Nasi Kerabu Kelantan (Herb Rice) – a blue colored rice served with fresh herbs, salted egg, fish crackers, spiced sauce, and Crispy Skin Turmeric Salmon.
Nasi Kerabu Kelantan (Herb Rice) is a visually appealing Malay rice dish served with a melange of aromatic herbs and choice of protein. Perhaps the most striking feature of this dish is the blue rice colored naturally with bunga telang (blue/butterfly pea flower). Some people may find blue rice strange but it is actually a very pleasing blue color and is quite pretty.
As the name suggest, this tasty dish originated in Kelantan. It consists of a variety of herbs, fresh vegetables, condiments, fish, and meats. No two servings of Nasi Kerabu is the same. There are some basic ingredients but the rest will depend on availability and what the cook wants to prepare that day.
Kerabu (Herb Salad)
The Kerabu (Herb Salad) is a mix of finely shredded local herbs and raw vegetables like the following.
• long beans
• bean sprouts
• kacang botol (four angle beans)
• daun kesum (polygonum / Vietnamese mint)
• daun kaduk (wild pepper leaves)
• limau purut (kaffir lime leaves)
• serai (lemongrass)
• bunga kantan (torch ginger)
• daun kunyit (turmeric leaves)
There are a variety of meat dishes that can be served with Nasi Kerabu Kelantan. Any of those listed below will be delicious eaten with the herb rice.
• Ayam Percik (Barbecue Spiced Chicken slathered in a rich coconut sauce)
• Ayam panggang (Grilled chicken similar to Ayam Panggang Kunyit (Grilled Turmeric Chicken)
• Ikan goreng (Fried fish similar to Crispy Skin Turmeric Salmon)
• Ikan masin (Salted fish)
• Kerisik Ikan (Coconut Fish Flaks)
• Kuah Tumis (Spiced Sauce)
This recipe has many parts to it but the Kerisik Ikan (Coconut Fish Flakes) and Kuah Tumis (Spiced Sauce) can be cooked ahead of time. The salted egg, fish crackers, Fragrant Blue Rice, and Crispy Skin Turmeric Salmon are easy to prepare. The rest of the work is mainly cutting up the herbs and vegetables. It is well worth the effort.
Tools Used in Making This Nasi Kerabu Kelantan (Herb Rice)
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Nasi Kerabu Kelantan (Herb Rice) - a blue colored rice served with fresh herbs, salted egg, fish crackers, spiced sauce, and Crispy Skin Turmeric Salmon.
- 1 salted egg
- 6 fish crackers
- ½ cup daun kesum / polygonum / Vietnamese mint (5g)
- ½ cup mint leaves (5g)
- 6 long beans (75g)
- 3 oz bean sprouts (trimmed) (85g)
- 1 cup rice (rinsed and drained) (1 1/3 rice cooker cup/200g)
- 1 lemongrass (crushed)
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- 10 dried bunga telang (blue/butterfly pea flower)
- 1¼ cup warm water (300ml)
- ½ cup grated coconut (50g)
- 4 oz snapper fillet (113g)
- ½ tsp salt (divided)
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- 2 pieces salmon (about 4 oz/113g each)
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
Boil salted egg over medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove and when cool enough to handle, cut salted egg into half. Scoop out the two salted egg halves with a spoon.
Microwave fish crackers on high for 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
Wash and drain rice in rice cooker insert for 4 to 5 times. Add lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
Soak bunga telang (blue/butterfly pea flower) in warm water for 15 minutes. Strain blue pea flower water over rice.
Transfer rice cooker insert to the rice cooker. Press the start button to cook rice.
Toast (without oil) grated coconut in a non-stick fry pan, stirring constantly over low heat until the general distribution of the coconut is golden brown. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
In the same fry pan, cook snapper fillet with ¼ teaspoon salt and ground pepper. Break up the fish with a spatula. This should take about 10 minutes.
Grind and pound toasted coconut in a circular motion using a mortar and pestle to release its oil and fragrance. Add fish flakes and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and continue to grind and pound until fine and well mixed.
Blend red chilies, ginger, garlic, shallots, and lemongrass with 2 tablespoons of water into a paste.
Heat vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Stir fry spice paste until fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in coconut milk. Add asam gelugor, fish sauce, salt, and sugar. Stir fry until sauce has thicken, another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
Prepare salmon as per this recipe --> Crispy Skin Turmeric Salmon.
Line a serving dish with banana leaf (optional). Place a bowl of fragrant blue rice in the middle.
Then arrange prepared daun kesum, mint leaves, long beans, bean sprouts, salted egg, fish crackers, kerisik ikan (coconut fish flakes), and crispy skin turmeric salmon around the rice.
Top rice with 1 to 2 tablespoons of kuah tumis (spice sauce).