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We are super excited to be cooking up a storm with what has to be ultimately Malaysia's all time favourite National Dish - Nasi Lemak!
Each different state and ethnic background in Malaysia has its own ever so slightly different version. And its a dish that spans breakfast,lunch,dinner and supper and can be done plain and simple (nasi lemak kosong style) or taken up a notch with a variety of gourmet accompaniments. In the morning, at the crack of dawn in Malaysia's wet markets, hawker centres and road side stalls you are likely to see stacks of small little pyramid shaped parcel filled with a scoop of fluffy coconut rice, fragrant with pandan leaves, a scoop of spicy sambal, quarter egg and a few peanuts,fried anchovies and cucumber, wrapped in a banana leaf and newspaper. At lunch or dinner time the same base ingredients may be served with a piece of fried chicken or beef or chicken rendang and the sambal made a tad more luxurious with the addition of prawns, squid or octopus.
Like all good Malaysians, we take our Nasi Lemak seriously!:) And we recently got into a total rendang frenzy when we hit on the ultimate combination of meat and spices for the ultimate melt in your mouth beef rendang hit. We fell in love at the Wholefoods butcher counter and bought little gorgeous parcels of ox cheek, shin, beef short ribs and bone marrow,wrapped in brown paper, then marinated them overnight in a variety of different spices (think garlic,shallots, chilli,galangal(blue ginger),lemongrass,lime leaves, tumeric, shrimp paste, coriander seeds,fennenugreek seeds,star anise and cinnamon, and then slow cooked the heady mix at 100 degree celsius for 5 hours in our favourite gigantic purple Le Cruset pot, topped off with coconut milk and kerisik(toasted grated coconut pounded to release the coconut oil). This resulted in the best rendang we have ever tasted in our lives, even if we may say so ourselves!We kid you not. This has to be the ultimate beef rendang and you haven't really lived till you have tasted this.We will be blogging the recipe shortly coz this sort of awesome food discovery needs to be shared with the world! :)
Chicken satay served with a spicy peanut sauce
Fluffy coconut rice served with a variety of accompaniments -egg,anchovy,peanut and cucumber garnish
Melt in your mouth BEEF RENDANG - Malay curry/stew slow cooked in 10 different spices and coconut milk at low heat for 5 hours (please let me know if you don't eat beef and I can substitute for a lamb version)
King Prawn Sambal (Madagascar prawns simmered in a spicy chilli and shrimp paste sauce)
Nyonya Fried Chicken (Chicken wings infused in a galangal,lemongrass,garlic,shrimp and chilli paste, double fried for extra crispiness. Some say its so good it should be called 'Ganja Fried Chicken')
Kangkung Belachan ( Greens flash fried in a spicy chilli and shrimp paste sauce)
Chendol - wash it all down with shaved ice,coconut milk,home made green chendol jelly