Sunday, 23 September 2007

Acar Awak

This is the common dish that can be found in Penang in any festival, be it Chinese New Year, Cheng Beng or even at weddings. Ingredients:
  • 250g cabbage, cut 3cm in size
  • 1 whole cucumber
  • 150g cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 150g carrots, cut into 3 cm lenghts
  • 100g french beans, cut into 3cm lenghts
  • some red and green chillies, cut to look like a flower and seeded
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For scalding vegetables:

  • 600 ml water
  • 300ml rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Spice paste (ground):

  • 20 dried cillies
  • 10 shallots
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk serai
  • 2" lengkuas (galangal) sliced
  • 4 buah keras (candlenuts)
  • 20g belacan
  • 2 tbsp ketumbar powder (coriander powder)

  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 10 tbsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 100g peanut, roasted and coarsely pounded
  • 5 tbsp sesame seeds


Quarter the cucumber lengthwise without peeling the skin and remove the core. Cut into 3cm long strips. Knead 1/2 tsp salt into the cucumber slices and leave aside for 1-2 hour. Wrap the cucumber slices in a clean towel ans squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Lay the cucumber slices on a tray and sun for 2-3 hours.

For other vegetables, sun them separatly in trays for 1-2 hour. If you are in UK and there is no much sun light, you can leave the vegetables over night as the air is dry compare to Malaysia.

Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar for scalding vegetables to a rapid boil. Blanch the dried vegetables one type at a time, 5 seconds for cabbage (suggest that you boil the thicker part of the cabbage longer) and cauliflower and 2-3 seconds for the rest of the vegetables. DO NOT OVERCOOKED the vegetables or they will loose their crunchiness. Drain the vegetables and set aside.

Fry the spice paste in hot oil until the oil rises and separate from the paste. Season with sugar and salt. Bring it to a boil. Stir in 3 tbsp of rice vinegar, turn-off the heat and set aside.

Add in all the vegetables, grounded peanuts and toasted sesame seeds and mix well. This dish is best to eat the next day. Keep it in a bottle and it will last you a while ( I hope!)

Friday, 21 September 2007

Tradisional Lotus Mooncake

The candle casts deep shadows on the screen,The Milky Way dims and morning stars fade.Chang-O must regret stealing the elixir,As she broods in loneliness night after night.- Poem by the great Tang poet Li Shang-yin (812-858 A.D.)

There are several stories about the origins of mooncakes and the myths and legends behind the Mooncake Festival. One of the more romantic myths is that Chang-O, the most beautiful woman of Chinese mythology stole the elixir of life that her husband had obtained with great difficulty from the Royal Mother.
The story goes like this: Long ago, the earth was in a state of havoc because there were 10 suns in the sky, and these were the sons of the Jade Emperor. Rivers dried up, the land became barren, and many people died. Seeing the death and destruction caused by his sons, the Jade Emperor took this matter to the god Hou Yi. The Emperor asked Hou Yi to persuade his sons to rise up away from the earth to end the catastrophe.
When Hou Yi asked the suns to leave the sky, they refused. Made angry by their defiance, Hou Yi, a great archer, launched arrows at the suns, shooting them down one by one until his wife Chang-O pleaded with him to save one sun to keep the earth warm and bright.
Knowing that the Jade Emperor was furious at the slaying of his sons, Hou Yi and Chang-O were forced to stay on earth.

Chang-O was unhappy, so her husband tried to win back her favour by gathering herbs that would give them once again the power to ascend to heaven. Chang-O remained angry, however, and ate all the herbs herself. She flew up to the moon, where she remains alone, living in the Moon Palace. The Tang poet, Li Shang-yin wrote the above verse on Chang O's sad story three thousand years later, and the story of Chang-O's flight to the moon has persisted since among the people of the world. There are several versions of this story, but this is the more popular version.

On the 15th of the 8th lunar month every year (this year it falls on September 25), when the moon is at its brightest and loveliest, Chinese people around the world look at the moon and remember Chang-O and her legend. The occasions is celebrated as the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known asthe Moon Festival.

