CIA translates nasi lemak as 'fat rice', features dish in its World Factbook

PETALING JAYA: Nasi lemak, one of Malaysia's favourite dishes, has been featured in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) World Factbook.

In a Facebook post on Saturday (April 20), the CIA said that nasi lemak is considered the "national dish of Malaysia" and a popular "breakfast food".

"Its name in Malay literally means 'fat rice' because its preparation makes it rich and creamy.

"It consists of fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk with pandan leaves, lemon grass, ginger and other spices.

"Nasi lemak is usually served with a hard-boiled egg, fried anchovies, sambal paste and roasted peanuts," read the post.

Hundreds of Facebook users, many presumably from Malaysia, were chuffed to see the mouth-watering dish highlighted by what many see as the US "spy agency".

User Teyra Albaraqbah said: "Dangerous food if u r on a mission. Nasi lemak can make u sleepy and miss your target. Eat Hup Seng crackers with kopi O if u want to stay awake."

Hendrias Saging weighed in, saying: "Just be careful with the sambal as it has the potential of bringing down your whole operation."

Many were also amused by the literal "fat rice" translation, with user Kedai Nasi explaining that the word "lemak" could also be translated as "rich".

"So it's not literally fat, it's just rich/creamy in taste," read the post.

Other users were quick to highlight other examples of Malaysian cuisine.

"You should try 'trading rice' (nasi dagang) too. Very delicious," said Siti Faridah Shuib.

"please post about 'rice to Wednesday', or (as) we call it, 'nasi kerabu'," said Nuaim Idris.

Farrish Khalid, with tongue in cheek, said: "We also invented USA Fried Rice."

According to the CIA, its World Factbook is a "public resource providing basic intelligence on 266 world entities, including travel facts and country profiles."

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