September 25, 2023

Nasi Dagang with Gulai Ikan Tongkol

Nasi Dagang is a Kelantanese specialty. Grains of red and fragrant rice steamed with fenugreek, ginger and shallots and served with various gulais. Our take on the recipe takes a bit of time and effort, but it’s well worth it. Rich and fragrant, this makes an excellent, filling breakfast.

Gomo Kelate gomo!

Nasi Dagang with Gulai Ikan Tongkol

Edwan S. Nasi Dagang with Gulai Ikan Tongkol Nasi Dagang with Gulai Ikan Tongkol Print This
Serves: 2 -3 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


For the rice

    1. 1 1/2 cup ‘beras dagang’ (red rice+fragrant rice), soaked in water overnight
    1. 1 small piece ginger, finely julienned
    1. 2 shallots, thinly sliced
    1. 1 Tsp fenugreek (halba)
    1. 1 cup coconut milk
    1. 1 Tsp palm sugar

For the Gulai Ikan Tongkol

    1. 2 pieces Ikan Tongkol, poached in water with 2 pcs asam keping and 1 Tsp salt. Reserve the poaching liquid.
    1. 1 big shallot, cut into chunks
    1. 1 small piece galangal
    1. 7 pcs dried chilli
    1. 2 cloves garlic
    1. 1 Tsp black peppercorns
    1. 2 Tbsp turmeric powder
    1. 1 cup grated coconut, blitzed with some water
    1. 1 cup coconut milk
    1. 1/2 a cucumber, cut into thick slices
    1. 2 red chillies, sliced lengthways and cut half
    1. 1 tomato, cut into wedges and halved again
    1. Salt and palm sugar to taste


For the rice

1. Set-up a steamer with enough water to not dry out.
2. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, steam the rice for 20 minutes, covered.
3. Next, stir in the ginger, shallots and fenugreek. Steam another 10 minutes.
4. Then, stir in the coconut milk bit by bit. Season with salt and sugar (if needed).
5. Steam another 10 – 15 minutes. When done, take off the steamer and leave to cool down a bit.

For the gulai

1. Blend the shallots, dried chillies, garlic, turmeric powder, galangal and black pepper with a bit of water.
2. Pour the mixture into a pot and add in the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add in the cooked ikan tongkol. Simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Next, add in the blitzed grated coconut, red chillies and cucumber slices. Cook until the kuah has thickened and reduced, about 20 minutes.
5. Lastly, add in the tomatoes, and season to taste.
Serve the nasi dagang together with the gulai tongkol. Say ‘Gomo Kelate Gomo’. Have fun.


The overnight soak is important! It ensures the rice is just nicely cooked. You can serve the nasi dagang with various other gulais and lauk. Even a sambal kelapa and boiled egg would go well with it, as well as a tart acar.

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