Nasi Ulam Resepi: A Refreshing Malaysian Salad

Embark on a culinary journey to discover the vibrant flavors and textures of Nasi Ulam Resepi, a refreshing Malaysian salad that embodies the essence of the country’s diverse cuisine. From its unique ingredients to its cultural significance, this dish tantalizes the senses and nourishes the soul.

This versatile salad showcases a harmonious blend of fresh herbs, vegetables, and aromatic spices, creating a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving for more. Nasi Ulam Resepi is not only a culinary delight but also a reflection of Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage, often gracing festive tables and special occasions.


Nasi ulam resepi is a traditional Malaysian dish consisting of fragrant rice tossed with various herbs, vegetables, and spices. It is a vibrant and flavorful dish that holds a significant place in Malaysian cuisine.Nasi ulam is believed to have originated from the Malay community in the state of Kelantan, where it is commonly served at weddings, festivals, and other special occasions.

Over time, it has become a popular dish throughout Malaysia and is enjoyed by people of all ethnicities.


Nasi ulam is a flavorful Indonesian rice dish that incorporates various herbs, vegetables, and spices. Here’s a list of essential ingredients for this unique dish:

Rice:Traditionally, fragrant pandan-infused coconut rice is used as the base.

Herbs:A wide array of herbs forms the backbone of nasi ulam. These include:

  • Daun Kesum (Vietnamese coriander):An aromatic herb that adds a unique flavor and fragrance.
  • Daun Kaduk (Wild betel leaf):A bitter yet earthy herb that contributes a distinctive note.
  • Daun Kemangi (Holy basil):An essential herb that adds a spicy, peppery flavor.

Vegetables:Nasi ulam is also characterized by its vibrant vegetables:

  • Cucumber:Adds a refreshing crunch and mild sweetness.
  • Long beans:Boiled or steamed long beans provide a tender texture and slight bitterness.
  • Fried shallots:Crispy fried shallots add a savory and aromatic element.

Spices:Spices are crucial for enhancing the flavor profile of nasi ulam:

  • Sambal:A spicy chili paste made from various chilies, adds a fiery kick.
  • Serai (Lemongrass):Infuses a subtle citrusy and earthy flavor.
  • Lengkuas (Galangal):A relative of ginger, it adds a slightly sweet and peppery note.

Other ingredients:

  • Coconut milk:Used to cook the rice, adding richness and creaminess.
  • Lime juice:Balances the flavors and adds a refreshing acidity.
  • Coconut flakes:Sprinkled on top, providing a sweet and textural contrast.

Preparation: Nasi Ulam Resepi

Preparing nasi ulam resepi is a simple and straightforward process. Follow these steps to create a delicious and authentic dish:

Washing the Herbs:It is crucial to wash the herbs thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Submerge the herbs in a large bowl of cold water and gently swish them around. Drain the water and repeat the process until the water runs clear.

Blanching the Herbs

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the herbs to the boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until they turn bright green.
  3. Immediately remove the herbs from the boiling water and plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Squeezing Out Excess Water

Once the herbs have cooled, squeeze out any excess water by gently pressing them between your hands or using a clean kitchen towel.

Chopping the Herbs

Finely chop the blanched herbs using a sharp knife. Aim for a uniform chop to ensure even distribution of flavors throughout the dish.

Mixing the Herbs with Coconut Milk

In a large bowl, combine the chopped herbs, coconut milk, lime juice, salt, and sugar. Mix well until the herbs are evenly coated with the coconut milk mixture.

Stirring in the Grated Coconut

Add the grated coconut to the herb mixture and stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.


Nasi ulam resepi is typically served at room temperature or chilled. It can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a main course with grilled meats or fish.


Nasi ulam resepi is a versatile dish that has many regional variations throughout Malaysia and Indonesia. Each variation has its own unique ingredients and cooking techniques that give it a distinctive flavor and appearance.

Some of the most popular regional variations of nasi ulam resepi include:

Kedah and Perlis

  • Nasi ulam Kedah and Perlis is typically made with a variety of herbs and vegetables, including ulam raja, pegaga, and kesum. It is also often served with a side of budu, a fermented fish paste.


  • Nasi ulam Kelantan is known for its use of budu as a main ingredient. It is also often made with a variety of herbs and vegetables, including ulam raja, pegaga, and kesum.


