I'm incredibly proud of my Malaysian Chinese heritage. My mother was taught to cook by my wonderful grandmother and is the most exceptional chef able to turn her hand to anything be it a simple noodle dish to a full roast beef dinner to an Italian style apple tart. I always look forward to her cooking and love being in the kitchen with her as she prepares the food. In my younger days she wouldn't let me help or if she did, I'd always be lambasted because it wasn't done to her way. Now I'm older, I understand where she was coming from as I get quite antsy in my own kitchen but I'm hopefully more polite to any help I receive!
Now I've proved that I can cook, I'm allowed to help and I thoroughly enjoy it. I hope to sit her down one day and get her to start writing down her recipes as I don't want hers and my grandmother's legacy to end. I'm also conscious of the fact that I'll have to quantify her measures as she tells me she never knows how much of anything she puts in, she does it till it's right. What a great philosophy to lead your life by. In these days of YouTube, social media and the information superhighway, I think we sometimes forget to just step back, breathe and use our own judgement.
So anyway, for those who are more focused on the food aspect of this blog, let me present to you my Mum's Streetfood feast.
She cooked Hokkien Mee - a soupy noodle dish with both egg and rice noodles in a fiery stock flavoured with prawns and chilli served with pork, prawns, spring onions and deep fried shallots. Think aromatic, sweet, spicy, fragrant and so hot that even my brother who loves his chillies found it difficult to take...
We also had Nasi Lemak - one of the dishes that won Ping Coombes her Masterchef trophy. This dish consists of sticky rice flavoured with coconut, chicken curry, boiled egg, cucumber, peanuts and sambal ikan billis which are deep fried anchovies in a chilli paste. This dish is eaten for breakfast all over Malaysia and gives you a real spicy kick to the start of your day.
Our last dish was Char Kway Teoh - fried flat rice noodles, a little reminiscent of Pad Thai but the flavouring is very different. Salty, chilli hot and rich with egg, sweet with Chinese sausage and delicious, this has to be my favourite hawker dish in Malaysia.