Think of Malay food and we dare bet popular dishes like nasi lemak, mee rebus, and satay are top of mind. However, there’s a heritage dish that has been quietly gaining traction over recent months: nasi kukus. The dish might look like a typical dish of rice, meat, and curry, but those in the know will recognise the flavour bomb from a mile away. While Singapore serves up delicious takes on this time-tested hawker food, we’ll take a trip down to Malaysia any day just for these best plates of Nasi Kukus in KL and PJ.
What is Nasi Kukus?
When it comes to the best Nasi Kukus in Klang Valley’s KL and PJ, you’ll rarely be disappointed with these hearty plates especially since you know it’s going to be wallet-friendly, delicious, and packed with flavours.
But what is it, exactly? The traditional dish originated from the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, more specifically, in Kelantan. Characterised by its distinctive steamed rice, which are cooked in individual portions in aluminium bowls over large steamers, the fragrant rice is usually plated steaming hot with a mix of flavourful curries and side dishes.
What makes Nasi Kukus a speciality amongst Malaysians are the tasty components of freshly steamed rice, a juicy protein of choice, sambal belacan, and a generous amount of curry gravy smothered over it all. The secret to a good Nasi Kukus meal usually boils down to three elements: the fluffy rice, aromatic gravy, and fiery sambal belacan. It may look like a simple dish to some, but it’s what makes the whole dish so special to enjoy on a fine day.
Can’t wait to have a taste? Scroll down below to find out where you can go for the best Nasi Kukus in KL and PJ today.
Where to enjoy the best nasi kukus in KL and PJ
Jump To / Table of Contents
Ask any Nasi Kukus fan, and they’ll list Nasi Kukus Ilham as their favourite spot to visit for the best plates of this dish in Kuala Lumpur. What makes this gem so special is the three types of gulai gravy available from fish, chicken and beef. The best part? You can mix a pineapple acar (vegetable pickle) into the meal for a sweet finish. Be sure to make your way there early to avoid the long queue, but we promise it will be worth the wait.
(Image credit: @nasikukusilhamku/Instagram)
Fast rising to become one of the best nasi kukus spots in KL, D’Naim Nasi kukus is known to serve up 400 packets of the steamed rice a day, each at an affordable RM5.50 (approx. S$1.68). The
For those who live in KL and are craving a good plate of Nasi Kukus, Taman Keramat is where you need to be. If you live in the neighbourhood, we’re sure you’ve heard of Nasi Kukus Bro, but what makes this joint so special? Famously known for its Grilled Lamb Nasi Kukus and Nasi Kukus Ayam Cincang Berempah, diners would say that these specialities are what makes it worthwhile to return to every single time.
(Image credit: @nasikukusbro/Instagram)
With over four outlets around Malaysia, Nasi Kukus Pahlawan Merah is a favourite amongst fans of this joint. The mouth-watering gravy is what makes it so delectable, along with the highlighted component: the crispy fried chicken. With its affordable price and a comfortable ambience, it’s always a great idea to bring your family here for brunch on the weekends, if you’re in the neighbourhood.
(Image credit: @nasikukuspahlawanmerah/Instagram)
A hidden gem in Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Damansara is this humble stall, well loved for its nasi kukus with a twist. Here, the beloved dish is served with a dash of lime, giving it a refreshing twist and depth that other stalls don’t have. An order will also get you a dollop of daging masak kicap, as well as a decent portion of fried chicken, which is well marinated and fried to perfection. The stall closes early at 2pm, but you’re well advised to come before 12pm to avoid a long queue.
(Image credit: Ariel Mazlan Channel)
If this is your first time hearing of Nasi Kukus Tonggek, then you’re definitely in for a treat. You’ll find this name in various shopping malls, but it’s really the way the food is served is what makes it different from others. As you make your order, your meal will arrive in a silver canister, where you would shake the content of the delicious Nasi Kukus out to flow beautifully all over your plate. With various options to choose from chicken, fish, squid and more, you’re going to love the heat and satisfaction from the specialities after every visit.
(Image credit: @nasikukustonggek/Instagram)
(Hero and featured image credit: CA Creative/Unsplash)
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore