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Nasi Liwet in Rice Cooker

Nasi liwet is rice cooked in coconut milk, chicken stock, lemongrass, and Indonesian bay leaves (daun salam), giving the rice a very rich and aromatic taste.

Nasi liwet is typically served alongside a set of side dishes such as telur pindang, ayam suwir or ayam opor, tumis labu siam, and telur areh.

Of course you don’t need to prepare the whole set, but I think at least serve this with ayam suwir or ayam opor and either telur pindang or telur areh.

Nasi Liwet in Rice Cooker
Nasi Liwet in Rice Cooker

I have tweaked the tradional nasi liwet recipe to work with my rice cooker, hopefully it should work with any rice cooker out there :) So if you don’t want to prepare nasi liwet the traditional way and want to use your rice cooker, you can follow this recipe for an easy and almost instant way to cook nasi liwet.

Nasi Liwet in Rice Cooker

5.0 from 2 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 35 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe


  • 450 gram Thai jasmine rice, washed and drained (about 3 rice cooker cups)
  • 4 Indonesian bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 2 lemongrass (Indonesian sereh), cut into 2 inch sections, bruised
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk from canned coconut milk
  • 2 3/4 cup water, or unsalted chicken stock for non-vegetarian (*)


  1. Place all ingredients in rice cooker pot, give it a stir so everything is mixed together. Put the pot in your rice cooker machine, and press cook until the rice is fully cooked.
  2. Let the cook rice sit unopened for 10 minutes, then open the rice cooker lid, use the rice spatula to gently fluff and stir. Keep warm until ready to serve.


  • (*) Follow the required amount of water suggested by your rice cooker, minus 1/4 cup which was substituted by 1/4 cup coconut milk.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Stella Stella says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I've been craving for nasi liwet and cannot wait for my trip back in August so I was so glad when I found this blog accidentally while looking for Indonesian recipes blog in English. I have a question about adding salted fish/ikan asin in the rice, though. I remember having pieces of salted fish in a nasi liwet I ate years ago. Do you know what kind of salted fish I can get in the US that I can use for this dish? I've seen salted fish in my local Chinese grocery store but I wasn't sure that it would work as a substitute...

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Stella, it should work pretty well as a substitute. I usually get salted croacker fish, the whole fish ones, imported from Hong Kong. It can be pretty pricey, around $15-$20 a pound I think, but I really like them :)

  • Jesus Jesus says:

    hi anita, Greeting from jakarta.
    I have been cooking some of your recipes since I flew back 2 weeks ago.
    the spices here are so fresh & full of fragrances. It makes the food even tastier.
    I have tried this nasi liwet recipe today.
    it's delicious and the chicken stock makes it even flavorful.
    this rice tastes better than the hainan rice with the lemongrass and the daun jeruk & salam flavors..
    the only thing is I steamed my rice since I haven't bought a rice cooker yet so the rice is still a little too soft ( I used the same cup measurement for the chicken stock as your instruction).
    Will u pls advise me if you hv time in terms of how much chicken stock shud I put with the steaming method.
    Thank you again for this recipe!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Jesus, the old way of cooking rice in a steamer may be a bit weird.

      First, wash and drain the rice, and place it in a regular pot. Add daun salam, lemongrass, and fill the pot with water/stock until it covers the rice by 1 inch. Cook over medium heat until boiling, then lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is completely absorbed by the rice. Stir towards the end so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.

      Meanwhile, prepare a steamer. Fill the steamer pot with water until it almost reaches the steamer basket. Make sure the water in the steamer is boiling before steaming the rice, and use a medium heat to maintain the steam throughout the steaming process.

      Transfer the partially cooked rice along with the daun salam and lemongrass to the steamer basket. Drizzle the rice with coconut milk, and season with salt, stir to mix but don't press the rice. Steam the rice for 15-20 minutes, or until it reaches the desired texture. Fluff the rice and serve.

      • Jesus Jesus says:

        Thank u for the recipe of using the steamer Anita! It is very kind of you! I appreciate it. I tried already. The flavor is rich and the rice is perfectly fluffy.
        I also used yr steaming method for nasi kuning and put chicken stock instead of regular water. Soooooo good too.
        I have been cooking lots of yr recipes here in jkt since I will stay here a while. Thank you for all the recipes. They are all good!

  • Helen Helen says:

    Anita, I was wondering if this recipe for nasi liwet can be made in a slow cooker?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Helen, I may be wrong, but I don't think a slow cooker is suitable to cook rice. If you don't have a rice cooker, a stove-top method of cooking rice should be a more suitable replacement to cook nasi liwet.

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