A popular local delight with chunks of marinated dice-sized meats glided into skewers and grilled over a charcoal flame. As a sure sign indicator, if there is wispy smoke, you’re heading towards a satay stall. It’s nothing fancy, just bite-sized pieces of meat marinated in a mixture of spices and seasoning, skewered on bamboo sticks and then grilled over charcoal fire. The fat from the skewered meat will be dripping and sizzling in the fire and a strong smoky aroma… Read More »Satay
Malaysian food is often a result of cross cultures and the way different ethnic groups prepare the same kind of food in their own unique way. Take the Penang pasembur which is basically known as “Indian rojak”, spicy salad dish elsewhere in Malaysia. Yet, here, it is vastly different from those found outside of this state. In Penang, when we refer to rojak we mean the one made with fruits and a thick, black sweet sauce while the pasembur has… Read More »Penang Pasembur
Kapitan Chicken Curry “Kapitan Kay” This is a traditional Nyonya dish that gave a spiced sourish twist to the chicken curry. Locally known as “Kapitan kay” (“kay” is chicken in Hokkien), there are different renditions to this in different households so there is no right or wrong way to making it. A note of warning though, the preparations for this dish is a tedious process due to the myriad spices and herbs used to create the curry’s aromatic fragrance. This… Read More »Kapitan Chicken Curry
It is thick, traditional Hokkien pancake, filled with crushed peanuts, sugar and margarine. A popular breakfast snack item, Penangites often called it “Ban Cien Koay” or Apam Balik “Turnover Pancake” in english. In Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur, it’s also known as dai gao meen. The name Ban Cien Koay (also written Ban Chean Koay or Ban Jian Kway) means “slow-cooking cake” in Hokkien. It’s claimed that these snacks originate from Fujian. When General Tso Tsung T’ang was sent to Fujian… Read More »“Ban Cien Koay” Chinese Pancake
Nyonya Chicken Curry (Nyonya Kari Ayam) This is a traditional Nyonya dish that the northern Straits Chinese in Penang have adopted and adapted from Malay traditions. Locally, it is know as the Nyonya Curry Kay (“kay” is chicken in Hokkien) and despite its bright yellowish and orange tint, it is a mild curry infused with spices for a flavourful meal. This thick, aromatic curry can enjoyed with a bowl of rice or with bread.
One of the more well-known dishes in Bukit Mertajam has to be steamed cup rice. This simple, wholesome and tasty dish is childhood food for many Penangites especially in Bukit Mertajam. If you go around the Jalan Pasar and Jalan Danby area right in the middle of this small town, you are bound to find a “cup rice” stall. The name of the dish is derived from the small aluminum bowl in which the rice is steamed in. The preparation… Read More »Cup Rice
Honey Chicken This is a sweet and savoury dish that has a bit of Asian and a bit of Western influences. The chicken is fried first to preserve its flavours before it is stir-fried with the condiments for a flavourful chicken dish. It was definitely a favourite for children (and adults too) that one can say it is better than finger-licking good.
Roasted duck rice may not be as popular or ubiquitous as Hainan chicken rice but Penang does have a few hawker stalls offering really good roasted duck rice alongside chicken, roast pork and Chinese sausages. Duck is the lesser liked poultry possibly due to its strong gamey flavours and tougher texture but when roasted to perfection, it is something worth chewing over. Roasting a whole duck is not an easy task as the marinade has to be able to bring… Read More »Roasted Duck Rice