MooncakesMooncakes became part of the Mid-Autumn Festival because during the Yuan dynasty (1280 1368 A.D.) when China was ruled by the Mongolian people. Leaders from the preceding Sung dynasty (960-1280 A.D.) were unhappy at submitting to foreign rule, and set out to co-ordinate the rebellion without it being discovered. The leaders of the rebellion, knowing that the Moon Festival was drawing near, ordered the making of special cakes. Packed into each mooncake was a message with the outline of the attack.
On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels succesfully attacked and overthrew the government. What followed was the establishment of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.).
Today, mooncakes are eaten to commemorate this event.
For generations, mooncakes have been made with sweet fillings of nuts, mashed red beans, lotus-seed paste or Chinese dates, wrapped in a pastry. Sometimes, a cooked egg yolk can be found in the middle of the rich tasting dessert.

LanternsChinese lanterns are also specialities for this festival. The most common are the paper folding type.However, there are many varieties of lanterns made of different shapes and materials. In Malaysia, kids like to buy the lanterns in animal or flower shapes which are sold in Chinese sundry shops, night markets or wet markets, or at the nearest shopping centre.

During the festival, parents allow children to stay up late, and take them to high vantage points to light their lanterns and watch the moon rise before eating their mooncakes.

For mooncake skin:
  • 400g golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp alkaline water (kan sui)
  • 100g peanut/corn oil
  • 550g flour, sifted
  • A few drops of dark soy sauce
  • 600g sugar
  • 400g water
  • 1/2 lime, sqeeze out the juice. Use only the skin
  • 1 tbsp maltose (mak ngah tong)
For the lotus paste:
  • 600g lotus seed
  • 1 tsp alkaline water
  • 500g sugar
  • 1 tbsp maltose
  • 400g groundnut oil
For the skin, mix sieved bicarbonate of soda, syrup, alkaline water and oil with a wooden spoon and allow to rest for 4-5 hours in a basin. Add the dark soy sauce, then fold in sifted flour gradually and mix evenly to form a smooth and soft dough. Let the dough rest for another 6-7 hours. Divide dough into even balls, each weighing 40-50g.

* When the dough is "well rested" after 5 hours, it hardens a bit and is more elastic. It is also easy to work with.
* The golden syrup is the key factor in ensuring that mooncakes keep longer and the skin does not turn mouldy quickly. The syrup is kept in a cool and dry place and left to mature. It can be made months ahead or kept up to a year.
* Freshly baked mooncakes should be left uncovered so that the free circulation of air around it will slowly soften the skin and help it to mature. This takes 2-3 days.
* Dark soy sauce is used for the pastry dough because it gives a darker shade to the mooncake skin after baking.
To make the syrup, put sugar, water and lime skin into a saucepan. Boil over a slow fire until golden brown. Discard the lemon slices. Cool sufficiently before use.
To make the lotus paste, Cover lotus seeds with boiling water and add alkaline water. Cover container for 20 minutes. Rub the skin off the lotus seeds, then drain and wash them in clean water. Cover the seeds again with water and boil until soft. Blend seeds into a paste. In a non-stick wok or saucepan, heat up 200g oil and 300g sugar and cook until mixture turns into the colour of golden caramel. Pour in lotus paste and continue stirring. Add the remaining oil and sugar. Cook until the paste thickens and doesn’t stick to the sides of the wok or pan. Add maltose and stir for a while. To test if the paste is ready, scoop a little into your hand and flatten it. If it doesn’t feel sticky, the paste is ready. Dish out the paste and leave to cool.
To assemble the mooncake, divide the dough into even pieces of 40g each. Roll the dough into a ball and flatten out with your hand. eigh the red beans/lotus seed paste. If you like the yolk of salted eggs, you can insert one in the centre. Place the filling in the middle of the flat dough and slowly wrap around it. Seal the edges and roll dough lightly between your palms until the filling is hidden. Dust mould lightly with flour. Press doughball into the mooncake mould. Knock the mould against the table to dislodge the mooncake. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ÂșC for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Brush on beaten egg glaze. Return to bake for another 10 minutes or till golden.

Note: Do not overbake mooncake otherwise filling will overflow and mooncake will lose its shape.

