Asam Laksa

Asam Laksa - Worlds's Best 50 Food!

Fancy spicy sour tangy noodle dish!

Asam Laksa is no doubt a dish every Malaysian are familiar with or have eaten before. It is a national pride due to its explosive rice noodle fish-based dish in combination of tangy, spicy, and savoury flavours

Asam is the Malay word for any ingredients that makes a dish tastes sour. This type of Asam is commonly known Asam Gelugor, Asam Keping which originate from a perennial fruit known as Garcinia. This large rainforest tree is native to the tropical climate in Malaysia and other parts of South East Asia.

Asam Laksa is normally served with either thick rice noodles or thin rice noodles. The main ingredient for asam laksa is the thick fish broth, normally ‘ikan kembung’ (small mackerel) cooked in chillies, spices, asam, ‘bunga kantan’ (torch ginger flower). To bring out the aroma and flavours, Asam Laksa is typically garnished with finely sliced vegetables including cucumber, onions, red chillies, lettuce, pineapple with few common mint leaves. Depending on individual taste buds, a dab of ‘petis udang’, a thick spicy sweet aromatic shrimp paste can be added.

You either love or hate it, but Asam Laksa has garnered so much popularity it has been named by CNN as one of the World’s Best 50 Foods! https://my.asiatatler.com/dining/penang-assam-laksa-voted-as-world-best-on-cnn-global-list-of-best-foods

Sambal Belacan

Sambal Belacan – extra hot spicy side dish to make your day!

Most Malaysians love pungent, hot and spicy food. To spice up Malay meal that goes with the rice, many would opt for a side dollop dish of ‘sambal belacan’, or a spicy hot chilli paste similar to sauce or dip – the spicier and hotter the ‘sambal belacan’, the better it is. The most common is obviously ‘sambal belacan’ – made of pounded long red chilli, bird’s eye chilli, dried & fermented shrimp paste, with a dash of lime juice, tamarind juice for the tang and a pinch of salt.

Some of ‘sambal belacan’ ingredients
Sambal belacan ingredients are mashed and pounded using stone pestle and mortar

Sambal is normally taken with slices of cucumber or raw vegetables or herbal leaves (referred to as ‘ulam’ in Malay language). These are eaten similar to like salad with the ‘sambal belacan’ as a relish sauce or dip. There are also many variations of ‘sambal belacan’. At Selera Malaysia Bistro, we offer sambal belacan as side dish, serve with slices of cucumber. In addition, Selera also offer other variations: sambal hijau (mashed green chilli with the assortments), sambal bilis (mashed chilli, anchovies with its assortments), sambal tomato (mashed chilli, tomato and its assortments), sambal nanas (mashed chilli, pineapple and its assortments) and many more.

Sambal Hijau

Sambal Tomato

Sambal Nenas

Sambal Bilis

BEWARE… sambal belacan is extra hot spicy, perhaps may not be suitable for the faint-hearted.

Note:  Many believe that hot and spicy food can cause stomach problems and worsened ulcers. However, based on research done by livestrong.com, hot and spicy food may be good for you as it actually protects the stomach lining and help your stomach produce less gastric acid, if eaten in moderation. Yes, they will make you feel a burning sensation upon consumption, but this is only because you need to build tolerance. You never know… sambal belacan may be love at the first bite!

Desserts – Malaysia Style

Sago Gula Melaka

You just finished your main course... so what’s next?

DESSERTS

End your meal on a sweet note, which in Malay is termed as ‘Pemanis Mulut’. There are obviosuly too many Malay desserts selections for simple traditionalpastry or termed as ’kuih’, puddings, cakes, fritters, broth etc. At Selera Malaysia Bistro, our selection of desserts are: Pengat Pisang, Sago Gula Melaka, Pisang Goreng Aiskrim and Bubur Sago Merah.

As the name suggests, Pengat Pisang has its roots in traditional Malay cooking. A “pengat” is a sweet broth with the addition of coconut cream at the final stage of the cooking. Pengat is always cooked with gula melaka while for some people, they prefer the white granulated sugar (gula pasir). It is not too heavy and can be served either hot or cold.

Made of boiled pearl sago, Sago Gula Melaka is served with a sweet syrup made of “gula melaka" (palm sugar) and coconut milk. Those who love the soft texture of sago would love this creamy dessert. When completed, this pudding looks delicious especially when gula melaka is drizzled over it. The exceptionally rich flavours of this dessert will make you asking for seconds! Oh, yums!

Pisang Goreng (banana fritters) is a favourite tea-time snack in Malaysia. It is crispy on the outside and sweet and soft on the inside; it is best to eat this delightful treat while it is hot and fresh. At Selera Malaysia Bistro, we improvised the Pisang Goreng version by adding vanila ice-cream to the menu. You will definitely love the unique combination of these two!

Bubur Sago Merah is the scrumptious sweet sago served with coconut milk. As the name implies, red sago will be used. However, as red sago is rare in Aberdeen, white sago are used with tiny drop of red food colouring added. Some may find it more mouthwatering, if coconut milk is replaced with evaporated milk. So appetizing, this dish is normally eaten cold. 