  • Nasi ulam Terengganu is typically made with a variety of herbs and vegetables, including ulam raja, pegaga, and kesum. It is also often served with a side of budu or cencalok, a fermented shrimp paste.

Johor, Nasi ulam resepi

  • Nasi ulam Johor is typically made with a variety of herbs and vegetables, including ulam raja, pegaga, and kesum. It is also often served with a side of budu or tempoyak, a fermented durian paste.


Nasi ulam is traditionally presented on a large platter or banana leaf. The rice is arranged in a mound in the center of the platter, and the various ingredients are arranged around it. The dish is often garnished with fresh herbs and flowers.

In modern presentations, nasi ulam can be served in a variety of ways. It can be served on a plate, in a bowl, or even in a bento box. The ingredients can be arranged in a more creative way, such as in a spiral or a heart shape.

Nasi ulam can also be served with a variety of dipping sauces, such as sambal or kecap manis.

Creative Presentation Ideas

  • Serve nasi ulam in a hollowed-out pineapple or papaya.
  • Arrange the ingredients in a colorful pattern on a plate.
  • Use edible flowers to garnish the dish.
  • Serve nasi ulam with a variety of dipping sauces.
  • Make nasi ulam into a sushi roll.

Nutritional Value

Nasi ulam is a nutrient-dense dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The main ingredients, rice, and herbs, are packed with essential nutrients.


Macronutrient Content
Nutrient Amount per serving (1 cup)
Calories 250-300
Carbohydrates 40-50 grams
Protein 10-15 grams
Fat 5-10 grams

Vitamins and Minerals

Nasi ulam is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Iron
  • Calcium

These nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy body and preventing chronic diseases.

Cultural Significance

Nasi ulam resepi is a beloved dish in Malaysia, holding a special place in its cultural fabric. Its vibrant colors, aromatic flavors, and unique ingredients reflect the country’s rich culinary heritage and diversity.

This dish is particularly associated with festive occasions, especially during the Muslim festival of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. It is a symbol of unity and celebration, bringing families and communities together to share a meal that embodies the essence of Malaysian culture.

Role in Festivals and Special Occasions

  • Nasi ulam resepi is a staple dish during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It is a traditional delicacy served at family gatherings and open houses, symbolizing joy and prosperity.
  • The dish also holds significance during other festivals and celebrations, such as weddings, birthdays, and cultural events. It is a testament to the communal spirit of Malaysians, bringing people together to celebrate and share in the joy of the occasion.

Health Benefits

Consuming nasi ulam resepi can provide numerous health benefits due to its nutrient-rich ingredients.

Studies have shown that the antioxidants present in ulam vegetables, such as flavonoids and carotenoids, may help protect against chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Fiber and Digestion

The high fiber content in nasi ulam resepi aids digestion and promotes regular bowel movements. Fiber helps to regulate blood sugar levels, keeping you feeling full and satisfied for longer.

Vitamins and Minerals

Nasi ulam resepi is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and iron. These nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, strong bones, and overall well-being.


As you delve into the world of Nasi Ulam Resepi, you will not only savor its exquisite taste but also appreciate its cultural significance and potential health benefits. Whether enjoyed as a light meal or as an accompaniment to other dishes, this Malaysian salad is a testament to the country’s culinary artistry and a true delight for food enthusiasts.

FAQ Resource

What is the significance of Nasi Ulam Resepi in Malaysian cuisine?

Nasi Ulam Resepi holds a special place in Malaysian cuisine as a traditional salad that reflects the country’s diverse culinary heritage. It is often served during festive celebrations and special occasions, embodying the spirit of communal dining and cultural identity.

What are the unique ingredients used in Nasi Ulam Resepi?

Nasi Ulam Resepi is characterized by its use of fresh herbs, vegetables, and aromatic spices. Some of the commonly used ingredients include ulam raja (king’s herb), pegaga (pennywort), turmeric leaves, and torch ginger flower, which contribute to its distinctive flavors and textures.

How can I incorporate Nasi Ulam Resepi into my diet?

Nasi Ulam Resepi is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be served as a light meal on its own, paired with grilled meats or fish, or as a side dish to complement other Malaysian delicacies.

Its refreshing flavors and nutritional value make it a great addition to a balanced diet.