Try these healthy versions of local dishes!

    The key to acing the #eatclean diet is in making sure that you can do it long-term. That means not discounting your favourite local dishes. With some tweaks, Malaysian dishes can be a part of your #eatclean diet. We worked with dietitian Kong Woan Fei and chef Mohd Reduan Mohtar from Columbia Asia Hospital Klang to bring you these healthy yet tasty recipes. 



    Serves 6

    Dietician’s note: “Other than the rice which is boiled or steamed, everything else is raw in this dish. Ayam percik, on the other hand is grilled or oven baked. It’s considered healthy method of cooking as almost no cooking oil is used to make and the flavours are created with fresh and natural spices and herbs – it’s the herbs and the other dry condiments that make this dish absolutely mouth-watering. When paired with chicken, remove skin from chicken thigh. For those who want to control sodium intake, a sprinkling of salt after cooking enhances the flavour with less salt usage compared to using it during cooking.”

    Nasi Ulam:

    6 cups white rice, cooked

    30g long beans, thinly sliced

    30g four-angled beans, thinly


    30g lotus root, thinly sliced

    Salt to taste

    Ayam Percik:

    6 pieces skinless chicken thigh

    10gm garlic

    20g red chili

    10g fresh turmeric, blended

    20g red onion

    20g lemongrass

    100g low fat milk

    20g ginger root

    Salt to taste

    Sugar to taste

    Side dish for ulam:

    30gm string beans, sliced

    30gm four-angled beans, sliced

    30gm bean sprouts, thinly sliced

    30 gm kesum leaves

    30 gm lotus root, thinly sliced

    Side dish:

    30gm Japanese cucumber, sliced

    60gm sweet pineapple, sliced

    40gm vinegar

    Salt and sugar to taste

    ginger, and red chili.


    1. On a pan with a drizzle of oil, sauté till brown.

    2. Marinate chicken with the sautéed ingredients and leave overnight.

    3.  Combine low fat milk and fresh tumeric, salt and sugar to the marinated chicken and grill

    4.  Cook rice as per usual method.

    5. Mix the long beans, four-angled beans, and lotus root into the rice and add salt to taste.

    6. Mix the ingredients for the side dish, and separately combine the ulam ingredients to serve



    Serves 6

    Dietian’s note: “Consider substituting the standard chicken rice to regular white rice as the former contains too much oil due to the butter used. Choose only lean chicken parts like chicken breast to reduce fat consumption. Remove skin and trim visible fat. Also control the amount of soy sauce to reduce sodium intake.”


    3 cups white rice

    10g ginger, julienned

    20g garlic, julienned

    20g vegetable oil

    Salt to taste


    6 pieces chicken breast

    350ml water

    10g ginger, blended

    10g garlic, blended

    1 stick lemongrass

    Salt and pepper to taste

    3 side sauces :

    Chili- 20g red chili, ½ tsp vinegar


    Ginger – 20g ginger sauce,

    5gm corn oil (combined)

    15gm soy sauce, 20g sauteed

    red onion (combined)


    5g carrot, julienned

    Spring onion, sliced



    1. Marinate chicken with blended ginger, garlic, lemongrass, salt and pepper and let sit for 10 – 15 minutes.

    2. Boil chicken in 350ml water until tender or for 25 – 35 minutes.

    3. Sauté ginger, garlic (strain the oil) and mix into rice, and cook rice with some of the water from Step 2. Save some of the water for the accompanying soup as well.

    4. Prepare the three sauces accordingly; serve chicken and rice with the soup and garnishing.



    Serves 6

    Dietician’s note: “Idli is a source of soluble fibre. For the coconut chutney, control the amount of coconut used as it contains mostly saturated fat.”


    140g whole, skinned urad dal

    565g white rice

    Salt to taste

    Oil for the idli moulds

    Water as needed to create the

    right batter consistency

    Chutney (serves 2)

    100g roughly chopped fresh

    coconut, 20g more

    10g teaspoon grated ginger

    6gm green chili, chopped

    12g roasted yellow lentils

    10g yoghurt

    6g lemon juice

    20ml water

    Salt to taste

    For the Idli:

    1. Wash the rice and urad dal. Soak them separately in water for four to five hours.

    2. Drain the urad dal but keep the water. Then, grind urad dal with some of the reserved water till it forms a smooth and thick batter with pancake batter consistency.

    3. Now, grind the rice with some water to make a smooth batter as in Step 2. Combine both batter in a large bowl, add salt and mix well. Cover and let the batter sit overnight. It should rise in double size. Gently mix the batter. Greese the idli mould and steam for 10 to 15 minutes.

    For the chutney (serves 2):

    1. Grind 100g chopped fresh coconut in a food processor till it forms a medium coarse paste, and put aside.

    2. Blend green chili, roasted yellow lentils, and ginger to a smooth paste. Combine both paste in a blender. Add 20g of the chopped fresh coconut, yoghurt and lemon juice, salt and water. Blend till it forms a medium coarse paste. Add more water to get desired consistency of chutney and blend again.

    3. Combine both paste in a blender. Add 20g of the chopped fresh coconut, yoghurt and lemon juice, salt and water. Blend till it forms a medium coarse paste. Add more water to get desired consistency of chutney and blend again.



    Serves 6

    Dietician’s note: “This dish is good for those who want to control their fat and sugar intake. The lemon rice is prepared without the use of butter. Red snapper is a great choice as it is low in calorie and contains Omega-3 oils for cardiovascular health. There is also no added sugar in this recipe as the sweet flavour comes naturally from the red dates.”


    6 cups white rice, cooked

    30g lemon zest

    30g orange zest

    Salt and white pepper to taste


    5-6 pieces of red snapper

    5gm corn oil

    300ml water

    60gm fermented Chinese cabbage,


    20gm shitake mushroom,

    30g red dates, halved

    30g lotus root, thinly sliced

    1 stick lemongrass, finely


    10g ginger, julienned

    5g kaffir lime leaves

    Side salad:

    20g honey pineapple, julienned

    20gm Japanese cucumber,


    5g yellow raisin, julienned

    5g black raisin, julienned


    5 gm mint leaves

    5g coriander leaves

    5g Thai basil leaves


    1. Sauté shitake mushroom, fermented cabbage, red dates, lotus root, lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime leaves with the corn oil.

    2. Add water, let it come to a boil before adding in the red snapper.

    3. Season the soup with lemon and orange zest.

    4. Garnish and serve with the side salad (which is combined to mix).

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