Pandan Ping Pei Mooncake

This is the unbake mooncake. The skin is made from cooked glutinous flour or also know as koh fun. I have attached the picture of the commercial/ready made cooked glutinous flour. You can but them from See Woo.
As I am in South West and going to See Woo is a long drive, I made myself the flour. Definately, it is not as smooth as the commercial one but overall, it taste the same.


  • 100g margarine
  • 300g "koh fun" (cooked glutinous flour)
  • 450g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp pandan paste
  • 240ml cold water


  • 600g red beans
  • 1 tbsp alkaline water (kan sui)
  • 450g sugar
  • 450ml cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp maltose (mak ngah tong)


To make filling, soaked the red beans overnight. Drain the overnight water an put in a fresh water and boil with the red beans for about 10 minutes. Add in the kan sui and continue boiling until the beans are soft. Drain and set aside to cool. Using blender, blend the red beans to a very smooth paste.

Cook on low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved completely. Keep cooking and stirring the paste until it is thick and dark brown and the paste leaves the sides of the pan. Add in maltrose and mix until it dissolved. Add in melon seed if required. Cool and use the red bean paste as required.

To make the dough, mix koh fun, icing sugar, margarine and pandan paste on low speed for 1 minute. Pour in cold water and blend until smooth. Take 50g of the dough and place 100g of filling in the centre, wrap up dough and form into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly floured mould. Chill in refrigerator before serving.

To make the koh fun yourself:
Steam the plain glutinous rice flour for 1/2 hour. Remove and put in a microwable glass bowl which has been lined with greaseproof paper. Microwave on high 1 minute at a time until rice is slightly brown(time depends on the amount of rice flour)

Mini Apple Pastries

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

This pastries can be made and baked the day before and reheat uncovered in a moderate oven for 10 minutes, if desired. However, I like them baked just before serving. Prepare pastries in the morning, cover, refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
  • some icing sugar for dusting


Combine apples with lemon juice and jam. In another bowl, combine almonds, flour and cinnamon, rub in butter, combine with the apple mixture.

Cut pastry into 4 even-sized squares. Place apple mixture along centre of each square. Make 8-10 cuts in the pastry on either side of the apple mixture. (Refer step 1)

Use the top and bottom strips of the pastry to enclose filling, divide remaining strips of pastry in half lenghtwise. (Refer step 2)

Place strips of pastry across filling in a criss-cross fashion. (Refer step 3)

Place on lightly greased oven tray, brush with milk and bake in oven at 180 degree Celsius for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Dust with icing sugar, serve warm with cream.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Blackberries Crumble

Decided to talk my son for a walk by the river side & those berries are calling me to pick them home. As I get carried away picking up too many of the berries, I decided to make extra & share it with another Malaysian friend.

Try a combination of stewed apple and rhubarb, or apricots or berries; they are all good.


  • 500g blackberries
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 tbsp water


  • 3/4 cup self raising flour
  • 80g butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed


Grease oven proof dish. Wash & drain the blackberries. Combine water, sugar and the berries in a pan and cook in a low fire for 2 minutes. Spread into the prepare dish, sprinkle evenly with crumble mixture. Bake in an oven at 175 degree Celsius for 40-45 minutes or until lightly brown.

Crumble: Put sifted flour in a bowl, rub in the butter until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Add the sugar and mix well.

Serve hot or cold with cream or ice cream. Serve 4-6.

Chickpea Curry

This curry dish is suitable for vegetarian. It is best to serve with indian bread or even hot steaming rice.

  • 1 big tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 inch ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic., minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1-11/2 tbsp chilli powder, adjust to your own taste
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil


Drain and wash the chickpeas.

Heat the cooking oil and add in onion, garlic and ginger. Fry until golden brown but not burnt. Add cumin seed, coriander powder, chilli powder and curry leaves. Stir for a few seconds to release the flavours. Add tomatoes and stir fry until the oil separated.

Add chickpeas, stir and add in water. Add salt to taste and cook for 25 minutes over a medium to low fire. Use a spatula and mashed a few chickpeas to thicken the curry.

Take off the heat and sprinkle garam masala and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot immediately.

Monday, 17 September 2007


This is best for the summer BBQ. You can make the satay with chicken, pork, beef or even lamb.

