Nasi kerabu: the Kelantanese dish that doesn't compromise health for flavour
Very rarely do you hear a Malaysian promote nasi kerabu when someone asks about famous local dishes. It may not be as popular as the rest, but one big bite will guarantee a burst of flavour that is appreciated by those who love rustic and authentic Malay ingredients.
Here are some facts about the colourful dish:
The rice is not artificially coloured but is actually caused by bunga telang, also known as butterfly-pea flowers, an ingredient that the rice is cooked with.
Plain white rice, grey rice from mengkudu leaves, and yellow rice with turmeric are also other forms of nasi kerabu. This is handy if the colour blue puts you off.
Compared to other local dishes, nasi kerabu is perfect if you want to experience rich flavours without compromising your diet since the meal comprises of mostly herbs and vegetables.
Besides the generous portion of vegetables, what makes nasi kerabu really enjoyable are its side dishes like boiled salted egg, prawn crackers, and turmeric fried chicken or fish.
Decoding the famous Sarawak Laksa
Rich without being too heavy, the pride of the Borneon Hornbill state is here to stay for a simple reason: it is truly a comforting delight. Those who are familiar with the dish can see that although it shares similarities with other states’ laksa, it boasts its own unique taste.
The importance of the broth
Unless you’re lucky, the Sarawak laksa broth paste is tremendously scarce outside the state. While it’s made mainly with sambal belacan, lemongrass, galangal, tamarind and a little bit of coconut milk, there are actually more herbs and spices that make up this complex paste. You can definitely opt for your own homemade broth paste, but one of Sarawak’s most popular choice is the ‘Eagle’ brand sambal laksa broth paste.
Staple side dishes you cannot miss
The crunchiness of beansprouts, the chewiness of the chicken and omelette strips all help add up to the perfect bowl of Sarawak laksa. Of course, you can’t forget the prawns, which complement the robust broth in its peppery glory. Garnish with coriander, extra sambal belacan for spice, and a squeeze of lime juice that gives the broth its sour aftertaste.