You see, I am a recent convert to guest posting and I am quite a virgin when it comes to it. Rich of two wonderful experiences as an invitee, but being a total neophyte when it comes to welcoming somebody else's work on my site, I thought that I'd really enjoy to slip into the skin of a moderator and editor for a while and make my readers discover the work of a fellow blogger they might not already have knowledge of...
So, I am absolutely delighted, happy and so thrilled to have the immense honor as well as great opportunity to introduce you to this talented young woman who is a native Malaysia, the most multifaceted land in Southeast Asia.
Just like her country, Leemei's blog is colorful, exotic, pluri-ethnic and sense-awakening. It is impossible not to get seduced by her mouthwatering recipes that hail from the whole wide world, fabulously refreshing photography and lovely stories.
Thanks for sharing your world with us!
I have been reading Rosa’s blog for quite a while now. Not only do I undeniably love her for the food she presents, but I also enjoy looking at those breathtaking photos that she takes. Not too long ago, she wrote a wonderful guest post and shared a delicious recipe – "Swiss Sausage Salad" on my blog –"My Cooking Hut".
I was delighted that Rosa invited me to guest post on her wonderful blog. Thank you, Rosa! At first, I wasn’t too sure what I was going to cook, but I knew for sure that I wanted to make something Malaysian.
When it comes to Malaysian food, not many people know it as much as Thai food, for example. Malaysian food is the original fusion food. It results from a melting-pot society, thus it cannot be classified as a type of cuisine since is composed of an array of food hailing from different ethnic backgrounds – Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya, Eurasian and the indigenous people of Borneo. Malaysians love their food and they eat at least 5 meals a day - in small portions.
The passion for food is already naturally instilled at an early stage in life, while still in one's mother’s womb. People talk about food all the time and it never seems to bore them. This portrays how much their lives evolve around food. Their love for it is so strong that it binds Malaysia's diverse ethnic group together.
Although I grew up in an exclusively Chinese family, living in a multi-cultural society means that I have been exposed to different cultures, lifestyle and food since a very tender age. In the kitchen, not only do we stock up some essential Chinese cooking ingredients as well as condiments, but we also have all the important dried spices, fresh aromatic herbs and roots which are generally ground together so as to obtain spice pastes called "Rempah" in Malay and are used in many typical Malaysian dishes.
A traditional mortar and pestle is essential Malaysian kitchen item that is employed when preparing fresh "Rempahs". However, it is getting very common nowadays to grind things ina food processor as it allows one to whizz up spice paste in just a matter of seconds.
Many would think that making spice paste is tricky because there are so many ingredients involved. I have to stress that it is not as daunting as you might think. Once you have gathered the basic ingredients needed, then you are pretty much there. As with many dishes, you can then use it as a base and create your own variations. Cooking is a form of art I have to say.
"Satay" or "Sate" is very popular in Malaysia. It is skewered meat that is marinated with spices, grilled and then served with a delicious peanut sauce. It originates from Indonesia and is also a favorite in other Southeast Asian countries such as such as Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and the Philippines. The types of meats that are used in the preparation of this speciality are chicken, beef or mutton. Chicken and beef "Satay" are the most spread variations and can be found throughout Malaysia.
I remember the best place to scout for really good "Satay" is, without a doubt, the "PasarMalam" or night market. Every Saturday evening, in my hometown back in Malaysia, numerous farmers, fishermen and food vendors gather at a designated place and set up their mobile stalls to sell their produces and food. This always gets me really excited as I cannot wait to check out all the stalls, in particular the food stalls as I could literally buy my dinner from different the food vendors there! Of course, my all time favourite stall has to be the one that selling "Satay".
As you can see the major ingredients used in the "Satay" marinade are also similar to the ones that are incorporated into the peanut sauce. They are very aromatic and play an important role when making a flavoursome base for curry too.
If you've never tried Malaysian food, I definitely recommend you to give this "Satay" recipe a go as it'll be the medium to introduce you to the gastronomy of Malaysia. I am sure that you will fall in love with it as its great for an outdoor summer BBQ and makes a mean party food!
~ Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce ~
Ingredients For The "Satay":
1 Tsp Dried shrimp paste/belacan, toasted
1.5cm piece Fresh turmeric or 1 Tsp Turmeric powder
10 Shallots, peeled and chopped
2cm piece Galangal, peeled and chopped
6 Cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Fresh chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 Lemongrass, white part only and chopped
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Coriander powder
1 Tsp Cumin powder
A pinch of Salt
900g Chicken thighs, skinned, deboned and cut into chunky strips
Ingredients For The "Peanut Sauce":
6 Shallots, peeled and chopped
1 Red onion, peeled and chopped
1 Fresh red chilli, deseeded and chopped
6 Dried red chillies, deseeded, softened and chopped
2 Lemongrass, white part only and chopped
2 Tbs Sunflower oil
1 Tbs Tamarind pulp
200ml Warm water
2 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs Soya sauce
100g Roasted unsalted peanuts, chunkily ground
1. Wrap the shrimp paste in a foil and put in a preheated oven at 180°C (350° F) to toast, for about 4-5 minutes, until aromatic. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, put the fresh turmeric, shallots, galangal, garlic, chili and lemongrass in a food processor, grind until they form a smooth paste. Add the sugar, coriander powder and cumin powder and salt mix until combine.
3. Add the spice paste to the chicken, mix thoroughly, making sure each piece is coated with the spice paste. Cover with cling film, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
4. To make the sauce, put the shallots, onion, red chilli, dried red chillies and lemongrass in a food processor. Grind until smooth and set aside. Meanwhile, put 80ml of the warm water into a bowl and add the tamarind pulp. Let soak for 15 minutes or until it becomes soft. Use a spoon to break the pulp into a pliable form. Strain through a fine sieve set over a bowl, discard the solid.
5. In a saucepan over medium high heat, put the sunflower oil and add the spice paste. Cook and stir constantly for about 8-10 minutes or until the paste gets darker in color and very fragrant. Add the tamarind water and stir. Add the rest of the water and bring to the boil for a few seconds. Add the sugar and soya sauce, stir and let it simmer for 1 minute or so. Add the ground roasted peanuts, stir and set aside.
6. Thread 4 strips of chicken onto each skewer, in order to obtain a loose S shape. Then pop them under the grill for about 7.5 cm from the heat source, giving them about 3-4 minutes on each side. Alternatively, grill the skewered meat over the BBQ. Place the skewers on warm plates and serve with the peanut sauce handed separately.