I attending a function on Saturday, meeting up with many fellow Malaysians for a nice Malaysian meal – Sarawak style. I am not familiar with the Sarawak style dishes, so I thought it was a great idea to head out and try.

I ordered Kerabu rice (Nasi Kerabu) as the main course. This was what I was served – fried chicken, raw cabbage, a piece of fried fish, keropok, another accompaniment (I am not too sure what) and blue rice (cooked with butterfly pea flowers).

I try to limit my judgement as to whether this was a good dish or not as this was the first time I tried this dish, so I did a little research this morning.

This dish is more popular in the East coast of Malaysia, i.e. Kelantan. It consists of blue rice (cooked with butterfly pea flower (bunga telang), served with mixture of herbs and vegetables (ulam), coconut flake fish, and coconut sambal. The rice can be plain white rice, blue rice (cooked with butterfly pea flowers) or yellow turmeric rice (cooked with turmeric).

“Kerabu” is Malay salad with a mixture of herbs, vegetables and fruits and “nasi” is rice. So “Nasi Kerabu” is Herb Rice Salad.

I am used to the Penang style dishes, so I think the closest to the Nasi Kerabu is our nasi lemak or the amazing nasi ulam (mixture of herbs and vegetables). I will go through nasi ulam in more details next time.

So what would you expect to find in Nasi Kerabu?

With the basic nasi kerabu, it can be served with the following accompaniments:

  • Blue rice (nasi biru – cooked in butterfly pea flower)
  • Herbs and salad, such as bean sprouts, cabbage, torch ginger, long beans,
  • Prawn cracker
  • Grilled/deep fried chicken/beef
  • Turmeric fried fish
  • Coconut flake fish.

I am very excited to say that we now can get the bunge telang flower as well as the bunga telang powder in Australia. I am more into the easy way, so I am using the powder to cook the rice.

If you have the chance, do give the Nasi Kerabu a try and have a wonderful day!

Butterfly pea flowers


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