  • 500g chicken, beef or pork, sliced into 2.5cm pieces and lightly scored to tenderise the meat

Marinade (combine in a bowl):

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder (jintan putih)
  • 1 tsp fennel powder (jintan manis)
  • 1 tbsp lemon grass (serai), sliced and pounded finely
  • 3 thin slices galangal (lengkuas), pounded finely
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp pati santan


Mix meat with marinade and thread meat onto satay sticks or skewers .Allow to stand for more than an hour. For best result, leave it over ight in a fridge. While grilling, brush occasionally with oil.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Talam Suji (semolina)


Top layer:

  • 11/2 cups of coconut milk
  • 21/2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 cup gula Melaka (brown sugar)
  • salt to taste

Bottom layer:

  • 1 cup of suji flour
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar or to taste
  • salt to taste
  • yellow colouring (optional)


Combine bottom layer ingredients in a pot and stir over a low heat till thick but still runny. Steam for 5-7 minutes. My advice is not to use glassware as it will get burnt easily.

For top layer, mix all the ingredients and stir well until the sugar dissolved. Use a fork to score the bottom layer lightly so that the top layer will stick properly to the bottom layer. Then pour the top layer mixture and further steam for another 20 minutes.

Cool the kuih before cut into pieces.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Chicken Rendang

This dish is best compliment with nasi lemak or lemang.


  • 600-800g chicken, chopped into serving pieces
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut, dry fried for kerisik**
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 turmeric leaf, cut into two
  • 2 assam keping (assam gelugor)
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
Spices (ground):

  • 10 dried chillies, soaked
  • 3 fresh red chillies, seeded
  • 8 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks lemon grass(serai)
  • 3cm piece galangal (lengkuas)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the ground spices until fragrant. Add in the chicken pieces and coat well. Pour in the coconut milk and ring to a low boil. After it has boiled, lower the heat and add in the leaves and assam keping. Simmer until the gravy turns thick. Keep stirring to prevent sticking. Add kerisik and mix well. Cook until meat is tender, gravy is thick and oil rises to the top. Add seasoning.

** to make kerisik, fry the dessicated coconut until golden brown. Pound/blend until fine.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Kuih Talam

I finally got hold of some mung bean starch flour or known in our region as "Hoen Kwe". Do not confuse this with mung bean flour. They are different.
The Hoen Kwe will make the kuih talam feeling spongy and not sticky. I once replaced the Hoen Kwe with corn flour, the texture of the kuih is not the same. You can buy this Hoen Kwe in big chinese supermarke. Those are from Thailand. The picture of the packaging is enclosed.


For bottom green layer:

  • 70g rice flour
  • 30g green bean flour
  • 300ml water
  • 225g sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 1tsp pandan paste
  • 1/2 tsp alkaline water
For top white layer:(C):
  • 50g rice flour
  • 21/4 tbsp green bean flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 450ml coconut milk
To prepare the bottom layer:
Mix (A) and leave aside to soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. Cook sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Mix in the pandan paste and kan sui. Pour syrup into (A). Cook in microwave for 1 minute on high , stir continuously with a whick, keep cooking for 1 minute at a time on high until batter becomes fairly thick and translucent but still runny. Pour the hot batter into a greased 8 inch cake tin. If batter has turned too thick, you would have to smooth and level the surface with a plastic spatula. Steam over rapidly boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes.
To prepare the white layer:
Mix ingredients (C) together and soak for 10 minutes. Cook in the microwave for 1 minute on high, stir and then another more minute. Scratch the surface of the green layer with a fork before pouring in the top layer. Pour the topping layer over the cooked green layer. Steam for about 10 minutes. Cool the kuih well. Slice into small diamond-shaped pieces.
Instead of using microwave, you can also cook the batter over the stove.
(For cooking over the stove):
Cook sugar and water over low heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until batter becomes fairly thick and translucent. Pour the hot sticky batter into a greased 8" cake tin. Smoothen and level the surface with a plastic spatula. Steam over rapidly boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes.
To prepare the white layer, mix ingredients (C) together and soak for 10 minutes. Pour the topping layer over the cooked green layer. Steam for about 10 minutes. Cool the kuih well. Slice into small diamond-shaped pieces.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Si Yau Kai


  • 500g chicken, cut into bite pieces
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 1 tbsp Shao Hsing wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, leave the skin on
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup good quality light soy sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp thick soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 30g mushroom, soaked to soften
  • 1 tsp corn flour mix with 2 tbsp water.


