Malaysian Night

On Sunday our Secret-Secret Geography Club got together for some Malaysian fare. We wanted to do a country that was really quite foreign to us, so we had to research recipes and use ingredients we weren't familiar with. I was really looking forward to trying food that was totally different.

Our group delivered the delicious goods as usual. Lindsey brought a Malaysian Spicy Fruit Salad called Rojak. It was a combination of cucumber, pineapple, jicama, mango, and green apple tossed with a dressing of chili, sugar, lime juice and shrimp paste. But after Lindsey opened the jar of shrimp paste and smelled it, she decided to skip out on it. It's REALLY strong smelling and I can understand why she would shy away....kinda almost like fishy dog food. But stronger. Anyways, the whole mixture was topped with ground peanuts and black sesame seeds. It was really interesting. The combination of spicy, sweet and sour seemed to really work. It was refreshing.

Lindsey also brought a dish of chilied eggs. Yes, I know it looks weird. There was just no salvaging the look of it for the picture. It's essentially eggs in a chili-coconut sauce. The eggs were first hard-boiled, then fried, then simmered in the coconut sauce. This one was just a little too weird for me. I think everyone felt the same.

I made Beef Rendang from Rasa Malaysia's website. It was a long process that took about 2.5 hours to prepare but sooooooo worth it! I loved the flavors of the chili's, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and coconut combined with the warm spicy star anise, cinnamon and cloves. I hate to say it, but I think I'm really starting to like anise and cinnamon in savory dishes...if it's done right of course. After frying a homemade spice paste the beef, coconut milk, toasted coconut and more spices were added and then simmered and stewed. You let the mixture stew until all the liquid is gone and by the end the pieces of beef are being fried. At the end of the 2-3 hour process all the spices and flavorings have combined to create this amazing earthy, spicy beef that is just incredible. Steve thought it was possibly the best thing I have ever cooked. Now that's a compliment!

Dan also purchased some shrimp paste, but he actually ended up cooking with it. It went into these spicy long beans. After smelling the shrimp paste and the odor filled the room as Dan cooked with it, my stomach was turning thinking about eating these beans. But just like fish sauce can be potent and you would never eat on it's own, when you cook with it in small portions it adds great flavor. So shrimp paste and all, these beans were good. Like...really good.

It seemed we couldn't have Malaysian food without Malaysian satays. Dan made these and they were incredibly delicious. They tasted just like the satays I made with a recipe again from Rasa Malaysia. Everyone was fighting over the last few skewers.

Can't have satays without homemade peanut sauce.

I think we all loved our Malaysian feast and all the unexpected flavors. The last couple months have been filled with countries we love like India, China and Mexico, but they were all very familiar dishes. Besides the skewers, I had never tried any of these dishes before. New, exciting and delicious.

The next country we are going to explore is the culinary delights of France. That means fresh spring vegetables, butter, cream, pastry, cheese and copious amounts of wine.

I can hardly wait.


Anonymous said...

all i can say is WOW!

Anonymous said...

No kidding, your group is amazing!!!

happymummy said...

Those skewers tasted like the ones you made from the Rasa Malaysia website, because that is the recipe I ended up using

Kindra said...

Hah! Well I guess that explains it :)

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