Nasi ulam

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Nasi ulam
Nasi ulam Betawi (Jakarta) style, topped with dendeng sapi (beef jerky), krupuk, and omelette.
CourseMain course
Place of originIndonesia[1]
Region or stateJakarta[2]
Associated cuisineIndonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Southern Thailand[3]
Main ingredientsSteamed rice dish mixed with various herbs
VariationsRich variations across the respective region

Nasi ulam is a traditional Indonesian dish of steamed rice (nasi) served with various herbs and vegetables (ulam).[4]

The herbs used are mostly the leaves of pegagan (Centella asiatica), though they can also be replaced with kemangi (lemon basil), vegetables, and spices, accompanied with various side dishes.[2] This dish is a feature of Betawi[2] and Malay cuisine with many variations and is commonly found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and southern Thailand. Nasi ulam is often served with sambal chilli paste.


Nasi ulam is a typical Betawi mixed rice. Nasi ulam is a cross of several culinary cultures that influence the variant of the nasi ulam and its side dishes. Some say[who?] that white rice topped with coconut serundeng (ulam) and peanuts is an Indian influence. In Indonesia, Nasi Ulam is not only found in Jakarta but also Sumatra and Bali. Ulam in Betawi language is the name for serundeng from grated coconut, which when stirred with hot white rice will bring out a savory and slightly spicy taste on the tongue.

The history of Nasi Ulam comes from Tangerang, Banten. Unfortunately, this dish is rarely known by the surrounding community and is more associated with cuisine from Jakarta. This is because, in the past, a large number of Nasi Ulam traders from Tangerang brought the dish to Glodok, Jakarta. The cuisine was enjoyed by the local community, particularly Chinese Indonesians.

Not all Betawi people in Jakarta are familiar with all variations of Nasi Ulam, both wet (basah) and dry (kering). Wet ulam is only known among the Cina Benteng, Petak Sembilan, kawasan Pecinan, Tanjung Priok, Kemayoran, Matraman, dan Senen. Meanwhile, dried ulam is known in the Tebet, Kayumanis, and Mester Jatinegara areas. Betawi people usually eat rice ulam in the morning as one of the breakfast menus.[5]



In Indonesia, nasi ulam can be found in Betawi (native Jakartans) cuisine[1] as well as Bali and Sumatran Malay.[6]

In Jakarta there are two types of nasi ulam, the wet (soupy) nasi ulam of northern and central Jakarta, and dry one of southern Jakarta. In Indonesia, nasi ulam usually spiced with kemangi herb, chili, sliced cucumber and sprinkled with peanuts granule and serundeng (grated and sauteed coconut). An array of other additional dishes are often added on top of nasi ulam, such as dendeng (beef jerky), telur dadar (omelette), perkedel (mashed potato fritter), fried tofu or tempeh, and krupuk.[7]


Nasi ulam in Malaysia consist of cold boiled rice that is mixed with shredded herbs such as daun kaduk (wild pepper leaf), pucuk gajus (cashew leaf shoots), onions etc. Kerisik and other spices are also added. Sometimes shredded fried fish is mixed in. This version is common in northwest Peninsular Malaysia. A type of nasi ulam in northeast Peninsular Malaysia, in which the rice is dyed blue, is called nasi kerabu.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rizky Tyas Febriani. "Nasi Ulam Betawi". (in Indonesian). Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Where to go for authentic Betawi cuisine". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  3. ^ "Nasi ulam, Infopedia". Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  4. ^ "Perpaduan Kultur Dalam Seporsi Nasi Ulam Betawi", Food Detik
  5. ^ "Nasi Ulam, Kuliner", encyclopedia.jakarta-tourism
  6. ^ Digital, Prodik (September 10, 2020). "Makanan Khas Bali di Harris Hotel Sentul City". Tempo. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  7. ^ "Perpaduan kultur dalam seporsi nasi ulam betawi". (Indonesian)