HAPPY MERDEKA DAY!
Today is Malaysia National Day! Of course we have to celebrate with some local food, especially street food!
One of the highlights of my trip is definitely hanging out at the mamak stalls at midnight, sitting on the red plastic stool flimsy enough that will probably break and flattened in any second, ready to be a laughing stock among the crowd. Okay, being a laughing stock maybe is not something I would like to consider as highlight; but having a great time, tasting an endless mount of street food will be very hard to top.
Only so much one mouth can handle, here’s just a handful of street food I happily devoured during my stay in Malaysia.
Preserved vegetable Rice Pudding 碗仔糕 (砵仔糕)
This savoury version of rice pudding is actually more like a jelly with a firm texture, with a light salty flavour. Eaten with preserved vegetable, which adds a new level of saltiness and crunchy texture. Condiments of chili paste and sweet sauce for that extra flavour.
Definitely one of my favorite street food of all time. Rojak is an eclectic mix of fruit and vegetable then toss together in a dark gooey off-putting fermented prawn paste. An explosion of sweet, spicy and sour sensation in the mouth is simply indescribable. Make sure you ask for extra prawn fritters.
Kuih in general, is consider the Asian concept of dessert or snacks, that can be eaten any time of the day, how good is that?! According to one friend’s theory – if the food is “BLUE”, eat it! I agree wholeheartedly. This glutinous rice is coloured with Flower Telang for that indigo blueish colour, served with kaya.
Fried Chicken Wings
Actually, this is nothing special. Just good old fried chicken a little bit different from the usual thick-battered KFC. These are lightly powdered with five spice and other “secret” herbs then deep fry. Another version is wrapped in tracing paper then deep fry the whole thing, which can be a bit oily. Fry chicken wing, cold beer, I am sold!
Kuih Lapis & Kuih Talam
Among all the kuih, these two famous kuih definitely defines the culinary art of Malaysian nyonya Kuih-muih. The labor intensive Kuih Lapis is probably the most colorful and fun to eat kuih – take your time, layer by layer, peel it and put it in your mouth. Kuih Talam which consists of two layers, with the top white layer which is usually salty made with rice flour and coconut milk, while the bottom is sweet made from green pea and pandan. Surprisingly the salty and sweet combination works like a charm.
Kueh Dadar (aka Kueh Ketayap)
More kuih you say? This green springroll is made of pandan pancake then filled with grated coconut soaked in gula melaka. You will find most of the green color from Nyonya kuih is not coloring but made from using pandan leaf, for its distinctive nutty, botanical fragrance.
Ban Chang Kueh (Apom Balik) (慢煎糕)
Who doesn’t like pancake? But pancake cooked in deep pan, then filled with sugar, roasted peanuts, sesame and sweet corn, EVEN BETTER! There are two types of Ban Chang Kueh, the thin crisp version as mentioned earlier (pic above) or the thick version, which is almost like a crumpet texture with crispy crust, filled with only sugar and roasted peanuts. As for the thin version, I’ve witnessed a new menu where other ingredients can be added including savoury ones like tuna, ham, egg, cheese, meat floss and mayonnaise. Something I am yet to try.
Give that small coconut coated green pandan ball a small bite, a sudden burst of gula melaka syrup coated inside the mouth all over, this kuih ondeh-ondeh is pure genius. Need I say more? I don’t think so.
My all time favorite – HANDS DOWN! Popiah (pronounce – Bo-bee-ahh) is a spring roll variety, but bigger, fattier, filled with lots of different type of vegetable, plus crispy fried tiny shrimps and shallots, together with a sweet sauce, wrapped inside a wafer thin wheat flour pancake. But those I’ve had in Petaling Jaya is not so good, lacking some core ingredients plus a mysterious sauce. But then, I’ve tasted worse.
There are also other street food I’ve consumed during this trip but not make it to this post. I think is best for you to make a trip to Malaysia and discover it yourself, don’t you think?