Nasi bakar ayam kemangi (Grilled rice with chicken and basil)

Nasi bakar ayam kemangi (Grilled rice with chicken and basil)

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Indonesian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 -5 packs
Author: Marvellina
Coconut rice is cooked with aromatic herbs topped with chicken and basil and then wrapped with banana leaves and grilled to perfection. Can be made with rice cooker or stove-top
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  • 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
  • Pinch of salt to taste

Coconut rice:

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cups white long grain jasmine/basmati rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt


To wrap with rice:

  • Fresh basil leaves optional
  • 8-10 red chili

Things you need to wrap the rice:

  • 6 -8 pieces of 10 x 10 inch banana leaves thaw if frozen, wiped clean with damp cloth
  • Tooth picks


Cook the chicken:

  • Briefly rinse the rice with clean water and drain the water. Set aside. Preheat a large pot with cooking oil. Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add shallots and stir fry for another minute. Add the chicken pieces and continue to stir until the chicken turn opaque and cooked through. Season with pinch of salt to your taste. Dish the chicken out and set aside. Shred the chicken meat when it's cool enough to handle or you can leave it in bite-size pieces. It's up to you

Cook the rice on the stove:

  • In the same pot, add in aromatics: kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, and lemongrass and stir fry for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add rice and pour in the coconut milk ,chicken stock, and pinch of salt. Bring to a gentle simmer and cover the pot and let it cook for the next 20 minutes. Turn off heat, and let it sit for another 10 minutes while you are preparing other things. Uncover and check on the rice. It should be fluffy and cooked through. Fluff the rice with a fork

Cook the rice in rice cooker:

  • After cooking the chicken in the pot, remove the chicken and in the same pot, add in aromatics: kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, and lemongrass and stir fry for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add rice and stir to mix. Transfer to the rice cooker's inner pot. Pour in the coconut milk , chicken stock, and pinch of salt. Set your rice cooker to cook accordingly. Fluff the rice when it's done cooking


  • Place one sheet of banana leaves on your working surface. Scoop about 1/2 cup of the rice (it's really up to you how big or small you want your rice packet be) and place in the middle of banana leaves or you can place more at the side near you. Make a shallow dent along the rice and arrange few pieces of chicken on top of it followed by 1 or 2 piece of red chili. Place few pieces of fresh basil leaves on top. Fold the bottom flap over the rice then the top. Secure both ends with tooth pick. If you place the rice near your side at the beginning, then you can roll it up to the other side and secure both sides with toothpick. This will give you a much rounder wrap. My wrapping is more of a "flat" style. Either way is fine
  • Preheat your outdoor grill or in my case grill pan (because it's winter when I made this). Place each packet on the grill and let it grill until the banana leaves have grill marks on them. The aroma is amazing. Ready to be served. They can be served as is or with other side dishes


If you are using dried herbs instead of fresh, I would suggest you to double up on the quantity as I feel like the dried herbs are not as aromatic compare to the fresh ones