Nasi Dagang

April 01, 2010
Nasi Dagang is a signature dish from Terengganu .

My thanks to my dearest friend, Uja, for this recipe...
She has painstakingly typed and emailed me (her mom's recipe) nearly 2 years ago.. when I requested for one... Sorry Uja!!... it took me this long to cook it... :)

Red glutinous rice is used in Nasi Dagang .. and since I can't find any here, I substitute with red cargo rice... it is not the same as red glutinous rice but it has a nice bitey texture.. and as for the gravy... instead of using fish curry powder, I blended some spices...but kept to the cooking method that makes the curry/sauce.. thick and yummy...

The last time I had Nasi Dagang ~ when Uja's mom cooked for us before we moved to Perth... and that was nearly 7 years ago...

Since it is going to be a long Easter weekend... so I thought of posting this Nasi Dagang for everyone/anyone to try. A lot of work involved in preparing this dish...and its time consuming... but its worth it!!!

For the rice:
  • 3 cups(rice cooker cup measurement) of red cargo rice.. see note 1 below
  • 1 cup of glutinous rice (using the same cup to measure)
  • 1 can of thick coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water (cup definition as above)
  • shallots and ginger ~ thinly sliced
  • salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoon of fenugreek (halba)
Soak both type of rice in 2 separate container overnight. Drained and mix. Prepare the steamer...
Steam the rice for 40 minutes then add water... continue steaming for another 45 minutes before adding in coconut milk, salt, shallots, ginger and fenugreek seeds. Give it a good stir. Steam for another 10 minutes (until the rice is cooked thoroughly)... and leave it to rest for a while before serving...

For the Fish and stock:
  • 4 hiramasa cutlets
  • 5 pieces of tamarind slices
  • 2 tablespoon palm sugar
  • salt
Cover the fish cutlets with water (water level..just about covering the cutlets) in a saucepan. Add in tamarind slices,palm sugar and salt. Bring to boil. Reserve the stock.

For the Sauce/Curry
  • 4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoon fennel
  • 1/2 inch galangal
  • 1/2 inch fresh tumeric
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 inch of ginger
  • 200g red onion
  • 12-15 dried chillies
  • 4 tablespoon roasted shredded coconut~grounded into paste (kerisik)
  • some palm sugar
  • 1 can of thick coconut cream
  • 2 inch of cinnamon stick
  1. Blend all the above spices (except roasted shredded coconut, palm sugar, coconut cream and cinnamon stick).
  2. Heat up (and on medium heat) the coconut cream in a saucepan until oil separates (pecah minyak).... then add the blended spices, roasted coconut (kerisik), palm sugar and cinnamon stick.
  3. Bring to boil then leave it to simmer until the sauce has reduced to half... add water to the initial level again.
  4. Repeat the step 3,.. but this time round... add in the fish (see note2 below) and the reserve stock...
  5. Simmer on low fire until the sauce thickened...
  6. Add the fish cutlets... if omitted in Step 4.
The end result: the sauce should taste creamy, a little bit sourish and slightly on the sweet side...

note 1 : substitute red cargo rice with white long grain rice. 
note 2: you can omit the fish ... add in the stock instead at Step 3.. otherwise the fish will be mushy...

Serve with carrot ribbons, cucumber ribbons, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion mix with sugar, salt and vinegar.


  1. Hi Kas
    The photos look so delicious. I myself don't know whether I can cook the nasi dagang as well as you have. Well done.

  2. Nasi Dagang? My first time knowing this dish! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Don't know about the dish...looks so delicious and healthy too!

  4. tigerfish,
    Most welcome.. :)

    Nasi dagang is common in Terengganu (East Coast Malaysia)...
    Healthy? hmm... not to sure about that, with coconut milk... ;P

  5. Sure missed Nasi Dagang since my Mom's passing. I like it served with Gulai Ikan Tongkol (Tuna Curry) besides Hard-boiled Eggs, pickles, etc :-)

    Thanks for the recipe :-)

  6. pixen,
    Welcome to my blog and you are welcome to try the recipe...