Sunday, April 17, 2016

2016 Asia Mega Tour - Malaysia, The Food Posts

Eating in Malaysia was a real revelation. I'd had hints of this when we were in Singapore a couple of years ago but I was not prepared for just how delightfully different the food in Malaysia was. I'm sure you're all on top of your history of the region, but just to review, Malaysia has been a crossroad for trade for millennia. The ocean trade routes connecting China, the Spice territories of Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East and Western Europe all have to go past this geographic area. Originally influences were from India and there is still a strong Hindu presence. Then came the Muslim world's trade and influence. Malaysia is majority Muslim today. Chinese influence expanded in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries with substantial migrations of Chinese to permanently live in Malaysia. Then there was the British establishment of colonies in the 18th century. Malaysia today has English as one of its official languages. For the cuisine it has resulted in food with influences from many places as well.

Compared to the food in Thailand which is right next door, there are definitely heavier Indian influences. And the food in general has a stronger more pronounced flavoring. I first thought this had to result from different flavoring. But the cooking class taught us that is was much more related to cooking technique! For example one of their curries use almost exactly the same ingredients as Cambodian Amok but the order in which things are done is reversed resulting in a dramatically different taste profile. Fascinating. Here is a collection of the best things we ate during our three days.

On our first night we went to the outdoor place with all the small stalls. Two of our choices were the satay (grilled meats) and shrimp mee (mee is noodles). The shrimp mee immediately announced that the taste sensations would be much different here.

Dinner at The Living Room
This was a restaurant that 2B researched and was confirmed as really good by our driver who brought us in from the airport. We went there twice.

Shrimp with curry
Stir fried bean sprouts with garlic
Some kind of noodles that I forgot the name put were yummy
Nasi Goring - Malay fried rice
Salt and Pepper Squid
The Living Room could deep fry like crazy and this was without a doubt THE most tender squid I've ever eaten. Even 2B who is not a seafood love raved about them.

Sizzling chicken, Chile beef, and Thai style fish (the true winner of these three)

Chicken in Kapitan Curry (I have a recipe for this tee hee)
Deep fried ice cream and Banana fritter (I'm no dessert eater but these were delectable)

Another take on Soup Noodles
Hokkien Mee - for breakfast in our hotel - more in a gravy than a soup broth

From our Cooking Class
Beef Rendang (which we also had at the Living Room) a real classic Malay dish
A Mango and bean salad
Coolest dressing ever! No oil.

Near the hotel, some of the best street food 
A very think crepe turned into a crisp shell like a taco with all kinds of choices for fillings (mostly sweet) with a neat couple running it. This place was packed each night.

1 comment:

alexis said...

sounds delicious!