Nasi Lemak Sambal Ikan Bilis


Experience the rich tapestry of Malaysian flavours with our authentic rendition of “Nasi Lemak Sambal Ikan Bilis” – a culinary masterpiece that pays homage to the heart and soul of traditional Malaysian cuisine.

Immerse yourself in the tantalizing aroma of fragrant coconut-infused rice, lovingly prepared to perfection. Each grain carries the essence of coconut milk, creating a velvety canvas that harmonizes seamlessly with the star of this dish – the aromatic “Sambal Ikan Bilis.” This fiery sambal, meticulously crafted with an array of spices and herbs, embraces the crispy, savoury notes of tiny anchovies, or “Ikan Bilis,” creating an unforgettable symphony of tastes that dance on your palate.

How to Make Nasi Lemak Sambal Ikan Bilis

Prep Time
1 hour

Cook Time
1 hour

3 to 4


Nasi Lemak
300, long-grain rice
200 ml coconut milk
400 ml water
4 slices ginger
3 to 4 pieces of pandan leaf, knotted
Salt to taste

Sambal Ikan Bilis
20 dried red chillies, chopped and boiled
6 shallots, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 red onion, roughly chopped
1 inch ginger, roughly chopped
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
A handful of dried anchovies
150 ml water
60 ml peanut oil
15 g shrimp paste or “belacan”, toasted
3 to 4 tbsp tamarind juice
3 to 4 tbsp palm sugar or “Gula Melaka”
Some water

Other Ingredients
100 g peanut
100 g dried anchovies
Hard-boiled eggs
Sliced cucumber


Fried Peanuts

  1. Heat peanut oil on low heat.
  2. Add peanut. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.

Fried Anchovies

  1. Using the same oil, add anchovies. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.


  1. Boil dried red chillies for 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.
  2. Toast shrimp paste or “belacan”. Set aside.
  3. Using a blender or a food processor, add shallots, garlic, 1 1/2 of red onion, ginger, boiled dried red chillies, dried anchovies, 150 ml of water and 60 ml of peanut oil. Blend to form a smooth paste.
  4. Heat pan on medium heat.
  5. Using 150 ml of the oil used earlier, add the remaining 1/2 red onion. Stir-fry until slightly browned.
  6. Add the blended ingredients. Stir-fry for 30 to 40 minutes or until the “oil separates’. [Important] Add some water if the ingredients are too dry.
  7. Add tamarind juice, oyster sauce, toasted shrimp paste, and palm sugar to your taste. Stir-fry until well combined.
  8. Add fried anchovies and yellow onion. Stir-fry until the onion is soft and translucent.
  9. Finally, add salt to your taste.

Nasi Lemak

  1. Using a rice cooker, add long-grain rice, coconut milk, water, salt, ginger and pandan leaf. Stir well.
  2. Close the lid and cook the rice.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, let steam for a few minutes.
  4. Open the lid, loosen the rice and get ready to serve. Enjoy!