Christmas A La Malaysia

Malaysian Trade Commission (MATRADE) celebrated Hawker Melbourne yesterday, a Malaysian hawker style market incorporating Christmas and celebrating Malaysian food, flavours, spices and culture. 

Hosted by Malaysian chef Jackie M, the event showcased the full, bold and authentic flavours of Malaysia and saw classic Australian Christmas dishes transformed with a Malaysian twist. During two demonstrations, Jackie M showed guests how to incorporate Malaysian flavours and spices into Christmas dishes and every day meals. 
With delicious Malaysian food available, guests were taken on a journey through Malaysia, tasting bold, authentic flavours and learning  how the flavours and spices of Malaysia tie in Western dishes. 
Malaysian cuisine offers a rich melting pot of flavours, ranking amongst the most delicious and tastiest in Asia. With a palate underpinned by a wide diversity of influences including Chinese, Indian and Portuguese, not to mention the many spices characteristic of South East Asian food, Malaysian cuisine is rightly emerging as a favourite of food-lovers everywhere. 

Here are our top five flavours of Malaysia that work perfectly to up the ante on your traditional Christmas feast… 

Bring life to your seafood. 

We all know that seafood is a staple addition at most Australian homes during the festive season. This year, wow your guests with a decadent prawn Laksa. Laksa is one of Malaysia’s best known and most popular dishes, with its rich coconut curry base. The veritable minestrone of South Asia, Laksas can feature anything from tofu puffs, fish shrimps through to chicken pieces and of course, noodles and lots of delicious Asian vegetables. It’s typically served with a generous spoonful of chilli paste or sambal, and garnished with coriander, or kaffir lime leaf. Laksa is the perfect way to start your Christmas meal with a bang and is the ultimate go-to dish that provides fresh, spicy flavours. 

‘Ham’ up your glazed ham. 

Tired of the same old glazing on your Christmas ham? Why not incorporate delicious Malaysian flavours and give your guests something to talk about. For a unique taste that is sure to impress, add palm sugar and tamarind peel or a Malaysian curry paste for a chilli taste that will be sure to fire up your Christmas lunch. Serve slices of the ham with sweet pineapple pieces and roti to tone down and balance out the chilli factor. 

Tantalise with your Turkey. 

Roast turkey is the veritable star of any Christmas banquet. This year, the proof is in the stuffing, and we encourage you to utilise the vast flavours of Malaysian cuisine when stuffing and basting your bird. Spice up your stuffing with a wide range of spices like cardamom, cloves, turmeric and chilli, or coat your bird in some nyonya curry paste or chilli sambal that are sure to make your turkey flavoursome and exciting this festive season. 

Turn it up a couple of notches in the trifle stakes. 

You can’t go past a classic Aussie dessert at Christmas. A summer trifle is a light sweet treat that is guaranteed to end your festive banquet on a high. Take your guests on a culinary journey, and give it an exotic makeover this year by adding in some traditional Malaysian flavours including some mango, coconut cream and pandan for a truly refreshing indulgence. 

To help you discover the delicious Malaysian products available and to find a store near you, visit www.matrade.gov.my


Recipe: Chee Cheong Fun

Malaysia Kitchen has recently launched its cooking series on Seven Two on Saturdays at 3pm (Read more here). To whet your appetities, here is a recipe for the Chee Cheong Fun from Episode 2...
By: Jackie M 

Ingredients: 
125 g rice flour 
2 ½ Tbsp tapioca flour 
500ml water 
1 Tbsp oil 
2 Tbsp oil, extra for mould 

Toppings 
¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted 
1 cup oil 
1 brown onion, peeled and sliced thinly Chilli sauce (Sriracha), optional 

Topping Sauce Option 1 
⅓ cup prawn paste aka Petis Udang 
½ cup water 
*Kicap manis (sweet soya sauce) 

Topping Sauce Option 2 
1 cup hoisin sauce 
1 cup water 
⅓ cup sugar 

Method: 

Combine all the rice flour roll ingredients and mix well, batter will be very thin. 

Brush a square metal cake pan with oil, pour a very thin layer (2 mm) of batter and steam on high heat for 1 - 3 minutes OR use an oiled non-metallic baking dish and microwave on high for about a minute and a half (75 to 90 seconds depending on strength of your microwave). 

Allow to cool slightly then use a spatula or scraper to lift up the edge of the rice flour sheet. Roll up then put aside and repeat process until all the batter is used up. Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat, cool. 

Heat the oil in a wok and fry the onion until light brown. Remove onion from oil and transfer onto paper towel to crisp up. Store the onion crisps for future use, reserve oil for topping the rolls. 

For topping sauce 1, combine prawn paste and water in a saucepan. Simmer on low heat, stirring constantly, until well mixed. 

For topping sauce 2, combine hoisin sauce, water and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer on low heat until sugar is completely dissolved. 

To assemble, cut the rice flour rolls into 3 cm widths. Drizzle with either sauce option. Drizzle with onion oil and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, serve with chilli sauce if you like it spicy.

Recipe: Chicken and Prawn Wontons with dry-style noodles

Malaysia Kitchen has recently launched its cooking series on Seven Two on Saturdays at 3pm (Read more here). To whet your appetities, here is a recipe for the Chicken and Prawn Wontons with dry-style noodles from Episode 1...

By: Jackie M
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
500g fresh, thin wonton noodles
2 bunches Chinese broccoli

Chicken and Prawn Wontons
200g chicken, minced
200g banana prawns, peeled and minced
8 water chestnuts, minced
1 stalk spring onion, sliced
2 Tbsp packaged fried shallots
½ *chicken stock granules, crumbled
1 ½ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp. pepper
1 pack of 50 wonton skins
1 Tbsp. sesame oil, extra

Wonton Mee Sauce
2 Tbsp minced garlic 2
50ml vegetable oil
50ml soya sauce
50ml sesame oil
50ml thick soya sauce (kicap pekat)
200ml oyster sauce
200ml abalone sauce (or fish sauce)
1 ½ tsp white pepper
50ml water

Method:

For the wontons, combine all filling ingredients, in a bowl and mix well. Place 1 heaped tsp filling in the middle of a wonton skin, gather the edges and scrunch up to make money bags or fold into triangles. Pinch well to seal filling inside.

Place on a tray lined with greaseproof paper, keeping wontons separate or they will stick together. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Poach wontons in batches until they float to the top, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drizzle with sesame oil and serve with Wonton Mee noodles.

Tip: Wonton skins are square, not round, and available in the refrigerated section of Asian grocery stores.

For the noodles, fry garlic in oil until just brown. Strain and discard garlic, reserving oil. In a heavy-based saucepan combine garlic oil with remaining sauce ingredients and simmer until chicken stock granules are dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Blanch Chinese broccoli for about 10 seconds and set aside. In
batches, blanch noodles for about a minute, remove with strainer and run under cold water for 3 seconds.

Quickly dip noodles back into the boiling water for 3 seconds then drain.

Toss noodles with a couple of tablespoons of sauce and place on a plate. Repeat with remaining noodles. Serve with the blanched Choy Sum, Chicken & Prawn Wontons and Chicken Char Siew.