There are just a few Malaysian restaurants in London. I have visited most of them and they range from high-end teak-polished splendour to casual vinyl-topped practicality, but the food so far has ranged from good to outstanding. Authentic Recipes from Malaysia will have you cooking these dishes at home.
If you like Indian dishes then you will doubtless enjoy Malaysian food. If Chinese cuisine is what you crave then Malaysian food will likely comfort you. Nyonya food was developed by the Straits Chinese and Peranakan (people of mixed Chinese/Malay ancestry) of Malaysia and Singapore. Malaysian food is influenced mainly by the Chinese larder but adds South-East Asian ingredients such as coconut milk, lemongrass, turmeric, chillies and sambal. It has hints of those other cooking traditions but it has developed as a respected culinary entity in its own right.
Authentic Recipes from Malaysia offers 62 easy-to-follow recipes that will give an overview to anyone who wants to learn more about these delicious dishes and their origins. The recipes are divided by food type: snacks, salads, rice, meat, fish, desserts, etc. There is also a glossary of ingredients and you will doubtless find all you will need in your local Asian supermarket or online.
Roti Canai is one of my favourite breads. It’s light and flaky and the ideal tool to mop up saucy curries. The professional makers of these melting breads are artists. They stretch and twirl the thin dough and fold as it’s cooking on the griddle. The authors offer a more practical method but if you have a chance to watch the pros you might feel tempted to indulge in a little airborne culinary theatre.
Seafood is found in abundance all year round in the waters surrounding Malaysia. Butter Prawns is a contemporary dish which draws on all the culinary influences of the region. The result is a rich and spicy concoction that will have the diner licking both fingers and lips. A simple and quick dish to prepare, ideal as a starter or served as nibbles with drinks.
No “authentic” Malaysian cookbook would be complete without a version of the perennial favourite, Beef Rendang. Lemongrass is the herb that gives this spicy dish its distinct aromatic charm. It’s a slow-cooked and meltingly tender beef creation that improves by being kept for a day or so. A marvellous make-ahead meal for the family or for entertaining.
Authentic Recipes from Malaysia has inspiring recipes that will delight anyone who has enjoyed flavourful and aromatic meals in Malaysian restaurants, or those who have travelled to that delightful region and want to replicate memorable dishes.
Authentic Recipes from Malaysia
Author: Wendy Hutton
Published by Periplus
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018