When I first started jotting down notes for this post, scribbling in my notebook in an idle moment after breakfast, it was a list of "10 Malaysian Dishes You Should Know." I certainly couldn't have named you ten characteristic Malaysian foods before I'd gotten on a plane to Penang. And I liked the idea of a brief snapshot of what a person could eat in Kuala Lumpur or Melaka, or look for on a restaurant menu back in the States or Australia or anywhere else.
But after a few more days grazing in Penang, those ten dishes turned into fifteen. By the time I got to Kuala Lumpur, that list had sambal stains all over it... and six or seven more ideas to include. I couldn't bear to leave any behind. "But how could I not mention satay? I have to mention satay. And how could I pick between laksas? And how could I leave out nasi goreng? And what if Serious Eaters never understand how good char kuey teow is?"
You get the idea.