Much has been said of Malaysia’s culinary diversity. But beyond the more popular char kway teow, roti canai and nasi lemak are dishes that our forefathers used to make and enjoy, at an era when life was less hectic, people were much closer to nature and made the most of what they grew or reared in their backyards.
In the rush towards modernity, memories of simple schoolyard snacks such as asam boi popsicles and skewered sengkuang slices, as well as rendang tok and banana-stem paratal, are slowly but surely fading away.
Fearing the loss of these traditional flavours, Hellen Fong of At 19 Culinary Studio and several other locally based chefs: Mohd Shokri Abdul Ghani, Goo Chui Hoong, Khairil Anwar Ahmad and Ezekiel Ananthan, as well as Sandy Shiek and Suraiya Razib from At 19, aim to rescue them from obscurity.
Tapping into their own memories and family recipe archives, they have come up with this collection of Lost Recipes of Malaysia, a culinary time capsule that’s sure to take us back to a Malaysia some of us still remember.
“By ‘lost’, we don’t mean recipes that are no longer available,” Hellen Fong explains. “Instead, this cookbook aims to retrace and recreate some of the vintage Malaysian recipes that may have been changed along the way to cater to the modern palate and lifestyle.”
After a brief introduction to the history of Malaysian food and the myriad of ingredients that can be found in atypical Malaysian kitchen, we get to know each of the chefs in this book and the recipes they share with us.
Though only a small selection of what this country’s long and rich culinary history has to offer, this book will have you hungry for a taste of that history and curious about what these chefs have not dug up.
TITLE: Lost Recipes of Malaysia
SIZE: 7.5’’(w) X 9’’(h)