Nasi Dagang (Trader’s Rice): A Malaysian Delicacy

You are currently viewing Nasi Dagang (Trader’s Rice): A Malaysian Delicacy

Malaysia is a country that is well-known for its diverse and flavorful cuisine. One of the most popular dishes in Malaysia is the Trader’s Rice Dish, which is a savoury and satisfying meal that is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. In this article, we will explore the history, ingredients, and preparation of this delicious dish.

History of Trader’s Rice Dish

The Trader’s Rice Dish has a long and fascinating history that is intertwined with the development of Malaysia’s trading economy. The dish originated in the early 20th century when traders from China, India, and Indonesia came to Malaysia to trade spices, textiles, and other goods. These traders would often bring their own ingredients and spices with them, and they would share their culinary traditions with the locals.

Over time, the locals began to incorporate these foreign ingredients and spices into their own cooking, creating a unique fusion of flavours and textures. The Trader’s Rice Dish was born out of this fusion, and it quickly became a staple in Malaysian cuisine.

Ingredients of Trader’s Rice Dish

The Trader’s Rice Dish is a simple yet flavorful dish that is made with rice, meat, and vegetables. The ingredients may vary depending on the region and the cook’s preference, but the basic components remain the same.

The rice is usually cooked in a flavorful broth that is made with chicken or beef stock, garlic, ginger, and spices such as cinnamon, star anise, and cardamom. The meat is typically chicken or beef, although some variations may include seafood or tofu. The vegetables may include carrots, peas, and onions, and they are usually sautéed in a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil.

Preparation of Trader’s Rice Dish

The preparation of Trader’s Rice Dish is relatively simple, but it requires some patience and attention to detail. The rice is first washed and soaked in water for about 30 minutes to remove excess starch. Then, it is cooked in the flavorful broth until it is tender and fluffy.

Meanwhile, the meat and vegetables are sautéed in a wok or a large frying pan until they are cooked through and slightly caramelised. The sautéed meat and vegetables are then added to the cooked rice, and everything is mixed together thoroughly.

The Trader’s Rice Dish is typically served with a side of chilli sauce or sambal, which is a spicy condiment made with chilli peppers, garlic, and vinegar. This adds an extra kick of flavour and heat to the dish.


The Trader’s Rice Dish is a delicious and satisfying meal that is beloved by Malaysians and visitors alike. It’s simple yet flavorful ingredients and its rich history make it a quintessential dish in Malaysian cuisine. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a curious foodie, the Trader’s Rice Dish is a must-try dish that will transport you to the bustling streets of Malaysia.

Article curated by Lavanyah Magenthiran