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Malaysia's National Day 2018

For the first time, I am feeling like 40% patriotic about the coming National Independence Day tomorrow. What's my normal level for the past 40-odd years? About 0%? πŸ‘€

Yeah, even when they made us recite the Rukun Tetangga every morning, sing the National Anthem, practise the darn marching parade thinghy for National Day, I wouldn't say I am the most Malaysian person out there. πŸ˜‚

This year, although much like other years before this, is a little different. There's a little bit more hope, and I dare say the same for many other Malaysians who are now celebrating Malaysia's Independence Day for the first time under a new government.

We don't expect everything to work like a well-oiled AI machine. It's not perfect but for the first time since Independence, we have a group of new people coming in for a makeover. Sort of. I don't have my hopes up very high because nothing's written in stone that Malaysia's going to be miraculously different overnight.

Despite our disappointment for always being sidelined as we were growing up, we've always been proud of one thing - our cuisine!

Singaporeans, can you all please step aside for a while ah? I promise not to say anything too mean when you claim Malaysian food to be YOURS, OK? (The rivalry is very strong. A side note: never, ever ask a Malaysian and a Singaporean in the same room about their favorite local food. That's a war waiting to happen. You're welcome)

So, without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite Malaysian food! Things I would not try to replicate simply because I can never live up the the standards that the Malaysian hawker stalls have pampered us with.

Please note that there are so many food that I love in my country that coming up with this stupid list of 5 things took me a week!

1. Prawn Mee

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Don't ask me why but it's just my favorite. It's a real tie between the KL prawn mee and the Penang version. I remember my cousin heating up overnight Hokkien Mee (which is kind of like prawn mee) for me in the middle of the night when we were in Penang and I almost burst into sinful tears with joy!

The secret lies in the broth...who cares about the type of noodle they put in there, really. πŸ˜€ It's a long-stewed combination of pork ribs, prawn shells and heads, jicama, sugar and salt, complete with deliciously sweet sambal to-die-for!

Lonely Planet may have named 'Curry Laksa' as their second favorite food from around the world this year, my vote goes to Prawn Mee.

2. Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak picture source
When we were young, we often start the day with this to-die-for simple, cheap, Malay dish. Gift-wrapped in banana leaves, inside is a treasure of coconut-fragrant rice topped with deep fried anchovies, sweet savory sambal, a teeny-weeny piece of boiled egg, peanuts and slivers of cucumber. That was our breakfast in school back then and although it has evolved into something else these days, the tiny towers of triangle nasi lemaks are still the best go-to for breakfast.

3. Satay 

I know sometimes people say that it is sin on a stick but I prefer to look at it more positively, albeit, it uses some of the most authentic, local ingredients. I mean, think about it: it's marinated with an exotic blended paste of lemongrass, garlic, shallots, turmeric, coriander, chili, salt and sugar, then grilled over high fire just before you soak it in sweet peanut sauce and slide it off the stick with your teeth.

You might have heard of the Thai version and it's delicious, but for clear reasons, I am partial towards the Malaysian/Kajang satay. Malaysian satay FTW! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

4. Rendang

Tadi pagi pesen daging 1/2 kg di bawainnya 1 kg, yah udah sekalian di masaknya aja semuanya, lagian bikin rendang juga lumayan lama masaknya. Happy dinner All... . . . . Rendang daging Bahan : 1 kg daging sapi (sy pakai khas dlm) potong selera 2 sdm air asam jawa 500 ml santan kental (dr 2 btr kelapa) 1.5 ltr santan encer Haluskan : 15 bh b.merah 10 bh b.putih 3 bh cabe merah besar 12 bh cabe merah keriting 7 bh cabe rawit 4 btr kemiri 2 cm jahe 2 cm lengkuas 1 sdt ketumbar, sangrai 1/2 sdt jinten 1/2 sdt pala bubuk Sejempol kunyit Bumbu cemplung 2 bh sereh 5 lmbr daun jeruk 3 lmbr daun salam 2 lmbr daun kunyit 5 bh cengkeh 2 bh bunga lawang 1 sdm gula merah Garam, kaldu jamur Tambahkan sdkit gula pasir bila rasanya kurang pas Caranya : *Tumis bumbu halus hingga matang masukkan semua bumbu cemplung,aduk2 lalu masukkan daging sapi aduk hingga daging kaku. *Tuangkan santan encer aduk perlahan supaya santannya tidak pecah. Masak dengan api kecil hingga daging empuk beri garam, gula merah, air asam dan kaldu jamur lalu tambahkan santan kentalnya. *Masak hingga daging meresap dan airnya sdkit agak menyusut, angkat. *Sajìkan Sekalian setor untuk GAnya @kumpulan resepmasak bersama @supplieralasfoto #krm3rdGA#kumpulanresepmasak #rendang #rendangdaging #rendangsapi #homemade #homecooking #minangfood #masakkanpadang #masakkanrumahan #bakingcookingpemula #doyancooking_ #resepmasakan #resepmasak #resepikan #reseprendang #resepayam #resepsayur #resepsambal #dietmulaibesok #laperbaper #wowresep #kuliner #doyancooking #berbagiresep #yukbelajarmasak #resepyummy #resepomahku ##resepmasakan #resepmasak #resepikan #reseprendang #resepayam #resepsayur #resepsambal #dietmulaibesok #laperbaper #wowresep #kuliner #doyancooking #berbagiresep #yukbelajarmasak #resepyummy #resepomahku#resepmasakan #resepmasak #resepikan #reseprendang #resepayam #resepsayur #resepsambal #dietmulaibesok #laperbaper #wowresep #kuliner #doyancooking #berbagiresep #yukbelajarmasak #resepyummy #resepomahku #
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How can anyone, ANYONE, not like rendang and I don't even care if you know how to pronounce it right. Rendang is, however, not curry. I've seen some recipes on the internet and they're all kind of devoid of the rendang sauce, appearing a little dry and splattered with blotches of rendang.

Nope. That's not how you do it.

It's got to be chunky, fragrant, filled with a Christmas-list of ingredients like cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, cardamom pods, lemongrass, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, grated coconut, shallots, galangal, ginger, chilies, salt and sugar.

It's an insane list of ingredients, right? Every single one of those ingredients have their own distinct taste but they explode like a New Year Eve's fireworks together. Slow-stewed in a cauldron added with coconut milk, you'll have lots of chunky stew to go with your rice.

5. Char Siew / Wan Tan Mee 

Not all char siew is made the same but the best of them are done with half-fatty half-lean shoulder side boneless pork. They are marinated with a savory mixture of honey, five-spice powder, fermented tofu, sugar, soy sauce, salt, hoisin sauce and maybe oyster sauce (for modern quick versions, yes, we cheat).

Perched on bamboo sticks during olden days, it is now more often roasted in an oven or stuck onto a skewer. Whichever way you cook it, there's one prerequisite for it to qualify as char siew: while the insides are to remain soft and of bite-friendly texture, the outer layer consist of charred sugar/honey that is so sickly sweet it makes your heart sing, your stomach happy, and your doctor anxious.

It's not very different from the BBQ recipes I see of Mediterranean and American styles but the ingredients are awesome.

Note: The list is MY personal favorite Malaysian cuisine. Please feel free to let me know what's yours!

p.s. I love Durians and like most Durian lovers, we don't really care what other people say about their experiences with the King of Fruits. Less for you, more for me! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

But do you want to try some rambutans? They're awesome too! I just got this bunch from the morning market. πŸ˜„

Happy Independence Day, Malaysia πŸ™ŒπŸ’“,


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