Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cooking at Damai Beach Resort near Sarawak, Malaysia

Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Most of Sarawak’s inhabitants belong to one of 27 ethnic groups. The state’s cultural diversity is also reflected in the 45 different languages and dialects. Less than an hour from the Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, is the Sarawak Cultural Center, a living history destination with houses of some of the ethnic groups. And, just a short distance away is Damai Beach Resort where they offer weekly cooking demonstrations that reflect the diversity of Sarawak’s people.

The raw fish salad is from the Melanau who lived mainly in the central coastal area where they build massive houses forty feet above the ground and unlike other Borneo people they prefer sago over rice. Fish in banana leaf comes from the Malay community. To visit a Malay house, many of which were quite elaborate, one must first make their presence known from the top of the stairs then wait to be welcomed. Kway Teow is a very popular dish throughout Malaysia having come from the Chinese who migrated to Sarawak in the early 1900s. They were mainly farmers and built their homes on the ground.

Umai Ikan (raw fish salad)
200g of fish, preferably red snapper fillet (cut into small pieces)
4 bird’s eye chilies – tiny green chili
1 turmeric leaf
1 stalk of lemon grass
2 shallots
½ inch ginger
15 ml of lime juice or Calamansi juice
Salt to taste
Chili flower and roasted sago pellets for garnish
1. Marinate the fish with lime juice for 10 minutes or more. Put aside.
2. Chop or grind three bird’s eye chilies and slice the remaining one. Don’t over grind the chilies.
3. Then slice the turmeric leaf, shallots, garlic, ginger and lemon grass.
4. Put the marinated fish into a bowl and toss in the rest of the ingredients. Stir well.
5. Garnish with chili flower and Roasted Sago pellets over the mixture.

Fish in Banana Leaf
1 kg of fish fillets cut into 3 cm cubes
3 large banana leaves, cut into 6 squares of 25 cm wide
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, chopped finely
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, ground
1/2 teaspoon of chili paste
1 pc of turmeric leaf, chopped finely
2 pcs of lemon grass, chopped finely
Chicken stock
Sugar and salt to taste
Calamansi (or lime) and chili flower for garnish

Sambal (Tamarind Dip )
Tamarind Juice
Shrimp paste ( Belacan )
Chopped chili
1. Lay the cut banana leaves in a bowl and pour boiling water over them to soften so that they will not break when used. Leave the banana leaves in the hot water for about 30 seconds or until the leaves are pliable, then drain.
2. Place the cubed fish pieces in a bowl that is large enough to hold all of them. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, salt & sugar to taste, turmeric, chili paste, paprika, turmeric leaf, lemon grass and chicken stock. Combine the ingredients evenly to ensure that the fish pieces are well coated with the mixture.
3. Divide the fish and the mixture evenly in the center of the 6 banana leaves. Fold the sides of the banana leaf to form a parcel and use a toothpick to hold them in place.
4. Heat up a grill. Place the fish parcels on a grill. Grill for about 15 minutes or until the fish pieces are cooked. Open the parcels to check on the fish before serving. Best to serve steaming hot with steamed white rice.

Fried Kway Teow (Flat Noodles)
500 gm of Flat Noodles
Cooking oil
2 eggs (scramble)
Sliced Onions
Choy Sum
Bean Sprout
Chicken Meat
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of chili paste
4 tablespoons of chili sauce
Chicken stock
1 sliced chili, spring onion, fried onion, calamansi for garnish
1. Heat the wok and add the cooking oil.
2. Add in the onion and sauté until fragrant.
3. Then add the egg and chili paste, and stir the mixture.
4. Later, add in the flat noodles and mix them together, followed by the chicken meat.
5. Then add the sliced chili, Choy Sum and Bean Sprout. This is to be followed by the chili sauce.
6. Lastly, add the chicken stock and pepper to taste. Garnish with Spring Onion, Fried Onion, chili and Calamansi.

No comments:

Post a Comment