Makan Malaysia

I feel so very fortunate to have grown up in the wonderful culinary traditions of Malaysia. A mother who is incredibly self-reliant brought lots of food knowledge (and what she didn’t know, she learned) once she joined my father in many an American town without a large Asian population. My brother and I were lucky enough to grow up with lots of delicious, carefully prepared foods, food that taught us about our second home halfway across the world.

What is so wonderful about Malaysian food? The cuisine benefits from the many ethnic influences in the region (Malay, Chinese, Nonya, Indian, Thai, and many, many more). Flavors are strong and varied, with a great emphasis on fresh, local ingredients such as coconut, seafood, vegetables and many incredible tropical fruits.

This summer I was fortunate enough to go to Malaysia for almost three weeks with my mom. I was excited for the opportunity to reconnect with my relatives and spend some good time with my mother. Second only to that was the opportunity to eat, Eat, EAT! šŸ™‚ So this year, I decided to document as many of the lovely flavors and dishes as I could. My mom loved this project and would encourage (and remind) me to take photos before every meal.

I ended up with over 1,000 photos from my short time (and probably gained about 12 pounds!). Although not all of those are food-related, most of them are. The sheer number was overwhelming, and I’ve put off going through and processing the photos. However, this blog provides a great opportunity to present these photos, explain what each represents, and save these precious memories for myself. As a counterpart, I’ll also begin trying my hand at some of the Malaysian specialties my mom always made but I was too scared to try. Don’t worry, I’ll (have to) start out easy… Who knows if I’ll ever get to the point where I can make a decent rendang!

So are you ready? Do you want to join in with me to makan (eat) your way through Malaysia? I’m so excited to share it with you.


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