Nasi Ulam-The Herbs Rice

I was trying to search for related blogs online that I can read on daily basis when I found one about cooking, specifically about all sorts of spices. I was browsing through the collection of writings when I read about nasi kerabu or nasi ulam some called. From the ingredient and method of cooking, it sounds like nasi ulam which usually found in the Northern states of Peninsular Malaysia. This is not the typical Kelantan nasi kerabu which you can buy at pasar malam and roadside stall in the morning.

Actually I think some people call it nasi kerabu since kerabu means a mix up of all kind of herbs. Usually when you make kerabu you will use non-meaty ingredient, like the herbs or normal vegetables, you dice and slice it thinly, mix with salt for tasting and some lime juice for sour taste. It’s like salad that Westerners serve as appertisers but Asians eat together with rice and other meat or fish dish.

I remembered my grandma used to cook this dish during Ramadhan months with asam pedas keladi and ikan masin as the condiment. If you go to Kedah during the Ramadhan month these days, perhaps you could still find a stall or two that sell this nasi ulam (kerabu) done in traditional ways.

The one that my grandma used to make was the one with local herbs or ulam (among them I remember pucuk gajus and putat) found around her house. I don’t think you can find such ulam at ease these days unless you go back to rural area, pick them up from the backyard of the kampung house area.

If you want to see the picture of the nasi ulam, kindly visit the blog I mentioned earlier. I dare not upload the picture here for fear of copyright violations. 🙂


  1. Hi, I have emailed you the recipe. I know how to make the basic asam pedas (sour soup) but I dont know how to clean the keladi (yam stalk). As for ikan masin, it is actually salted fish that you fry and eat together with the rice and the asam pedas.

  2. MQ,
    I love eating nasi ulam with sambal tumis sotong! Had been years since my aunt made me those, but I read somewhere that they are sold at a local farmer’s market in aloq staq 🙂

  3. Mar,

    I missed eating nasi ulam too, since I was in KL/Selangor never had the chance to eat the real utara nasi ulam..huhuhu..maybe I should try to make it myself..haha!

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