Curry – Malaysia Style

Malaysian Curry for a Change!

Indian curry has been a staple dish in the UK for several decades. Most would have already enjoyed and experience the spiceciness of the curry cooked with different Indian herbs and spices. The Indian curries are so widely accessible that you can have them in various restaurants and takeaways in almost every corner of UK major cities, smaller towns and suburbs.

There are many and subtle differences between Malaysian and Indian curry. In Malaysia, we are so grateful that we have many different kind of curries from Malay, Chinese and Indian origin. The Indian curry can either be thick or watery type. Apart from the different herbs and spices, Indian curry are normallty on the salty side with yogourt or milk added. The Malay curries are mainly base on coconut milk thus resulting as watery gravy although some are cooked as thick curries. The Chinese nonya curry are usually added with ‘Assam’ which gives the soury tangy taste.

Malaysian curry are normally prepared with beef, mutton, chicken, fish or even the finger-licking fish head curry. Typicall eaten with a plate of hit piping rice, curry are also taken with with bread, lempeng, jemput-jemput, roti jala (lace crepe) or cracker. So tasty! The smell of curry wafting through the kitchen is enough to set our stomach rumbling and our mouth watering.

There are many ways of preparing Malaysian curry which normally use different tropical herbs and spices as its main ingredients, added with curry powder and coconut milk. Some may opt to add concentrated schreded fried coconut base or known as ‘kerisik’ as well as curry leaves in their curry.

To enjoy Malaysian curry, why not head up to Selera Malaysia Bistro? You will never forget the oomph taste of the curry afterwards. See you there okay!

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak - Malaysia National Dish

In the past, nasi lemak (coconut rice)is normally eaten mainly for breakfast. However, due to its popularity, nasi lemak is now widely eaten for lunch, dinner or at any time of the day. And for those who love to cook, nasi lemak is now one of their menu for family serving.

Nasi lemak has become so puluar that it is widely avaibale in many Malaysian restaurants at international worldwide. It 2014, Nasi Lemak made its name in the United Kingdom when a Bath home-maker, Catherine Chin WP Coombes, won the MasterChef UK 2014 title. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/tv-and-radio-reviews/10833811/MasterChef-2014-the-final-review.html

Nasi lemak is a coconut rice dish served with spicy sambal, complemented with fried anchovies, sliced cucumbers, crunchy groundnuts and half of a hard-boiled egg. Modern-day variations on the dish now offer an extensive array of other side dishes. Some love to eat nasi lemak with sunny side-up egg, fried chicken, shrimp sambal, chicken rendang, beef rendang or even fried fish.

It is said that nasi lemak was once a farmer’s meal. Farmers needed a hearty meal in the morning, so eating nasi lemak kept them full and energetic as all the food groups are covered one essential dish — carbohydrates from the rice, fats from the sambal and protein from the anchovies.

The preparation of this national dish of Malaysia is easy and simple. The rice is initially soaked in coconut milk and pandan leaves before being steamed to give each grain a fragrant light coconut creaminess. While the rice is cooked, variants include a small cut of ginger and pandan leaves will be added into the cooking rice.

The sambal is the dish’s signature condiment. It can range from complementary sweetness or bold spiciness. The sambal is a combination of dried chillies, red onions, garlics, shrimp paste, tamarind, sugar and salt. Sugar and tamarind will give the spicy sambal a sweet and tangy taste.
At Selera Malaysia Bistro, we guarantee you the amazing taste of this local dish of Malaysia. Head up to our restaurant to enjoy your nasi lemak today!

Teh Tarik (Malaysia Special Pulled Tea Drink)

Teh Tarik is and has always been a favourite among Malaysians.

Teh Tarik is a rich creamy hot tea with a special aroma and flavour that tantalizes your taste buds. Available at every coffee shop or kopitiam, tea stall, breakfast joint, eat-out and cafe, and this hot tea beverage is considered the national drink of Malaysia. With the ability to pull together a multicultural nation, Teh Tarik is truly a national drink and holds a special place in the hearts of Malaysians and enjoyed by the people of neighbouring countries.

Teh tarik can be consumed by everyone at any time of the day and anywhere. Malaysians will normally take teh tarik during breakfast and tea time, with a meal of roti canai and curry.

The key is in the preparation:
Black tea, sugar, milk, together, these ingredients sound like they make for an almost standard cup of tea, but there is something rather special about its preparation. After combining these three-main ingredients, the tea is then ‘pulled’, which means the tea mixture is poured from one jug to another jug repeatedly. Tea pulling is not just for showmanship, but it more to introduce air into the tea, to create a nice froth layer on the top of the tea, and also to ensure all the ingredients are well blended.

Drink it or leave it?? LOL… for sure you don’t want to miss trying a cup of this best ever drink once you step in Malaysia.  Although it’s great to go to Malaysia , you don’t need to travel so far to experience this traditional and delicious drink… it is available right here in Aberdeen at Selera Malaysia Bistro. Give it a try. You’ll love it at the first sip!