11 Delicious Side Dishes to Serve with Nasi Lemak

You’ve come to the correct spot if you’re wondering what to serve with your nasi lemak.

In this essay, I will present 11 of the most popular nasi lemak side dishes.

In a rush? Heres the short answer.

Spicy fried chicken, sambal prawn fried egg, and fried anchovies are excellent accompaniments to nasi lemak. Try roasted okra, Asian cucumber sesame salad, kangkung belacan, or sambal potatoes for lighter fare. Serve with beef rendang or hot chili lime peanuts.

Ready? Lets jump right in.

Southern spicy fried chicken

Fried chicken with nasi lemak is a traditional Malaysian dish.

And this southern fried chicken is unquestionably delectable.

The chicken is marinated in a fiery mixture of 12 herbs and spices, including cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and celery salt.

Then its fried to golden brown perfection.

For a well-rounded supper, serve both with a green salad.

Sambal prawn 

Nasi lemak just isnt the same without sambal!

Sambal is a hot sauce prepared from fresh chili peppers, shrimp paste, and lime juice.

You can pair nasi lemak with a number of sambals, but my personal favorite is sambal prawn.

Succulent shrimp are cooked in the fiery mixture, resulting in a tiny curry.

Whether you eat it for breakfast or lunch, sambal prawn will satisfy you.

Asian cucumber sesame salad

This salad nicely balances the rich tastes of nasi lemak with its crisp cucumbers, spicy dressing, and nutty sesame seeds.

It serves as a pleasant palate cleanser between bites, and it also helps to cool down any heat from the sambals on your dish.

And the best part?

This cucumber salad requires just a few minutes of hands-on preparation.

Spicy chili lime peanuts

Nasi lemak is usually served with a variety of side dishes.

Each side is expected to provide something distinct to the meal.

And the hot chili lime peanuts provide crunch!

P.S. crumble any leftovers over a pasta bake for a crunchy top.

Vegetable & chickpea coconut curry

When it comes to serving your nasi lemak, there are no restrictions.

So why not experiment with this veggie and chickpea coconut curry?

Granted, it’s not conventional, but it’s a tasty way to shake things up.

The curry provides a fantastic depth of flavor to the meal, and the coconut milk complements the coconut-infused rice well.

The greatest thing is that it just takes 25 minutes to cook, so you won’t be stuck in the kitchen for hours.

Fried anchovies

Not digging the spicy fried chicken?

Try your rice with fried anchovies instead.

Because anchovies are little and crunchy, they provide a lovely contrast to the soft, fluffy rice.

They’re salty and full of umami taste, so they can absolutely hold their own on a platter full of other robust foods.

This dish calls for fresh anchovies, but dried anchovies are more often used in Malaysia (as in this recipe).

Fried egg

Who doesnt love a runny yolk?

Serve nasi lemak with a fried egg on top for the ultimate nasi lemak experience!

The creamy, coconut-flavored rice complements the runny yolk of the eggs well.

Plus, who can say no to the added protein?

With Cookie and Kate’s recipe, you can make the ideal fried egg.

Well done eggs and boiled eggs work well too.

Kangkung belacan (water spinach with shrimp paste)

If you’re still undecided about which vegetable side to serve, this kangkung belacan could do the job.

Water spinach is stir-fried with a spicy shrimp paste sauce in this traditional Malaysian meal.

If you can’t get water spinach, just use normal spinach (or sweet potato leaves, if you can find them).

Beef rendang

While fried chicken or fish are common toppings for nasi lemak, beef rendang is one of my favorite combinations.

Beef rendang originated in Indonesia, where I first experienced it and fell in love with it.

The beef is cooked in a spice and coconut milk combination until it is very tender and delicious.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you should! Here’s a delicious beef rendang dish. I also have another post on other foods that go well with rendang.

SPOILER ALERT: roasted coconuts are the secret ingredient.

Crispy oven-roasted okra

The word nasi lemak literally translates to “fatty rice,” which accurately describes this delicious meal.

It’s usually eaten for breakfast, but it’s also good for lunch or supper.

And oven-roasted okra is a simple side dish I like to offer with rice for supper.

The sweet, grassy taste goes well with the coconut milk.

To get rid of the slimy texture, roast the okra over high heat.

Coconut sambal potatoes

Looking for a vegetarian sambal option?

Give these coconut sambal potatoes a shot.

The potatoes offer a nice creamy component to the meal and absorb up all of the sambal sauce’s great tastes.

As a consequence, you’ll have a substantial and savory lunch that will leave you completely pleased.

The best side dishes to serve with nasi lemak

  • Southern spicy fried chicken
  • Sambal prawn
  • Asian cucumber sesame salad
  • Spicy chili lime peanuts
  • Vegetable & chickpea coconut curry
  • Fried anchovies
  • Fried egg
  • Kangkung belacan (shrimp paste with water spinach)
  • Beef rendang
  • Crispy oven-roasted okra
  • Coconut sambal potatoes

What To Serve With Nasi Lemak

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your nasi lemak.

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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: malaysian
Keyword: nasi lemak side dish, what to serve with nasi lemak
Prep Time: 5minutes
Cook Time: 10minutes
Total Time: 15minutes
Servings: 1person
Calories: 145kcal


  • 1portionnasi lemak


  • Make your nasi lemak according to your preferred recipe.
  • Meanwhile, select one of the following sides to go with it.
  • Southern spicy fried chicken, sambal prawn, Asian cucumber sesame salad, spicy chili lime peanuts, vegetable & chickpea coconut curry, fried anchovies, fried egg, kangkung belacan (water spinach with shrimp paste), beef rendang, crispy oven-roasted okra, and coconut sambal potatoes are among the side dishes.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 145kcal


What do you eat with nasi?

Nasi Goreng is generally served with a fried egg and a dish of fresh veggies (often simple juicy tomato and cucumber wedges).

What soup goes well with nasi lemak?

Sambal Udang for Your Malaysian Nasi Lemak.

Is nasi lemak usually served during dinner?

Originally eaten for breakfast, the dish is now eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper. While nasi lemak has its origins in Malay cuisine, it has now become a part of Singapore’s larger culinary culture.

When should I eat nasi lemak?

It is become a popular meal not just for breakfast but also throughout the day. Richard Olaf Winstedt referenced nasi lemak as early as 1909. It was also mentioned in a 1935 newspaper item that the meal was offered in the Kuala Lumpur Malay Market in Kampong Bahru.

What is served with nasi lemak?

Nasi lemak is traditionally served with a hot spicy sauce (sambal) and other garnishes such as fresh cucumber slices, miniature fried anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, and hard-boiled or fried egg.

What food goes with nasi lemak?

Nasi lemak is frequently served with sambal ikan bilis, sliced cucumber, boiled eggs, fried peanuts, and ayam goreng (Malaysian fried chicken).

What makes nasi lemak so good?

Fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves, topped with sambal (a spicy sauce), eggs, and anchovies, these are the ingredients that make Nasi Lemak a perfectly satisfying dinner.

Why do people eat nasi lemak?

“Farmers needed a hearty meal in the morning, so eating nasi lemak kept them full because you have all the food groups covered — carbohydrates from the rice, oils from the sambal, and protein from the anchovies,” he noted.

What does lemak mean in nasi lemak?

This Malay term refers to the thick creaminess of coconut milk in meals.

What is unhealthy in nasi lemak?

Clinical specialists, on the other hand, consider the meal to be rich in oil, salt, and calories. According to the website fitivate.com, a standard dish of nasi lemak with a boiled egg has roughly 494 calories, 13 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, and 80 grams of carbs.

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