Nasi Lemak | Balinese Coconut Rice

This Coconut Rice will have you hooked from the moment you start cooking. The aroma is awesome and the taste is heavenly. Straight from Bali to you, for you.

Coconut Rice

An aromatic rice that will have all of your neighbours coming to your door hoping for a taste of this beautiful rice. A Balinese recipe that I bought back with me from a food trip to Bali.

Similar recipes include Kiribath – Sri Lankan Coconut Rice, Green Mango and Coconut Rice, and South Indian Coconut Rice. Try Balinese Sambal Iris, also.

Check our different Coconut Rice Recipes. Or browse all of our rice recipes. Balinese recipes are here. And be inspired by our Mid Spring recipes.

Coconut Rice


Balinese Coconut Rice – Nasi Lemak

WARNING: The aroma of this will bring all of your neighbours around!

Source : inspired by my cooking class in Bali
Cuisine: Balinese
Prep time: 4 hours soaking plus 10 mins prep.
Cooking time: 20 – 25 mins
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it

300g rice
2 shallots, chopped very finely
1 clove garlic, chopped very finely, or minced
0.75 – 1 tspn finely chopped or minced ginger root
300 ml santan (coconut cream – fresh if you have that luxury, or tinned if you don’t)
salt to taste
black pepper, freshly ground

for garnish (optional)
cucumber slices
fresh pineapple chunks

Wash the rice and let it soak for four hours or more, then drain thoroughly.

Half cook the rice, perhaps a little more. My rice cooker usually takes 20 minutes, so I let it cook for around 10. If you usually cook your rice for 15 minutes, cook it for about 9 mins, and so on. Then drain it thoroughly.

Meanwhile, bring the coconut cream to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped shallot, garlic and ginger, and season with a little salt and some black pepper.

Stir well and cook for 1 minute. Then add the partially cooked rice and stir to blend thoroughly.

Cook over a good heat, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Cover with a tight fitting lid (important that it is tight fitting), turn off the heat and without disturbing, leave to finish cooking for 7 – 10 minutes.

Stir and serve, garnished with slices of cucumber and chunks of pineapple.  Or strew with chopped green shallots (spring onions in Australia). It also forms a wonderful base for a dal or wet vegetable curry.

recipe notes and alternatives
Other great accompaniments include salty nuts, fried cubes of tofu and stir fried greens.

browse some Rice recipes








18 thoughts on “Nasi Lemak | Balinese Coconut Rice”

  1. I’ve been to Bali (too!), but not for ages! It is a wonderful spot and the people are a delight.
    I can’t wait to try this rice – it sounds divine.

  2. I came accross your site today for the 1st. time, I was looking for a recipe for comquats. My friend gave me a big bag from her tree yesterday.
    I was thrilled to read you had been to Bali, my favourite place in the world , been there so many times and truely love the people & their culture, could eat their food daily.
    so was excited to read the recipe for coconut rice. going to cook it today.
    do you think you will put a Nasi Goring on here also nasi Goring cam pur.?
    going to the kitchen now to do the rice, also the cauliflower cream soup.
    Oops…also the comquats. will be back often to gather more recipes.
    thank you for your thoughts & words, they are wonderful to read.

    1. Oh Marlie, I am so overcome by your kind comments. I am so very thankful that you have found something useful in my little jottings. You sure have picked some great recipes to try.

      You will notice that this site has only vegetarian recipes, also no eggs are used. So I wont be doing a traditional Nasi Goring. But one day, perhaps a modified one 🙂 .

  3. oh, ganga…yes! let’s meet in bali.

    we did a cooking class, too. being there, in a balinese kitchen, with two balinese women who loved food, going to the market with them, grinding, smelling…eating! wonderful. we shared stories about our favourite food plants – they were excited about my cherries and blueberries. i love the balinese people.

    well, i know what i’ll be having for my dinner then, thank you!!!!

  4. Ganga, I have recently discovered your site(s). I want to BE you when I grow up! :)))

    Lovely, beautiful, breathtaking.


  5. Oh I soo want to visit Bali. I agree with you .. looking at the goddess I too feel i wish I have that many hands .. may be not always .. but if only they could like pop out when i need them LOL LOL … how crazy do i sound here ?
    The coconut rice looks lovely and delicious.

  6. Ganga, I wrote about you in my column today. It will post this Friday. I simply wrote about how your site, photos and recipes inspired me to create a lovely chickpea salad! I will try to remember to post it here (If I can figure out how to get here again. I am a tech dud!) Do not be surprised if you get any abundance of suburban Chicago parents perusing your gorgeous creations! (Or not. Who knows; maybe no one reads me!)

    1. you are so sweet Renee! Thank you! I look forward to reading it. And I am absolutely thrilled that my humble offerings her could inspire you!

  7. I’ve made coconut rice with plain long grain rice and a can of coconut milk before but I think the addition of onion, garlic and those lovely spices will be delicious. Thanks a bunch!!

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