The second thing a Malaysian misses when they move away to UK is, without question, the food. The first would be the weather! Malaysian cuisine consists of a variety of contributions from Malay, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese, Thai and many other cultures. Many fusion food are born as a result and becomes not only incorporated as a Malaysian dish, but a firm favourite for many.
Here is a dish we created after getting sucked into a recent craze in home-cooked Japanese food.
1 medium onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 slices of ginger
1 teaspoon belacan/ shrimp paste
2 tablespoons miso paste
3 green chillies*
2 tablespoons of dark, thick soy sauce or 5 tablespoons of dark, sweet soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
Light soy sauce to taste
pinch of salt
400g egg/ wheat noodles
3 heads of pak choi, each leaf separated and washed
1 bowl of beansprouts, washed
8 fried, porous tofu, sliced
30g peanuts, crushed
Mix ingredients C in a bowl to form a thick batter. Add a spoonful at a time to a pan of hot oil to fry them into fritters. Turn them over after 1-2 minutes and fry further for a minute. Remove them from the pan and cut them in halves after they cool.
Using a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients A to for a slightly rough paste. Fry the paste in 4 tablespoon of oil until fragrant in a wok, ideally non-stick. Add ingredients B and stir in the noodles. Coat the noodles with the paste over medium-high heat and add the tofu and pak choi.
To avoid the noodles breaking, use a pair of cooking chopstick (they are extra long) with your chosen cooking implement to ‘toss’ the noodles like you would a salad.
Within 5 minutes, add the beansprouts and fritters, stir well and take off the heat after seasoning, if necessary. Garnish with crushed peanuts and enjoy while hot!
* 3 green chillies are for a medium heat dish. You may want more or less than that, depending on your spice tolerance level.
Difficulty rating: ***