Nasi Kerabu – Famous Malaysian Cuisine

Blue rice! Surely that’s the stuff of children’s storybooks? Not in Malaysia!

Nasi kerabu is rice dyed blue with butterfly pea flowers (bunga telang), which are used as a natural food colouring in sweet and savoury dishes. Nasi kerabu means “rice with salad” in Malay, referring not to the unusual, pale-blue rice but the pairing of rice with fresh herbs and vegetables.

The dish originated in the east coast states of Terengganu and Kelantan and is typically served with fish or seafood. The pea flowers, fresh or dried, are added to the rice cooking water, often with finely chopped lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, ginger and pandan leaf.

Favoured fresh herbs in nasi kerabu include laksa leaves (daun kesom), wild pepper leaves (daun kaduk), torch ginger (bunga kantan) and turmeric leaves (daun kunyit)., as well as staples like ginger, garlic and shallots. Most of these herbs are blended with shrimp paste (belacan), chilli paste and tamarind juice to make the dish’s signature sambal.

Nasi kerabu can be found throughout Malaysia but it’s best in its birthplace, in the East Coast states. In Terengganu and Kelantan, roadside stalls do a roaring trade in nasi kerabu, serving it with other local specialties like satay and rendang. It doesn’t get more authentically Malaysian than that!

Shop name:
Nasi Kerabu Ala Siam by Kak Su
Kg. Ladang, Hadapan Hotel Grand Continental

Famous Malaysian cuisine is a 50-video series produced by Masters of Malaysian cuisine(MOMC) in partnership with Tourism Malaysia.

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