Asian recipes/ Dinner/ Fish & Seafood/ Lunch/ Sauces, dressings & condiments/ Side Dishes

Nasi lemak with Sambal Ikan Bilis and Sambal Tumis Sotong

29 September 2020

Nasi lemak with Sambal Ikan Bilis (Ansjovis sambal) and Sambal Tumis Sotong (squid sambal).

This classic Malaysian dish brings me straight back to our trips to Malaysia, especially to our breakfasts in Georgetown on Penang island. Yes you read that right: breakfast. Back home in Amsterdam we’re used to this kind of food being dinner or lunch at least, but pretty much all over Asia it’s quite common to have such a hearty and savoury breakfast.

The ansjovis sambal I posted a few days ago, but the squid sambal I served straight after I cooked it so the squid would stay nice and tender.

I’m not sure why I opted for a boiled egg, in Georgetown we always got it served with a fried egg. I guess I was sidetracked by the lovely recipe from @rasamalaysia. Nevertheless it was very tasty with a boiled egg too.

It’s served with coconut rice, I love the texture and flavour of this rice which is boiled in coconut milk with pandan leaves added.
To add a little crunch I also toasted some unsalted peanuts in a frying pan with a little oil, adding salt flakes and chilli flakes at the end. Great addition!

Nasi lemak with Sambal Ikan Bilis and Sambal Tumis Sotong

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Dinner, lunch Asian
By Saffron & Rasa Malaysia Serves: 3-4
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 1 hour


  • Coconut Steamed Rice
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 pandan leaves, tie them into a knot as shown above
  • salt to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Sambal Tumis Sotong (squid sambal)
  • 200-300 g fresh squid, sliced in rings
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1.5 cm inch ginger
  • 5-10 dried chillies
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Fish sauce or salt, to taste
  • Vegetable or peanut oil
  • Toppings
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, cut into half
  • 1 small cucumber, cut into slices and then quartered
  • Sambal Ikan Bilis, storebought or homemade
  • Toasted peanuts (I quickly toasted a handful of peanuts in a frying pan, adding some salt and chili flakes to season)


The rice


Rinse the rice and drain.


Add the coconut milk, a pinch of salt, and 2 tbsp of water.


Add the pandan leaves into the rice and cook your rice for ± 8 minutes. Take of heat and let steam with lid on.

Sambal Tumis Sotong (squid sambal)


Blend the following ingrdients: shallots, garlic, ginger, dried chili's


Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté the blended ingredients until the oil starts separating from the paste.


Add the shrimp paste and stir through till dissolved.


Add slices of onion and let soften.


Add in squid and stir well until it's starting to simmer.


Add tamarind juice, sugar and salt to taste.


Simmer on low heat until the sambal thickens (± 3 minutes)

To serve


Plate up the rice with the 2 sambals, cucumber, a fried or boiled egg and a handful of toasted peanuts.

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