Nasi Kukus Recipe: How To Make You Own Nasi Kukus

Haniza nasi kukus

Image credit: Hanizahomerecipes

Here is a nasi kukus recipe. A dish perfect for all meals of the day, nasi kukus is a dish starring its’ individually steamed rice. To sum up, the essence of nasi kukus is the individually steamed rice in small aluminium containers and served upon order to ensure its fluffiness and fragrance.

What completes this dish is a side of Ayam goreng berempah, marinated fried chicken, kuah, and sambal. Sambal gives that tangy kick.

What’s most important is the combination of these flavours that creates nasi kukus’ multi-dimensional flavour profile.


Origin of Nasi Kukus

Nasi kukus is a traditional dish, originated from the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, specifically Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. In other words, we have economic migrants to thank for bringing nasi kukus over to the Klang Valley. Without them, we would not have the chance to experience this flavour bomb of a dish. 

Nasi Kukus Recipe: How to make Nasi Kukus

Difficulty: Moderate



4 servings

Prep time

30 minutes

Cooking time

20 minutes


800 kcal<br>


Nasi kukus(rice)

Recipe credit: Hanizahomerecipes


  • 1 cup of rice

  • 1 cup of water

**Note: You will need small aluminium containers as shown in the picture


  • Wash and drain the rice.
  • Place the rice and water into the small containers and steam it for 30 minutes.
  • Lift it out of the steamer once it is cooked.

**Note: Add pandan for extra fragrance.

Recipe credit:




  • Red chilli

  • Chilli padi

  • Air Asam Jawa/ Tamarind Juice

  • Belacan

  • Salt to taste

  • Seasoning powder (optional)

  • Lime

**Note: the amount is based on your preference


  • Blend the red chilli, chilli padi, tamarind, belacan and seasoning powder.
  • Add lime juice.
  • Mix well, and it is ready to serve.

Recipe credit:

#Ayam Goreng Berempah

Ayam Goreng Berempah


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into smaller pieces

  • Marinade ingredients
  • 5 cloves of garlic

  • 2 big onions

  • 1 inch of ginger

  • 5 sticks of lemongrass

  • 1 spoon of large grilled coriander

  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder (for meat)

  • 1 tablespoon of chilli powder

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

  • 3 tablespoons of corn starch

  • 1 egg

  • 1 piece of curry leaf

  • Salt to taste

  • Other ingredients
  • Oil (for frying)


  • Marinate the chicken with all the marinade ingredients. Then, deep fry until golden and crisp.

Recipe credit: Hanizahomerecipes

#Gulau Daging Ala Utara


  • 1kg of meat, including bones

  • 4 potatoes, sliced into 2

  • 2 tablespoons of kerisek

  • 2 tablespoons of ghee

  • 1/2 a ladle of cooking oil

  • 2 cups of concentrated coconut milk

  • 1 cup of liquid coconut milk

  • Curry leaves

  • Gula Melaka

  • Salt to taste

  • Minced ingredients
  • 1 onion

  • 6 cloves of garlic

  • 2inches of ginger

  • Stir-fry ingredients
  • 1 stick of cinnamon

  • 3 star anises

  • 2 sticks of cloves

  • 6 cardamom seeds

  • 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper

  • Paste ingredients
  • 1 packet of curry spice (for meat)

  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon of sweet cumin powder

  • 1 teaspoon of coriander

  • 1 teaspoon of white cumin powder


  • Cover the meat with water in a pot and boil it until tender.
  • Heat the cooking oil and ghee in a large saucepan – fry the minced ingredients, curry leaves and stir-fry ingredients until golden-brown and fragrant.
  • Mix the paste ingredients with a little water and add it into the saucepan. Next, stir until thoroughly cooked and until the oil breaks down.
  • Add the meat and boiled water together then add the potato, kerisek and liquid coconut milk. Bring it to a boil and until the potatoes are soft.
  • Add the concentrated coconut milk and continue cooking it until the gravy thickens. Finally, add in gula Melaka and salt to taste.

Recipe credit: Hanizahomerecipes

Ways to Enjoy Nasi Kukus

Feel free to drench your fluffy steamed rice in all sorts of kuah. The more, the better. A variety of kuah will add dimensions of flavours and improve your nasi kukus experience. To bring your nasi kukus to another level, you will need sambal as well. Remember that making your own won’t take more than 5 minutes. It’ll be totally worth it!

Check out Lokatastefor more local recipes. Not in the mood to cook? Then head to to find out the best nasi kukus spots in KL.


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