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Nasi Lemak with Sambal Ikan Bilis (Malaysian Coconut Cream Rice with Anchovies Chili Paste)

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Finally we cooked Nasi Lemak, a popular and authentic dish of Malay heritage. Nasi Lemak means “coconut cream rice” which is cooked in coconut cream instead of using plain water to give it a nice coconut aroma. You can add in Pandan or screwepine leaves for additional fragrance. Nasi Lemak is traditionally wrapped up with banana leaves with other sides such as roasted peanuts, hard boiled eggs, anchovies (ikan bilis) and most importantly the Sambal (chili).

For a more deluxe version, you can always order other entrees to go with it, such as Curry Chicken, Mutton Curry, Sambal Cuttlefish, Kangkung Belacan, Sambal Egg (mostly spicy dishes) and etc. You can find the recipes in the site and prepare to accompany the Nasi Lemak.

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Malaysian Rendang Ayam (Chicken Rendang)

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Happy Mooncake festival to my dear friends, hope you have a nice gathering with your family. Living in the US without family, we celebrate most of the Chinese festivals with our friends. So grabbing a bite of mooncake and just hanging around friends, nothing better than just chill. Back home in Malaysia, traditionally we will light up lanterns, eat mooncake with Chinese tea, and sometimes we will do hot pot. Here we basically just have simple dinner.

Anyhow I wanted to make Chicken Rendang (Malaysian Rendang Ayam) for a long time. This week I finally did it. Rendang is a dry curry version of stew meat dish, slowly cooked in coconut milk and other spices. It is an authentic Malay cuisine, yet a very popular dish served during celebrations or special occasions. The meats are stewed for several hours depending on the meats used. Chicken or duck uses shorter time, beef needs to cook for 2 up to 4 hours.  The slow cooking process allows the meat becomes tender and absorbs all the spices and herbs. Some of the herbs used are galangal, tumeric, ginger, lemon grass and chillies.

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Stir-fried Green Bean with Chicken

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Green bean (French bean or string bean) is definitely one of my top three favorite veggies. I like the fleshiness and sweetness of it. It’s so special! A simple dish like stir-fried green bean with chicken is good enough for me to gobble 2 bowls of steamed white rice. Nothing fancy is needed for this dish. Just few simple steps will give you a simple yet appetizing dish.

Another favorite green bean dish of mine is the干煸四季豆 (literally translated as dry-stir string bean). It is essentially a popular dish to be served in most Chinese restaurants and I will order it mostly. I will post the recipe for it next time.

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Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

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I like tofu so much and I’ll always stock up some different kinds of tofu in the fridge for cooking. They are so many varieties ranging from extra firm to extra soft tofu, including the fresh tofu, braised tofu, deep fried tofu or any other processed tofu. Tofu itself has no taste and many people think that they are plain and bland. One of my coworkers doesn’t even like tofu and I don’t understand why. I like the texture of tofu, it is so soft that just melts in your mouth. Most importantly when you cook it together with other ingredients, the tofu will absorb the taste and flavor of the dish.

You can see how the Korean people like tofu so much because the ‘Spicy Tofu Pot’ is one of their well-known cuisines. Tofu is beneficial to our health as it is made from soybean that contains calcium, iron and magnesium. As a matter of fact, Korean spicy tofu pot is a bit similar to Mapo Tofu dish that I am presenting today, they are both spicy tofu dishes but ingredients used are different.

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Assam Prawn (Tamarind Prawn)

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Assam prawn is a Malaysian Nyonya recipe. I personally didn’t tried it before, but I did some research online and decided to give it a try. In fact it looks easy to prepare that is the main thing for a quick fix. The main ingredient for the dish is the Tamarind or Assam, you can always get the fresh tamarind or look for tamarind paste. You can use any kind of prawn or shrimp for the recipe, preferably with heads and shell intact.

The tamarind or Assam sauce flavor covered the whole shell and prawn heads, infused with soury and sweet taste which is very appetizing. I am sure you will suck up all the sauce because it is so good.  So prepare some napkins as you will be using your hands for this finger licking good recipe.

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Lama Kitchen is a food and cooking blog fills with savory food with great cooking recipes and ideas for those of you who love food and home cooked meals. Read more