How to Cook Paella Nasi Ulam (Paella with Herbed Rice)

This recipe for Paella Nasi Ulam is the winning entry by Kak Wan, who is one of two winners of a recent competition run by our partner Facebook page, Apa Kau Rasa.  In keeping with our #MYFlavoursEurope campaign, the competition’s theme was to Bring Malaysian Flavours Closer to Europe by combining Malaysian and European ingredients and cooking styles to produce delicious new flavours.

Paella Nasi Ulam by Kak Wan
Paella Nasi Ulam by Kak Wan

Paella Nasi Ulam combines an iconic Spanish dish, paella, with the flavours of nasi ulam, which is a herbed rice that’s popular in parts of Malaysia.

Paella Nasi Ulam

by Kak Wan


2 cups Basmathi rice, soaked for 20 minutes & drained

1 cup water

½ cup coconut milk

¼ cup natural yoghurt

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 cup coriander, sliced

1 cup tomato, chopped

3 bird’s eye chillies, sliced

2 snake beans, sliced

¼ ginger flower bud, sliced

1 TBSP lemon juice

For sauteeing – 

3 TBSP margarine

1 TBSP cooking oil

½ cup onion, chopped

1 TBSP garlic, chopped

8 prawns

8 clams

2 squid tubes, cut into rings


1 cup shredded mozzarella

½ cup shredded cheddar


  1. Heat margarine and oil. Fry prawns until they change colour, remove.
  2. In the same wok, fry garlic and onion until soft. 
  3. Add chopped tomato, ginger flower bud and snake beans, saute briefly.
  4. Add rice, coconut milk, yoghurt, water and turmeric; stir.
  5. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  6. Mix well and add prawns and squid, and arrange clams on top.
  7. Add half the coriander. Cover the wok with aluminium foil.
  8. Cook on medium heat until liquid is fully absorbed.
  9. Remove from heat and add shredded cheese and coriander.
  10. Grill in an oven on the top rack at 200C for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove and serve.

You can find Kak Wan’s original recipe in Malay HERE.

Congratulations to Kak Wan for your winning entry; we look forward to more delicious shares from you!

Jackie M.

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