Heat wok with oil and sesame oil. Add in the garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant. Put in chicken pieces and mix well. Pour in the light soya sauce, thick soya sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Coat well and add in water. Bring it to a boil for 3 minutes. Add the wine and mushrooms. Add salt according to taste. You may not need to add salt as some light soya sauce is slightly saltier than other brand.

Reduce heat and bring to a simmering boil until the chicken is tender. Add in the corn flour mixture and stir well. Cook for another 3 minutes.

Dish out and serve immediately with rice.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Banana Walnut Cake

  • 180g butter
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 240g bananas, mashed (without skin)


  • 180g self-raising flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 60ml fresh milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 40g walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 20g sultanas


Line a loaf tin with greased baking paper. Preheat oven to 190°C. Cream butter, sugar and essence until light and fluffy. Then beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in mashed bananas to mix. Fold in sifted dry ingredients. Add in combined milk and lemon juice mixture, and stir in walnuts and sultanas to mix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven at 190°C for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 170°C and continue to bake for 25–30 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a wooden skewer.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Spiral Curry Puff

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

For water dough:

  • 300g plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup luke warm water

For oil dough:

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g shortening

For filling:

  • 400g potatoes, cubed
  • 150g big onions, cubed
  • 3 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 50g dried prawns, soaked and pound finely ( can be replaced with fresh prawns)
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • water

To make water dough:
Place flour in a mixing bowl. Add in the water, salt and cooking oil. Knead into a smooth dough. Leave aside to rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 5 equal portions. (refer step 1)

To make oil dough: Rub shortening into the flour to form an oily dough. Divide into 5 equal portions. (refer to step 1)

To combine into pastry:
Wrap oil dough inside water dough. (Refer step 2)
Roll into a neat ball (Refer step 3)
Flatten the dough (refer step 4) and roll up like swiss roll (refer step 5).
Flatten the dough again (refer to step 6). Roll up the dough again. (refer step 7)
Cut the rolled-up dough about 1cm thickness (refer step 8).
Use a rolling pin to press it flat. Shape into a circle (refer to step 9).
Turn the flat dough over and add filling and seal the sides (refer to step 10).
Pinch the edges to form a scallop design (refer to step 11). Deep fry puffs in medium hot oil.

To make filling:

Heat pan with 2 tbsp oil. Fry onions and garlic until fragrant. Add in potatoes, driesn prawns, curry powder and curry leaves. Stir well to coat. Add in enought water to cover the potatoes. Add in salt and sugar to taste. Cook until the potatoes is soft and the gravy is dried up. Leave to cool before use.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Sushi Roll

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Making sushi rice

  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar wine (rice seasoning)
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt


Wash rice and drain well.

Place rice and water into a rice cooker, turn it on and wait wait for the rice to cook. Allow the rice rest for 20 minutes.

Combine vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and set over medium heat until the mixture is hot and the sugar dissolve. Do not allow it to boil.

Fold half of the vinegar mixture into the rice. It should have the pleasantly sweet acidic edge. If necessary, fold in more vinegar mixture.

How to roll into sushi roll:

You need:

  • a bamboo mat (makisu)
  • dried sea weed (nori sheet)
  • crab stick
  • cucumber, cut lenght wise
  • avocado, cut into strip
  • some mayo
  • wasabi

Step 1: Put a sheet of nori (dried seaweed) on top of a bamboo mat (makisu). Spread sushi rice on top of the nori sheet.

Step 2: Place fillings lengthwise on the sushi rice.

Step 3: Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing forward to shape the sushi into a cylinder.

Step 4: Press the bamboo mat gently, shaping the sushi roll. Remove the bamboo mat.

