10 Merdeka Day Recipes
Nov 30, 2019

10 Merdeka Day Recipes

Spice up celebrations with hot bowls of laksa, and pass around sticky satay sticks. The nation really knows its food, and we know how to make it.

Happy Merdeka Weekend, Malaysia! Celebrate with these 10 Merdeka Day Recipes. Throwing a party? Chendol is a cool ice breaker. Spice up celebrations with hot bowls of laksa, and pass around sticky satay sticks. The nation really knows its food, and we know how to make it.

1. Nasi Lemak

It’s hard to agree on Malaysia’s official dish, but some say nasi lemak comes pretty close. Like chicken rice, the secret’s in the rice. Here, white rice is cooked in fragrant coconut milk, an ingredient common to Malaysian cuisine. It typically comes with a hard-boiled egg, fried chicken and ikan bilis, or deep-fried anchovies and sambal, the all-important wet spice mix that we recommend you ask for another scoop.

2. Nasi Kerabu

Originating from the northern state of Kelantan, nasi kerabu gets its blue colour from telang flowers, which are pounded and mixed into flour. The dish is then is garnished with fried coconut shreds, bean sprouts and coated in spicy budu, a fermented fish sauce.

3. Hokkein Mee

It might have come from the Hokkien province of Fujian in China, but Malaysians have made it their own with thick noodles fried in fragrant black sauce. It’s typically peppered with a lot of ingredients too, like prawn, beansprouts and more. It’s generallyagreed that a good hokkien meehas a “wok hei” taste in every bite, that’s the charred, smoky taste of the wok.

4. Asam Pedas

You can also use stingray, which is a popular alternative to the usual freshwater fish in asam pedas. The irresistible sour kick comes from asam, or tamarind. And along with it, strong herbs of ginger, garlic, chillies, and a pinch of shrimp paste.

5. Rendang

Whether it’s made with chicken or beef, a thick pour of smooth coconut milk and spices are slowly simmered with meat, until extremely tender and aromatic. It’s found across Malaysia, and in other parts of Southeast Asia.

6. Ayam Goreng Berempah

Ayam goreng berempah is an incredibly fragrant chicken with the spice of lemongrass, cumin, curry powder, shallots and a long list designed to make you hungry. When you’re done with licking your fingers and lips, pick at the crispy crumbs and take another piece.

7. Chendol 

Chendol is said to have roots also in Indonesia and Singapore, but whatever it is, we all agree that it is nice. After a meal of spice, the icy coconut milk dessert cools you down with fragrant pandan jelly, red beans and sweet gula melaka, or palm sugar.

8. Sarawak Laksa

This particular one comes from the kitchens of Sarawak, but other states have their own take on the spicy sour noodle bowl. But Sarawak laksais not as well-known as its counterpart, Penang Laksa, where tamarind features heavily, resulting in a sour-spicy fish broth.

9. Grilled Chicken Satay

Addictively tasty with a sweet peanut glaze, you won’t stop at one stick. And that’s probably why it’s served in a bunch of sticks, with a chunky peanut dip. Malaysia is not the only country that loves the grilled meat skewers, you find them also in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand. They’re typically made with either chicken or beef. Pork is less common, owing to religious requirements.

You find the stringy egg noodles made slightly different across Malaysia, but in Penang, a smooth pour of sweet soy sauce is tossed into the noodles, and accompanied with plump prawn or pork wantons. Usually the wantons are boiled or steamed, but sometimes they have it fried too. Adding sambal is an option.

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