Nasi Lemak Story

I was at Singapore Expo this (Saturday) afternoon with my wife, visiting the National Library Book sale. There was thousands and thousands of books and hundreds of avid book lovers thronging the exhibition hall. Many were tugging bags and trolleys of these books, each selling at just $2 to $5. Though there was a variety of good books, none of them really caught our eyes and hence we were really the very odd ones out, exiting from the hall without a single book on hand.

Anyway, you might asked what would this to do with the title of this blog post: Nasi Lemak story. Well, when my Dear and I exited the hall, it was 1 pm, time to do lunch. We looked around Expo and decided to try the food at the food court there.

As soon as we found a seat, what caught my attention was that our table was brightly decorated with pictures of Nasi Lemak, and depicting the origins of the favorite Singapore dish. On other meals, there were depiction and illustration of origin of other food such as Nasi Brani. As I read, I realized how I have always under appreciate the origin of this great dish!

The origins of Nasi Lemak has to do with coastal Singapore as all the ingredients of Nasi Lemak is derived from the rich supply of sea and coast in Singapore. For example, the rice is cooked with coconut milk, which comes from the coconuts on the coast. Accompanying the fragrant rice is the fish caught from the sea, fresh food such as cucumber and paste from the sambal (another fish in the sea).

This great appetizing meal is then wrapped in coconut leaves and serve piping hot! Modified version to this original dish includes the addition of egg and chicken wing by the Chinese. After reading the origin, you can guess what we have for lunch on that afternoon! I believe it is a great idea to feature the origins and stories of all local dishes at our hawker centres. This will enable locals and also tourists to better understand and appreciate these great foods we eat when outside. We should celebrate local fare. Imagine it is embarrassing if your foreign friend were to ask you what is the origin of a famous local dish too and you are mum for words!

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