By Peter Kua, Special Guest Writer
Nasi lemak, without doubt, goes down in Malaysian gastronomic history as the most popular breakfast dish. This time-honored food is so delightful and addictive that we, deliberately or unconsciously, overlook its carb-filled and fat-laden ingredients and keep going at it morning after morning.
While the conventional nasi lemak may trigger an unhealthy spike in our cholesterol level, a number of very imaginative restaurants and cafes endeavored to create organic versions of this customary fare. Some use brown rice, even quinoa. How about preservative-free ikan bilis instead of those laden with additives and coloring? This ingenious swapping of ingredients in the nasi lemak recipe strives to protect the heart while maintaining our penchant for the scrumptious dish.
There are many joints in the Klang Valley serving organic nasi lemak. Here are a few popular ones:
EcoGreen began by selling organic produces. A family-owned business, it soon expanded to serve organic food. The organic shop cum restaurant prides itself for using only natural and organic ingredients. One of EcoGreen’s chart-topping dishes is their Natural Turmeric Brown Rice Nasi Lemak. It consists of lip-smacking natural brown rice cooked with turmeric and fresh coconut milk, sweet and sour organic tofu, free-range chicken eggs, preservative-free ikan bilis, natural crispy peanuts and organic cucumber.
Green Talk Healthy Organic & Cafe
Green Talk will satisfy your desire for a healthy cuisine by offering a variety of Chinese and Western dishes from fried rice to spaghetti. The café is constantly packed at lunchtime and is famed for its nasi lemak. According to a patron, the organic nasi lemak he ordered came with greens, vegetable curry, fried tofu and sambal. The oat-coated tofu – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – was good, he commented on TripAdvisor Malaysia.
The Lee brothers started BMS Organics over 10 years ago. They believe in healing the human body with natural foods instead of medicines. From a single organic shop in Subang Jaya, BMS has since swelled to 37 outlets and 9 organic restaurants. On their nasi lemak, according to blogger Crazy Chef Go Eat, BMS Organics replaces the conventional coconut milk with soy milk – and it tasted surprisingly creamy. The dish comes with sambal, curry tofu and a variety of fresh veggies, all fragranced with spices like turmeric and cumin.
According to their website, Organica Lifestyle was founded by two buddies from Australia who had a vision of an urban sanctuary that would encourage holistic and balanced lifestyles. The café’s meat-free nasi lemak uses quinoa as a replacement for rice. According to a review in Burpple, Organica’s nasi lemak comes with pine nuts, vegan sambal and a multitude of veggies, making it a healthier choice while tasting just as good as its roadside counterpart.