Malaysian - Main
My brother lives in Malaysia with his wife and 1 year old daughter. We were lucky enough to go and visit him in Kuala Lumpar for a couple of weeks last year - part of a longer tour from Dubai across to New Zealand, back through Australia, flutter on the Melbourne Cup and then off to Borneo, Cambodia and finally Malaysia. One hell of a trip, as you could imagine, and an immense and overwhelming culinary influence. I was lucky enough to attend a number of cooking schools whilst travelling. Alas, I was recovering from breaking my spine, and so I missed some of the world centres of skydiving *sob*
Malaysian food is funny, in that it is not as hot nor as fragrant as Thai food and also significantly harder to come by in Malaysia. My culinary experience of Malaysia leans toward eating amazing Indian and Thai food more than notable Malay dishes. I embraced eating with my fingers and loved the banana leaves, acting as plates, and then served with a meat of your choice, several dahls, pickles and sauces. Simply delicious.
The other meal to note, is the Tom Yam Steamboat - a truly incredible way of sitting down with family and chowing over old times. You order an assortment of live and fresh seafood, and you proceed to eat fondue style! Fantastic! The meal culminates in the table poaching their own eggs in the left over broth. A really wonderful experience.
I have recreated Steamboat at home several times, and apart from the live shrimp, reckon I can produce a pretty authentic replica!
Anyways, the one authentic Malay dish that I do recall enjoying whilst in KL, and again in Langkawi was the Duck Rendang. Rendang is a form of storing meat, by using the coconut oil as a preserve. I got this recipe from my brother, and I have to say - it packs great flavour and keeps making you come back to the pan for a little more, well after you have finished!
I had duck breasts in the freezer, so I used these as opposed to duck legs which would be more suitable! However, with the way they rendered down, and only got warmed through in the sauce, the skin remained salty and crispy, and the meat very moist, - so a throughly adequate alternative
You must serve this with the salad, otherwise I think the meal loses the balance and feels too heavy for Asian food. We were served this dish with Papaya, but alas, I could not get hold of one in Chiswick. Nevertheless, the mango works very well.
Not a quick recipe - but certainly pretty easy - one worth pursuing on a wet weekend ;-p.
Flowers of Malaysia
Full Recipe ...