Nasi Ulam (Herbal Rice Salad)

Although similar in concept, Nasi Ulam is different from Nasi Kerabu.

Nasi Ulam is part of Nyonya cuisine which is a blend of Malay and Chinese culture.

This dish is often accompanied with sambal belacan contrary to Nasi Kerabu which comes with an array of side dishes.

Due to the simplicity in how it is served, you may add your own choice of dishes to compliment the Nasi Ulam.

Background photo created by lifeforstock

The recipe below is for two servings.


  • 140 g grated coconut
  • 130 g fish (salted)
  • 130 g shrimps (dried)
  • 5 cm turmeric (fresh)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk(s)
  • 3 cm galangal 
  • 1 ginger torch flower
  • 1 shallot(s) 
  • 4 kafir lime leaves
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 6 Vietnamese coriander/daun kesum
  • 5 wild pepper leaf
  • 6 thai basil leaf
  • 1⁄2 turmeric leaf
  • 1 chilli peppers (fresh)
  • 2 calamansi 


  1. In a dry pan, toast shredded coconut until browned.
  2. Then, add a tablespoon of oil to fry dried shrimps and salted fish until golden brown.
  3. Pound or blend shredded coconut, shrimps and salted fish separately until fine. Set aside.
  4. Finely julienne the lemongrass, turmeric, galangal, ginger torch flower and shallot. For turmeric, wear gloves to julienne it to avoid staining your fingers. Leave aside.
  5. Mix the ingredients in the following order. Pour the shredded coconut, salted fish and dried shrimps onto rice cooled to room temperature. Carefully mix thoroughly until aromatics coats the grains of rice. Then, add julienned ingredients such as lemongrass, turmeric, galangal, ginger torch flower and shallot. Lastly, add sliced leafy herbs and mix well.
  6. Squeeze calamansi juice onto mixed herbs rice. Garnish with some sliced red chilies to add spiciness to the dish.

Original Recipe from Nyonyacooking

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