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Sambal – The Southeast Asian condiment that packs a punch!

11 Jul

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Sambal is a staple condiment in places like Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and is usually made by combining a variety of hot chili peppers with fresh ingredients like garlic, shallots, lime juice, shrimp paste, sugar and vinegar.

The ingredients are traditionally minced together in a pestle and mortar and can be eaten both raw or cooked – it’s a great condiment to use to add heat to all kinds of Asian dishes without overpowering the dish and you only need to use a small amount.

Add it to the end of your next stir-fry, fried rice or soup noodle dish and enjoy a traditional taste of Southeast Asia!



Three Ways with Cheung Fun #1

29 Mar

Recently a lot of our customers have been asking us about cheung fun and what they can do with it at home. Although you may have encountered it only in dim sum restaurants, these Chinese “noodle rolls” are incredibly versatile and easy to prepare in a variety of ways, and over the next few posts we will look at 3 different and interesting ways to enjoy a new kind of dish at any time of day.

Traditionally a Cantonese dish, chee cheong fun is a soft, wide strip of folded rice noodle, and is commonly served during dim sum stuffed with a variety of fillings, ranging from char siu pork to fried dough stick. You could think of it as the Chinese version of cannelloni, although it is dressed with sweet soy sauce and hot oil rather than tomato sauce. At dim sum, you can order a variety of cheung fun, which are served steamed until almost translucent, with their tops scored to reveal the filling.

Making cheung fun from scratch can be rewarding as you can experiment with the fillings and what you put into the rice dough itself. However, it can be rather tricky if you’re looking for a quick snack.

Buying ready-prepared cheung fun makes it even easier to enjoy, as it can be quickly stir fried, steamed or even microwaved. Here is a Malaysian inspired serving suggestion that can be enjoyed as a delicious snack any time, or as an unusual Asian style breakfast.

Malaysian Style Cheung Fun

Cheung Fun Rojak

Serves 2
200g x Fresh Cheung Fun – plain or seafood
1 tbsp Rojak Sauce (Malaysian shrimp paste fruit sauce) or to taste
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 tbsp Fried Shallots
Shredded Cucumber
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Steam the cheong fun in a bamboo steamer over a pan of boiling water or in a steamer until soft (alternatively you can stir-fry or microwave it). Remove carefully and chop into 1-2 inch pieces. Top with some rojak sauce, oil, toasted sesame seeds, the cucumber and fried shallots.

For a healthier version of this dish, try adding steamed cheung fun to shredded lettuce and cucumber, using a reduced salt soy sauce mixed with a little sugar and a few drops of sesame oil as a topping, with some chopped spring onions.

Much better than a bowl of cereal…Have fun!