Whenever you ask someone from Malaysia staying abroad, "What do you miss most about the country?"
The most probable answer will be "The food!"
Malaysians love their food.
Malaysia's cuisine is a melting pot of food from different ethnicities. Malay, Chinese, Indian, Aboriginal, or even localised international food, like Ramly burger.
But besides the famous few like Nasi Lemak, Char Kway Teow or Nasi Kandar... there is more than the famous ones, the lesser known state food.
With no further ado.. let me introduce the event to you.
1. To introduce culinary specialties of all the states in Malaysia, modern, traditional or absorbed into the state with adaptations
2. To encourage others to give a try at replicating state dishes at home.
How does it go about:
Participants to the event will need to cook/bake/make something edible that is a specialty of the state, be it traditional or modern. Then they need to submit the entry to the host of the month. If you need some recipes to refer, you can try host's and mine. But of course, it'll be better if each of us are doing different things.
Aug 2012-Aug 2013, one state each month, exceptional cases (Perlis + Kedah) and (KL+Selangor)
Who can join?
Facebook users, please like this Page in order to participate via FB.
Disclaimer: *We are not claiming nationality or origin of dish*
More information will be given by the monthly hosts
So, who are the monthly hosts??
1. Must the featured dish originate from the state?
No. It only has to be a localised version (read #9) or something really popular there, like a "must eat".
2. I only know how to eat, don't know how to replicate.
Don't worry, at least 6 recipes are provided by the host and organizer each month, just choose from any of those provided. We only want you to try. It need not be different from others.
3. I am not Malaysian.
Doesn't matter. I eat McDonalds and cook burgers, but I'm not American :)
4. Can I join just some states, not all?
Up to you, but won't it be a good challenge to yourself to try making something from each state? Give yourself a big big pat on the back if you have tried cooking food from every state.
5. Any prizes involved?
Nope, this is not a competition, it's for fun.
6. My blog is about baking, can I not blog about savoury dishes and yet join?
Sure, our Facebook event page welcomes you. Just LIKE us, and JOIN the state events.
7. The recipe is from a book. Can I not type it out?
Sure you can, just name the book and author. If possible page number too! We understand there are sometimes copyright matters. If the recipe is from another blog and it'll be fine if you just provide a link to the source. As long as it is credited, it is fine with us.
8. Can I submit to BOTH Facebook and the monthly host for roundup.
Up to you. But only blog posts blogged within the state's month will be accepted for round up. Old posts can be submitted to FB anytime.
9. What does it mean to be a localized version?
a. If one particular eatery from that place uses a different ingredient and makes it different from the general version , then it is a localized version.
~Nasi lemak. It is something eaten anywhere in Malaysia. Nasi lemak Senibong contains fenugreek, and it's this fenugreek that gives this nasi lemak it's special characteristic that is endemic to Johor Bahru.
~Chee Cheong Fun: Eaten anywhere in Malaysia, but in Perak there are 3 major versions that is very different. Ipoh uses mushroom sauce, Kampar's version is 5mm thick with garlic chives and dried shrimp, Teluk Intan's version is rolled with very dark coloured jicama. These chee cheong funs are localized versions.
~Wanton mee: Basically it's eaten in the whole of Malaysia, or where ever the Cantonese settles foot in. But if a particular eatery does it their own way, well who knows if they use fish wanton or uses tomyam broth, we welcome a copycat version that is as close as possible to that eatery. Not any other wanton mee that looks like any other wanton mee from other places.
I know Teluk Cempedak in Kuantan is famous for Curry noodle, we would like to see a copycat version that is really close to the real thing. Not any other curry mee found anywhere else.
b. if one particular area uses a special method to prepare the food, then it's a localised version
~Melaka style chicken rice: It's basically chicken rice, but it's well known for it's shape, that is shaped like golf balls
~Satay Kajang: Satay originates from Indonesia and is basically made by Malays and eaten by all, but it's the SIZE that makes satay kajang different. It's huge!
~Lok-lok, the stick formed steamboat. It's available in a lot of places, but when it's dipped to cook in a pot of peanut sauce and not water, that method is significantly Melakan, and the name becomes Satay Celup.
Assam laksa is synonymous with Penang, but it is served and super popular in Perak too. Just like how Bak Kut Teh is eaten all over Malaysia but it remains as a specialty of Klang, famously Klang. Unless it's a special version of another area.
c. If only one family uses a special way to cook a certain dish, but not the general population of that community, then it's not a localized taste, but a personal preference.
In short, we hope you understand this event finds it hard to accomodate creativity
10. Why do you accept Nyonya dishes but not Hokkien dishes for Melaka? (Just as an example)
Hmm... If a particular group of people is significant to a certain state that is rarely found in other places, of course, their food will be synonymous with the state's food culture. Just like how we won't be accepting Cantonese's Sweet Sour Pork for Perak, although Perak has a large number of Cantonese, but it's role is very different compared to the nyonya of Melaka or Penang or the Foochows and Henghwa in Sarawak or the Javans in Johor or the Minangs in Negeri Sembilan. These groups of people plays a significant role in the state's cuisine, culture and identity. We need something significant.
But we will still welcome localized Tau Yew Bak (of which is a very popular Hokkien dish found everywhere in Malaysia or wherever Hokkiens reside in the world) if the version of the Hokkiens in your place (not one family but a community) makes it different from the other Hokkiens in other places, and we hope to hear some stories regarding the difference. Help us learn.
I'm sorry but I'm not trying to be anal retentive, but... let's not cause more confusion than how we ourselves are unclear of its origins.
If you are not sure, stay safe with the provided recipes from the host and the organizer. We want you to try cooking/baking, not necessarily making something that is absolutely different from others.
We will not dispute the entry if
1. It is sourced from a cookbook/magazine/newspaper which mentions of the state
2. It is sourced from the internet with the owner of the recipe saying it's a specialty of the area/place/state.
3. It is stated as a must eat or popular food from tourist information sources (internet or books, brouchures).
4. If you can provide the information that you have eaten (or was told) the particular food and found it different from other versions in other states. And a copycat version is produced according to the difference. Some elaboration will be good to help us learn more about the 'special characteristics' of that special version.
Let's not forget the ultimate reason behind this is to expose Malaysia's state cuisine to the world and accuracy is important so that other's will not be misled.
Have fun cooking.