Our local Ulams and salads are rich in vitamins and minerals but unfortunately the dieters prefer to have Kale, Rocket and Baby Gems. It is high time that our local produce get some recognition it deserves and let people re-discover how good they are. This Nasi Ulam recipe uses a variety of nutritious Ulams mixed in rice, plus a grilled fish on the side for some good protein. It is an unbelievably satisfying meal guaranteed.
Asian style salad with uumph!
Serves 2 people
Heat will wilt the herbs. Let rice cool down slightly before mixing in the greens.
3 cups cooked rice
2 tsp. dried shrimp, soaked for 10 minutes
3 tbsp. grated coconut, toasted
White pepper powder
Ulams (Use as many or as little you like)
1 tbsp. king’s salad (ulam raja)
1 tbsp. water celery (daun selon)
2 tsp. laksa leaves (daun kesom)
1 tsp. ginger flower (bunga kantan)
2 medium fish of your choice
Salt and pepper
A little oil
Nasi Ulam is essentially rice salad which consists of rice, toasted coconut & dried shrimp and chopped up fresh herbs (ulams). Served at room temperature, it can be eaten on its own or served with a piece of grilled fish, chicken or beef. There are various types of ulams sold at the markets and you can pick and choose any type you like.
But bare in mind some ulams are very pungent than others. The best way to choose them is to taste each and every one and opt out the ones you don't fancy.
I used 4 types of ulams for this recipe but other options you can use are:
i - Pegaga
ii - mint (pudina)
iii - Thai basil (daun selasih)
iv - wild pepper leaves (daun kaduk)
v - cucumber (timun)
vi - 4 angled bean (kacang botor)
This is how to assemble it
1. Drain off dried shrimp and dry fry in a pan on medium low heat until fragrant. Set aside and using the same pan, dry fry coconut until golden brown and nutty.
Toasting beforehand brings out flavour and aroma
2. Using a mortar and pestle, pound toasted shrimp until it breakdown slightly. No need to be fine. Then lightly grind toasted coconut.
3. Wash and pick all ulams. Lightly chop up ulam raja, daun selon, daun kesom and bunga kantan.
You can use as many or as little ulams as you like
4. To assemble, mix cooked rice with shrimp, toasted coconut and all the chopped up herbs. Season with salt and white pepper powder.
Taste and adjust seasoning
5. Season fish with oil, salt and pepper. Grill in a pan covered with a lid until cooked through and slightly browned.
Don't add oil to the pan. You are not frying or sauteing. Keep it dry
6. De-bone fish and sprinkle all over mixed rice. Enjoy!