Greg DuPree
Active Time
20 Mins
Total Time
20 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 3/4 cup)

Every summer, I revisit this refreshing Malaysian salad called nasi ulam. It’s an elastic classic, so tinker to create your own twists. The salad tastes good up to 5 hours after you’ve combined all the ingredients, so it’s a nice party or potluck dish. You can easily double, triple, or quadruple it, too.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place dried coconut and 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium. Cook, stirring often, until coconut begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring constantly to ensure even cooking, until coconut is fragrant and golden brown, 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Step 2

Using a large spoon, stir together basil, mint, cilantro, shallot (or onion), lemongrass, lime zest, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until well combined.

Step 3

Add rice, 3 tablespoons toasted coconut, and remaining 1 teaspoon coconut oil to herb mixture; toss to combine. Add fish sauce and lime juice. Toss, wait 5 minutes, and taste. Aim for a balance of all the flavors. The herbs are subtle, yet their pungent, fragrant selves should shine. Transfer rice mixture to a shallow dish or wide bowl; garnish with remaining toasted coconut.

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