Nasi Dagang Recipe: How to Make Authentic Nasi Dagang at Home

Nasi Dagang Recipe

Being a well-known dish in the East coast of Malaysia, Nasi Dagang is often associated with Terengganu and Kelantan. This delectable meal consists of fragrant coconut milk rice served with spicy fish curry. Depending on the area, you’ll notice a difference in the rice used. In Terengganu, local white rice is used, while “beras Nasi Dagang” is used in Kelantan. Unfortunately, the Terengganu version of this dish is hard to find in KLthe Kelantan version being more common.

This dish is often enjoyed for breakfast or lunch that is served with homemade, east coast style fish curry. Most times, some side dishes for this versatile dish include pickled vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, toasted coconut, and fish crackers. This hearty meal is worth the try!

Origin of Nasi Dagang

Directly translated to Trader’s Rice, the name Nasi Dagang hints at the long, rich history of traders who used to travel through the Malay archipelago. Historians suggest the name of this dish is derived from the simple life traders led when living in Malaysia.

When the idea of the dish was first conceived, it consisted of only rice, fish curry and pickled cucumbers; it was meant to be a simple dish to make it easier for traders to travel light. Over time, this Malaysian delight has evolved to welcome more condiments, introducing more flavours to the humble dish!

Nasi Dagang Recipe: How to Make Authentic Nasi Dagang at Home

Recipe by Lydia AdamDifficulty: Easy


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Terengganu and Kelantan people revere this famous east coast dish. Nasi Dagang consists of creamy rice, spicy fish curry and vegetables. This recipe for nasi dagang is a must-try!


  • 300g dagang rice or substitute with 200g good grade Siamese rice mixed with 100g glutinous rice

  • 1 ½ cup coconut milk

  • 1/4tsp fenugreek seeds

  • 2 cloves garlic (sliced finely)

  • 3 shallots (sliced finely)

  • 2cm young ginger (sliced finely)

  • 1/2tsp salt


  • Wash the rice and soak overnight. Drain and steam the rice for 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Stir in the coconut milk and let steam for another 15 minutes.
  • Add in the shallots, garlic, ginger, fenugreek seeds and salt and stir well. Use a fork to fluff up the rice. Do not mash the rice while stirring. Let steam for another 15 minutes.
  • Serve with a side of fish curry.

Ways to Enjoy Nasi Dagang

Even with numerous variations of this delicacy available, this meal is still the best eaten traditionally. Get your hands on some good ikan tongkol (tuna) curry and a side of pickled vegetables, and you’re all set!

If you can, fry some keropok (fish crackers) while you’re at it. The added crunch to this flavourful dish is simply a phenomenal combination.

Explore other popular Malaysian delights with Lokataste Recipe and more!

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