Describe the taste, texture and nutritional value of this dish.
We transform Malaysia’s national dish, nasi lemak, into a healthier version that includes oatmeal, sambal, anchovies, peanuts, shimeji mushroom, cucumber and a hard-boiled egg. This dish is low in carbohydrates and fats. Oats are also an excellent source of iron, dietary fibre and antioxidant while shimeji mushrooms offer plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals. We boil the oatmeal to a creamy consistency while still retaining the oats’ texture. I love the balance of flavours and textures of the Oatmeal Nasi Lemak. We serve the oats hot so that our customers can taste its creamy texture along with anchovies and our homemade hot sambal on the side. The sweet and spicy taste from the oatmeal and sambal blends really well together.
What are the biggest challenges in cooking the dish?
The biggest challenge in cooking Oatmeal Nasi Lemak is to replicate the original dish into a healthier version. Cooking the oat was quite a challenge for us. After much experimentation, we have perfected the recipe to cooking oats in fresh milk in low heat for about 10 minutes until it reaches a nice creamy consistency.
What are some key ingredients that go into this dish?
For the sambal, we use dry chilli, red onion, garlic, ginger, sugar, salt, and pepper. For the oatmeal rice, oats is definitely the main ingredient. We also add milk, garlic, egg, peanuts, shimeji, and cucumber.
What is your recommended cooking methods?
To make the sambal, boil some dry chillies until soft and blend them until smooth. Move them to a sauce pot and saute the blended paste. Add in the dry chilli and cook for another 15 minutes. You should stir it occasionally to prevent burn. Make sure to add some sugar, salt and pepper.
For Oatmeal Nasi Lemak, start by heating the pot up and pour some oil for frying. Add chopped garlic onto the pan and fry until it is slightly browned. Put in some rolled oats and fry for a while before pouring milk in. Add salt and pepper when the oats have softened. If the oats are not soft enough, you should add more milk. Once cooked, transfer the oats to the plate. Slice some cucumbers and prepare a hard-boiled egg, anchovies and ground nuts for the toppings. Don’t forget the sambal!
What are some tips on sourcing for key ingredients?
The best practice is to source ingredients from local vendors and farmer’s markets. We try to use imported ingredients only if they are not produced locally or if it has better flavours. We also choose our ingredients based on seasonal produce to ensure that our dishes taste consistently good and are fresh.
What is your recipe creation thought process?
We always do extensive research for a recipe before testing it. We then experiment by mixing and matching different ingredients to test which ones can make the dish innovative and stand out. A finalised recipe could take up to a month to roll out as it needs to be perfected before being introduced to customers. Yes, it’s a long and tedious process, but we strive for perfection.
Can you share some cooking process and advice?
My advice is to use fresh and natural ingredients. Also, there are so many ways to cook a dish, which people often ignore. Different cooking methods will affect the dish’s nutritional values differently, so think about it thoroughly.