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Food Holidays at Home: The Taste of Malaysia

Food Holidays at Home: The Taste of Malaysia

02 Jun 2020 Travel Stories

The novel coronavirus has impacted everyone's lives to some extent, and having a postponed holiday certainly isn’t the worst of it - but it’s still incredibly disappointing.

While we are busy doing everything we can to manage bookings and get back to normal as soon as possible, we thought we would bring the holiday to you instead. 

We have decided to launch Food Holidays at Home - a blog series where we will be deep-diving into different cuisines and exploring how you can bring them to life in your own home.

Got a cuisine suggestion? Reach out to us on our social media pages!

First up on Food Holidays at Home, we’ll be looking at Malaysia. As a prominent Southeast Asian country, Malaysian cuisine has a little dash of all your other favourites - including Indian, Indonesian, Thai and Chinese!  Incredibly rich, salty, sweet and versatile, steeped in a multi-ethnic tradition, you’re sure to find a recipe (or 27) that you adore.

Let’s start out with the basics of Malaysian home cooking, the ingredients:

  • Chilli peppers - dried, fresh, in oil, in a paste or in anything! 
  • Shrimp paste (called belacan)
  • Soy sauce (the sweet soy known as kecap manis in particular)
  • Shallots
  • Limes
  • Dried anchovies
  • Tofu
  • Garlic
  • Peanuts
  • Ginger
  • Onions
  • Coconut milk
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Coconut oil
  • Palm sugar
  • Lemongrass
  • Rice, noodles and wheat breads

Got all that? Let’s move on to the recipes! We’ll explore some fundamental recipes for beginners, then move into more complex assembly for experienced home cooks. 

Beginner cooks

Satay is probably the most prolific Malaysian ‘dish', you can find satay meat skewers in every kind of restaurant all over the world. This quick and easy way to flavour meat is beloved the world around. Find a great SBS recipe from Simon Goh and earn how to make your own marinade with onion, Alagappa curry powder, turmeric, paprika, garlic and sugar!

Beef Rendang
Beginner cooks

Another dish whose name is synonymous with Malaysia, the humble rendang. Often eaten for breakfast in Southeast Asia, traditional beef rendang is a dry curry originating in West Sumatra. Find stellar beef rendang on Rasa Malaysia. For this recipe you will need to pick up cloves, star anise, cardamom and kaffir lime.

Kapitan Chicken
Beginner cooks

This explosively flavourful curry is a sort of smorgasbord of diverse Chinese, Indian and Malaysian cuisine, all in one mouthful! The interesting name comes from a colonial-era legend that a ship’s cook was caught off guard when asked the name of his dish by the captain, which resulted in it becoming ‘captain’s chicken’. Made from plenty of garlic, turmeric, galangal and shrimp paste, this dressed-up chicken is sure to impress.

Fish Laksa
Intermediate cooks

Laska has a bit of a cult following in Australia, and it’s easy to see why. Try this seafood laksa recipe from SBS to really bring Malaysian cuisine into your home. Savour the buttered and pan-fried snapper in a paste made from chillies, shrimp, galangal, lemongrass and macadamia nuts, oh my!

Nasi Lemak
Intermediate cooks

Over at Nyona Cooking you can find a brilliant nasi lemak recipe. Nasi lemak is the national dish of Malaysia. The flavourful rice is incredibly versatile and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. After adding rice to a pot with coconut milk, pandan leaves and lemongrass, you can serve it with anything you like. Popular choices are fried peanuts, dried anchovies, boiled eggs and cucumber slices.

Roti Canai
Experienced cooks

Using dough can be frustrating especially if you’re inexperienced, but practice is the only way to learn! Flat dough-based foods like roti canai can be more forgiving than loaves of bread, so it’s the perfect way to up your flour game. Try this recipe from Gourmet Traveller and pair it with the rendang for the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth salty-soft taste explosion!

Got a suggestion for our next Food Holidays at Home blog? Reach out to us on social media today! 

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