Pandan and Lemongrass Rice (Nasi Kuning)

Nasi Kuning is a fragrant rice dish, meaning "yellow rice," cooked with coconut milk and turmeric. This Indonesian dish is commonly served as a celebratory dish, given its resemblance to a pile of gold. In the Javanese culture, the rice may even be served in a special cone shape, called a tumpeng, and the top piece is given to the most senior person. Vegetables, omelets, or coconut are often paired with Nasi Kuning. This dish goes well with just about anything chicken, beef, fish, veggies (carrots, green beans, peppers, etc.), tempeh, you name it, and if you're like me and enjoy a little heat spicy dishes match perfectly too.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Servings 4


  • 3 Pandan leaves
  • 2 Lemongrass (stalks)
  • 2 C Jasmine rice
  • 1 Tbsp Turmeric
  • 4 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 C Coconut milk
  • 1 pinch Salt


  • Tie each pandan leaf in 3-4 knots and set aside.
  • Remove and discard outer leaves of fresh lemongrass stalks, then bruise the lemongrass by whacking it hard with the back of a cleaver or the corner of a soup can. After the stalks are slightly shredded and flexible, tie each in a knot and set aside.
  • Rinse uncooked jasmine rice (~3 times), until the water is just slightly cloudy, then drain. 
  • Bring water and coconut milk to a boil and then add rice and the rest of the ingredients.
  • Lower heat to stir and let simmer - cover with lid and let it cook for the next 20 minutes. Turn off the heat but DO NOT open the lid yet. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
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