The favourite breakfast of the East Coast people, nasi dagang is a dish with complex flavours. There are two types, the Kelantan version that uses red rice marinated in coconut milk and the Terengganu variety using glutinous rice.
It is eaten with fish curry made from mackerel that is slightly sweetened with palm sugar as well as a side dish of pickled vegetables or acar in Malay. Top it off with a hard-boiled egg and some toasted grated coconut and you have yourself a hearty breakfast.
Nasi Dagang Kak Nah
Jalan Losong Feri, Kampung Losong Dato Amar, Kuala Terengganu
One of the best (and cheapest) nasi dagang in Kuala Terengganu can be found at Kedai Makan Sinah. It’s run by Sinah Sulaiman or more affectionately known as Kak Nah. It’s obviously well-known because when we went there at around 6:15am on our way to the airport, there were already a large group of people patronising this simple open-air restaurant.
The nasi dagang is sold in packets alongside a variety of nasi lemak and other kueh. When you open the brown paper wrapping there’s only one piece of fish inside, laid on top of the rice. The rice is deliciously rich and tasty on its own but eaten with the fish gravy served in a bowl, it is truly heaven at its simplistic best.
The amazing thing is a packet costs only RM2 and a glass of teh-O is RM0.30!
Nasi Dagang Che Nah
Jalan Setiamurni, Plaza Damansara, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur
Almost similar in name, the nasi dagang by Che Nah, though as authentic, is sold in the sophisticated suburbs of Damansara Heights. During the working days, Che Nah serves the Kelantan version of nasi dagang with its fresh fish curry and flavourful acar. While the Terengganu version wrapped in packets are sold during the weekends. Her rice is a standout as she does not skim on the rich coconut milk while cooking.