This week we are traveling to Malaysia – the land of Laksa, Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai and a brilliant exotic range of spices, curry and laksa pastes, rice, noodles and sweet coconut balls.
Malaysia is an eclectic mix of many cultures and ethnicities. Its food, cooking traditions and ingredients reflect this magnificently. With the basic population mix being Malay, Chinese and Indian, it is an incredible base for the nation’s cuisine. Malaysian Cuisine has been described as a ‘melange of traditions’ with influences from Thai, Portugese, Dutch and British to name but a few that added colour and depth to an already exciting range of flavour.
Malaysia shares strong links with Singapore and it is not unusual to find very similar or the same dishes in both nations. The same can be said for Indonesia where dishes such as Satay, Rendang and Sambal are common in both nations.
These influences extend from the Wok to the combinations of spices used in popular dishes. Ethnic Malay food is renowned as spicy, exotic. Chilli is a standard ingredient.
Lemongrass, coriander, Kaffir lime leaves, cumin, cardamon, star anise and fenugreek provide the basis for many Malaysian Curries and Laksas – and chilli!
As elsewhere in Asia, Rice is an essential ingredient and diet staple. Thai rice strains are grown, packaged and sold locally. This rice is the most popular but also Basmati varieties are used in Biryanis.
The National dish of Malaysia is often acknowledged to be Nasi Lemak or ‘fatty rice’. This is a dish of steamed rice with coconut milk, served with hard boiled eggs, peanuts, dried shrimp, dried anchovies, cucumber and sambal. It is eaten all day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Often it is served with a Rendang spicy beef (though not always beef) stew.
Malaysians enjoy a range of noodles and have adapted the Indian ‘roti’ bread as part of their diet as well. You will also find Idli, Puri and Dhosa – all commonly eaten at breakfast.
Where early Chinese settlers married Malay brides, this group came to be known as Peranakan. This cooking style is recognised as the ‘nonya’ style cooking. ‘Nonya is a term of respect for older women. The best known dishes from this tradition are the Laksa – Noodle soups.
Curry Laksa and Asam Laksa are both spicy noodle soups. Curry Laksa is a coconut curry soup and Asam Laksa is a sour fish soup with noodles.
Malaysian Desserts are brilliantly colourful using layered rice flour and coconut sweets, multilayered buttercake (Lapis Legit) and sweet coconut rice balls. Kueh Bahula is a popular dessert, a mini sponge cake dipped in black coffee.
At Tang we carry a wide variety of Malaysian Ingredients including Laksa pastes, Sambal and rich curry pastes and preserved chillies, noodles and coconut products. Follow this link to view our Malaysian products or view our shop site map to inspect the range for yourself when you next visit. Don’t hesitate to check with our helpful staff if you are looking for that special ingredient.
What’s your favourite Malaysian Dish?
Here is a list of recipes courtesy of seriouseats.com, Take a look, it’s mouthwatering and we are sure you’ll find a favourite or two that keep you coming back for more.
Remember we are open 10am to 11pm every day at 151 Russell St. Here is the Google Map Reference
Roti canai »
Chicken curry »
Roti jala »
Asam laksa »
Curry laksa »
Nasi lemak »
Hainanese chicken rice »
Mee goreng »
Beef rendang »
Nasi goreng »
Char kuey teow »
Ikan bakar »
Oyster omelet »
Won ton mee »
Bak kut teh »
Hokkien mee »
Chili Crab and Black Pepper Crab »
Fish head curry »
Mee rebus »
Sambal udang »
Asam pedas »
Fried chicken »
List source: Serious Eats