Spaghetti Lemak for Malaysia Day sparks horrified reactions from Malaysians

PHOTO: Facebook / San Remo Malaysia

Nasi lemak — the ever-disputed Southeast Asian breakfast fare — is causing a commotion on social media once again over how people are warping the humble dish into weird culinary chimeras.

The San Remo Macaroni Company is not, as you might assume, an Italian brand. It’s a food company straight outta Australia that, as you might assume as well, makes a range of pasta products for the masses. 

The Malaysian office of San Remo wants to get in on celebrating Malaysia’s Merdeka month, and the marketing ploy they’ve come up with is… nasi lemak-inspired spaghetti. 

“Celebrate Malaysia Day with San Remo Spaghetti Lemak Bungkus – a pasta dish infused with the iconic Nasi Lemak flavours and accompanied by the fiery Egg Sambal with crunchy anchovies and peanuts,” the brand wrote in a Facebook post last Thursday (Sept 10). 

Celebrate Malaysia Day with San Remo Spaghetti Lemak Bungkus – a pasta dish infused with the iconic Nasi Lemak flavours...

Posted by San Remo Malaysia on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

In lieu of rice, the dish involves spaghetti cooked in a similar manner — boiled in a concoction of water, coconut milk, pandan leaves and salt. San Remo Malaysia recommends getting a pack of their spaghetti of course, while other ingredients like eggs, anchovies, banana leaves and chilli paste can be sourced elsewhere. 

With nasi lemak considered a national dish, this has not gone down well among Malaysians due to one troubling issue: it’s nasi lemak without the actual coconut rice. “Sacrilegious,” says one netizen. 

PHOTO: Screengrab / Facebook

But to be fair to San Remo Malaysia, no where in their recipe did the brand say that it is nasi lemak. It’s “spaghetti lemak” which is accurate. 

Netizens might not be aware as well that the recipe is not a new concept by San Remo Malaysia. As far back as 2017, Malaysian celebrity chef Dato’ Fazley Yaakob endorsed the San Remo Spaghetti Lemak Bungkus. 

Are you creative enough to win a gourmet dinner by Chef Dato' Fazley? Well, we've got the great idea just for you! Try...

Posted by San Remo Malaysia on Thursday, November 9, 2017

Not to mention the dozens of spaghetti-nasi lemak fusions that have existed long before San Remo Malaysia’s iteration. 

Nasi Lemak Spaghetti by DMT.

Posted by Dato' Michael Tio on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Nasi lemak spaghetti 😝~ Good morning Sunday

Posted by Twenty5 on Saturday, May 28, 2016

ilyas@asiaone.com