably ikan parang)
k) 6 very young cucumbers
l) 10 young long-beans
m) 10 leaves of (puchot) daun kunyit
n) 40 leaves of daun kaduk
m) 12 leaves of (puchot) daun kenchoe
o) half cup cooking oil
p) 5 tsp salt, or to taste and also for seasoning the prawns
q) 3 tsp sugar
r) 3 stalks of lemon grass (serai)
s) half tsp of pepper
t) sambal chillie belachan and limes or lime juice


Soak the dry prawns overnight if possible.
First, cook the rice (but not too soft) and leave aside to cool.
Next, shell and devein the prawns, but keep the prawn shells for preparing the prawn stock.

To make the garnishment: Fry the prawns in a pan or wok with little or no oil and a pinch ot salt, then dice the prawns when cooked.
Then bake the fish, and when cooked, remove flesh from the bones and break fish into small shreds.
Fry the grated coconut and pound, then set aside for garnishment.
Finely slice and fry (tumis) the red onions and the garlic.
Pound the soaked dry prawns (after draining of course), and fry with the finely sliced lemon grass and the pepper.
Dice the cucumbers after removing their centers.
Dice the long beans.
Finely slice the puchot kunyit, puchot kenchoe, daun kaduk, limau-purot (remember to keep aside 4 of the limau-purot leaves for the "rempah" preparation later on).

To make the prawn stock: Pound the prawn shells and fry with 1 Tbs of cooking oil.
Then add water and boil; reduce to about 3 cups for stock, in otder to make the "rempah".

To make the "rempah": Mash the belachan with small amount of water and fry in about half cup of cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
Add 4 of the limau-purot leaves to the belachan, and then add the 3 cups of the prawn stock and cook until thick, and reduced to about 1 cup of "rempah".

To Serve: Set aside some of the fish shreds, diced prawns, fried garlic and onions for decoration on top of the dish, before serving.
Mix the "rempah" well into the rice, and then add all the garnishment items and stir/mix again, with salt and sugar to taste.
Serve the nasi ulam on a large plate with side dishes of sambal chillie belachan and limes or lime juice.

Comments: Lots of preparation and very fine slicing of different ingrediants is required!


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