Wipe a knife with a wet cloth before slicing sushi. Cut the sushi roll into bite-sized pieces. Serve the sushi roll

Nyonya Assam Pedas

You can use skate (Ikan Pari), mackerel (Ikan Kembung) or even salmon.

  • 600g fish, cut into fairly big pieces
  • 2 stalks polygonum (daun kesom)
  • 1 wild ginger bud (bunga kantan), halved, keep the other half for garnishing

Spices to be grounded:

  • 4 fresh red chillies
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 stalk lemon grass (serai), sliced
  • 5 slices galangal (lengkuas)
  • 8 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander

Mix together & strain:

  • 20g tamarind paste (assam jawa)
  • 1 liter water


  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


  • halves wild ginger bud(bunga kantan), sliced finely
  • some mint leaves


Heat oil, saute ground spices and bunga kantan halves until fragrant. Dilute with 3-4 tbsp tamarind juice. Add in fish & saute well.

Add the rest of tamarind juice and daun kesum. Bring to boil. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add in seasoning. Serve curry with garnishing

Nasi Lemak with Sambal Ikan Bilis

Nasi Lemak is the national dish of Malaysia. It's eaten any time. If you are a citizen of Malaysia, you'll eat Nasi Lemak at breakfast, lunch, dinner...... Any time of the day!It's cooked in coconut milk, with pandan leaves and even ginger or a stalk of lemon grass. Nasi Lemak is available on almost every street corner and in almost every local-themed restaurant, served with everything from chicken to beef to cuttlefish.
Sambal Ikan Bilis ingredients:
  • 3 big onions, cut into half & sliced
  • 1 cup of anchovies (ikan bilis), washed & dry with kitchen towel
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste, add 1/4 cup od water & squeeze for juice
  • 11/2 cups of cooking oil
  • 1 cup of water

Blend together:

  • 10 dried chillies, soaked till soft
  • 5-6 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp prawn paste (belacan), optional
  • salt & sugar to taste


Heat the cooking oil. Fry the ikan bilis until crisp and put aside.

Using the same oil, fry the grounded ingredients until fragrant. Add in the slice onions and stir well to coat. Add in the tamarind juice, salt, sugar and water.

Cook stirring occasionally until the gravy is thickens. Add in half of the ikan bilis and mix well. Reserve the other half of the ikan bilis for garnishing.

Serve with steaming hot Nasi Lemak.

Nasi Lemak Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 2 pandan leaves (screwpine leaves)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water


Clean the rice and drain.

Put the rice in a rice cooker. Add in the coconut milk, water, pandan leaves. Finally add in salt.

If desire, you can also add in some sliced ginger.

Serve with hard-boiled eggs, cucumber, sambal ikan bilis and some peanuts.

Beef Rendang

There are many types of rendang. People of different States have their own styles of preparing rendand, basically chicken or beef cooked in coconut milk, chillies, shallots and other ingredients. This dish is popular to go with nasi lemak or during the Raya festival, it usually goes with lemang.

  • 1 kg of beef ( I used the part that suitable for stewing)
  • 1 big can of coconut milk
  • 5 tbsp of kerisik*
  • 2 assam gelugor/keping
  • 4 lime leaves (daun limau purut),roughly torn
  • 1 big daun kunyit (turmeric leaf), cut into 2; optional if unable to obtain

Blended together:

  • 10 dried chillies, soaked untill plump
  • 10 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2cm galangal (lengkuas)
  • 2 lemon grass (serai), sliced into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder


Cut beef into cubes about 3cm in size, removing any visible fats. Set aside.

Heat oil in a wok and add in the ground ingredients. Cook for about 10-15 minutes over medium heat until fragrant and the oil starts to surface. Add in the beef and cook, stirring until meat is firm and most of its liquid has evaporated.

Add in the coconut milk and assam gelugor and leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes until the meat is tender. Add in kerisik, lime leaves and kunyit leaf. Continue cooking until the rendang is quite thick. Add salt to taste.

*To obtain kerisik, dry fry 11/2 cup of dessicated coconut (here I used dessicated coconut as freshly grated coconut is unavailable. If you have , then used the freshly grated coconut) over low heat, stirring continuously until the coconut is golden brown and crisp. Cool slightly and pound or whiz in chopper/food processor until very fine.