'Seriously Malaysian' on Serious Eats

Seriously Malaysian: Starters and Desserts

To conclude our brief sojourn into Malaysian cookery, this week we'll be discussing the beginning and the end. For breakfast, a simmered mung bean and coconut stew that's as delicious as it it simple to make. To start a lunch or dinner, a cucumber salad dressed in coconut milk, fish sauce, and sambal belacan. And finally, we'll take a look at two of my favorite desserts that are specialties of the region: onde-onde, the famed glutinous rice snack rolled in freshly grated coconut, and fried plantains coated in an crispy batter of dried coconut and coconut milk. More

Onde-Onde

To learn about other Malaysian starters and desserts, click here. [Photographs: Chichi Wang] The batter for this chewy, soft dough can be made with either water or sweet potatoes. I like the extra bit of sweetness that comes from using... More

Beef Short Rib Rendang

Learn more about how to make rendangs here. [Photograph: Chichi Wang] When I dined at Fatty Crab, my favorite dish by far was the Beef Short Rib Rendang. Meltingly tender, deboned chunks for beef short ribs were nestled in a... More

Seriously Malaysian: How to Make Rendang

Rendang are dishes that are as integral to Malaysian cookery as laksas or satays. A rendang is a dish of meat stewed slowly in a coconut-curry liquid. Aromatic pastes are added in the beginning. As the meat stews in the paste and coconut milk mixture, the liquid reduces until only the oils of the coconut milk remain. To finish, the meat is lightly browned in the remaining coconut oil. The resulting dish is intensely flavorful and tender yet crisp and sticky on the outside with bits of browned aromatics. More

How to Make Kerisik

[Photograph: Chichi Wang] In Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian cookery, kerisik, or grated and pan-toasted fresh coconut, is used to thicken dishes like curry and rendang. Since the coconut slivers are only slightly dehydrated, kerisik soaks up much of its surrounding... More

Seriously Malaysian: How to Cook with Sambals

Last week we featured a couple of the major ingredients in Malaysian cookery and discussed the importance of sambals in the cuisine. Assuming, of course, that you rushed immediately to your nearest South East Asian market and acquired the all-powerful belacan (fermented shrimp paste), then you probably have a sambal or two sitting in your refrigerator. Aside from its role as a condiment, a sambal also happens to be a handy base in cooking other dishes. Here are recipes for making kare laksa and simmered tofu and vegetables with sambal. More

An Intro to Malaysian Food: The Ingredients

For the next few weeks, Seriously Asian will be Seriously Malaysian, a celebration of that little-known, under appreciated cuisine with tendrils that reach into so many other, more familiar Asian cookeries. Malaysian cooks employ techniques and ingredients that we've come to associate with the Chinese, Indian, and Thai, yet the balanced, sophisticated flavors that the cuisine offers are entirely novel to palates unaccustomed. This week, we'll be discussing the basic ingredients that are, relatively speaking, unique to Malaysian cookery. More

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