Saturday, February 5, 2011

In Malaysia, where it is called "Murtabak", it is sold by Mamak salesmen, and usually includes minced mutton, along with garlic, egg and onion, and is eaten with curry sauce. The filling commonly includes duck eggs - up to six eggs for a large one - onion, green onions, cooked ground beef and seasonings. The martabak's "skin" is made by spinning the pastry until very thin, like filo pastry. Then it is shallow-fried it in a custom made flattened heavy wok. While the skin or pastry is laid flat on the wok, the egg mixture is then poured in. Then the pastry is folded quickly while being fried, making a rectangular wrap. This requires a mastery in cooking technique. When it is done, the martabak is cut into smaller squares for serving. It is often enjoyed together with pickled diced cucumber, and a dark brown sauce made of vinegar and palm sugar.

Mee rebus
Mee rebus served in a coffee shop in Malaysia.The dish is made of yellow egg noodles, which are also used in Hokkien mee, with a spicy slightly sweet curry-like gravy. The gravy is made from potatoes, curry powder, water, salted soybeans, dried shrimps, and peanuts. The dish is garnished with a hard boiled egg, calamansi limes, spring onions, Chinese celery, green chillies, fried firm tofu (tau kwa), fried shallots and bean sprouts. Some eateries serve it with beef, though rarely found in hawker centres, or add dark soy sauce to the noodles when served. The dish also goes well with satay.

Sambal belacan

Sambal belacan consists of chilies, belacan (Malaysian shrimp paste), kalamansi lime (limau kasturi), and salt and sugar (to taste or optional). In the US, kalamansi lime is scarce so lime can be used as a substitute. However, in reality, kalamansi lime is made for sambal and lime is inferior when it comes to sambal belacan. So, if you have access to kalamansi lime, please use it, or if you have some. Sambal belacan as a condiment is something that I can’t do without. I eat my rice and noodles with it, and some Malaysian dishes such as my favorite sweet and sour eggs (masak belanda), Penang char hor fun, grilled fish with banana leaves are total awesomeness with sambal belacan.

Bak Kut Teh
This is my all time favourite dish in Malaysia. It’s actually a Chinese delicacy and is widely popular in Malaysia (especially Klang), Singapore and China. Bak Kut The actually means “meat bone tea” which is a soup-based delicacy cooked with a complex mixture of herbs, spices and pork bones for long hours. The soup is then added with pork ribs, mushrooms, lettuce, dried tofu and pork intestines (if you like. I normally don’t include them since I don’t really like the taste). This delicacy is usually eaten with rice (salty rice or yam rice) and strips of fried dough (which is to mix with the soup). I personally will request minced garlic, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce which I will use for the pork ribs. There are 2 different types of variations which use chicken or vegetable instead of pork. However, I personally feel that the taste is not that good without the pork. Just beware of the high cholesterol content of this delicacy. That is also why I am trying to minimize the consumption even though it is my favourite food. Where to find? Unfortunately, you can only find this delicacy in specialty shop and not in shopping complexes. If you are in Malaysia, you might need to refer to a local guide to find or you can travel to Klang city.
                                                           HOKKIEN MEE
There are basically 2 types of Hokkien Mee in Malaysia. The first version is fried noodles in Hokkien style, which is a dish consisting of fat noodles fried with dark soy sauce, prawns, pork meat and pork lard. The other version is more unique and originated from Penang. Some people call it Penang Hokkien Mee which is a kind of delicacy consisting of egg noodles cooked with stocks made of shrimp and dried prawns, and served with small pieces of chicken or pork. For spicy food lovers, you can also opt to include sliced red chilli and sambal (spicy sauce). The main difference between the 2 versions is that the latter is a soup-based noodle dish and the former has gravy made of dark soy sauce. The normal Hokkien Mee (the first version) can normally be found in Chinese restaurants in Klang Valley and Singapore, whereas the Hokkien Prawn Mee or Penang Hokkien Mee can normally be found in Penang and in Klang Valley (known as Hokkien Prawn Mee). Again, beware of the high cholesterol content.