Sunday, 16 September 2012

Penang Food

Hey and Assalamualaikum to all Treasure Asia readers. How are you today? We hope you all in a great condition. As you can see, this entry we would like to talk more about food but in Penang area. Penang known as a heaven for food. At Penang, we can find a variety of food such as Pasembor, Nasi Kandar and Char Kuey Teaw. 

Firstly, we want to introduce to all of you about Pasembor Penang. Pasembor is the mixture of sliced-up dough and cucuk udang (prawn fritters), bean curd, boiled potatoes and hard-boiled egg served atop a bed of roughly-julienned vegetables, primarily cucumber and bangkwang (yam bean). It is served with a dressing that is totally unique to the east – a large, loving ladleful of thick, rich, sweet, reddish-brown spicy sauce made with Ubi Keledek (sweet potato) and chillis. As soon as the salad is served to you, toss it to ensure the sauce mixes well with all the layers. It also softens the crispy fritter edges and flavours the vegetables at the same time. 

The combination of carbohydrates and vegetables (and grease notwithstanding) , is quite tasty and relatively healthy , as there is plenty of fresh crispy greens . Like other hawker foods , it’s available everywhere , and of course practically every hawker centre , along with Mamak stalls and food courts , many with their own loyal clients who have been eating there regularly for the past few decades . Some are so well known that they have been featured in various food and travel programmes on TV . Pasembor is a wonderful potpourri of all things Malaysian, and particularly popular as a tea time treat .  The best Pasembor that you can have is at Padang Kota, Penang :)

This is the famous stall of Pasembor in Penang.  
Yummy! You must try it :)
Second food that we want to introde that can get at Penang is Char Kuey TeawIt’s something that you have to try when you are in Malaysia, and definitely when you are in Penang. There’s nothing quite like this plate of flat rice noodles, short, fat crunchy bean sprouts and a handful of kuchai (garlic chives), a few prawns (if you’re lucky), a dollop of ground chilli paste, and optional seeham (cockles), fried up with chopped garlic in a large spoonful of lard. Some stalls add a few slivers of Chinese sausage.
It’s got to be good and quick, and all bound together with some good black soya sauce and an egg thrown in right at the end. No wonder this all-time favourite has been voted one of Penang’s traditional heritage listings.

A good char kuey teow must have “wok hei”, that certain characteristic aroma that can only be achieved with a large black metal wok sat over a really fiery heat (none of this non-stick stuff). The heat caramelises the sugar in the soya sauce and gives it a faintly burnt taste and makes your mouth drool when you smell it!

There are various versions of it available all over Malaysia: some are darker through the addition of more thick black soya sauce; others are redder (extra chilli). Some use thicker, broader noodles; others are finer. Some people prefer it slightly wetter with a touch more gravy; others prefer it with more yolk – achieved using a duck’s egg instead of the more traditional chicken. Here in Penang it’s a bit of in-between – neither too thick nor thin, neither too black nor red – in fact, any Penangite will tell you, “It’s perfect!” For our Muslim friends, halal versions are very popular too, available in many of our great hotels and restaurants.

Traditionally a poor man’s meal because of its high carbohydrate and relatively low protein content, in recent years the humble Char Kuey Teow can also be found in the more upmarket establishments: small shrimps have been replaced by succulent pieces of lobster, and it also comes garnished with juicy crab meat, which will of course mean commensurate prices. However, aficionados will argue that these add-ones are unnecessary: a good Char Kuey Teow seller doesn’t need such fancy items to enhance his specialty. He will make do with traditional ingredients only, because all he requires is that special skill.

Everyone has a personal favourite in some nook or cranny, although cholesterol notwithstanding, many seem prepared to travel far and wide in their hunt for the perfect plate of this local favourite. Personally, I don’t think we need to go far. And there are many places where you can get good char kuey teow in Penang - someone will have set up his gigantic black wok at practically every coffee shop or food court.

Lastly , the most important food that we should try if we go to Penang is Nasi Kandar ! Nasi Kandar is a special hawker food for many, as it is often tasty and with affordable prices. The food that keeps me going back for more is at Nasi Kandar Line Clear. 
Nasi Kandar is a popular northern Malaysian dish, which originates from Penang. It is a meal of steamed rice which can be plain or mildly flavored, and served with a variety of curries and side dishes.
The word Nasi Kandar, came about from a time when nasi [rice] hawkers or vendors would kandar [balance] a shoulder pole with two huge containers of rice meals. The name has remained and today the word Nasi Kandar is seen on most Tamil Muslim or "Malaysian Mamak" restaurants and Indian-Muslim stall meals.
The rice for a nasi kandar dish is often placed in a wooden container about three feet high, giving it a distinctive aroma. The rice is accompanied by side dishes such as fried chicken, curried spleen, cubed beef, fish roe, fried prawns or fried squid. The vegetable dish would usually be brinjal (lady fingers or "bendi") or bitter gourd. A mixture of curry sauces is poured on the rice. This is called 'banjir' (flooding) and imparts a diverse taste to the rice.
Traditionally, nasi kandar is always served with its side dishes on a single plate. Nowadays, small melamine bowls are used for the side dishes. Nevertheless, the curry sauce mix is always poured directly onto the rice. The most famous nasi kandar stalls in Penang are Nasi Kandar Beratur and Line Clear.
Nasi Kandar Line Clear :)
What a long queue :)
The Curry prawns and Curry Sotong are a hit with customers and come with a higher price. 
Variety of lauk that we can choose :)
List price :)
Map for Nasi Kandar Beratur :)

Address: 98 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, 10200 Penang, Malaysia. 
(next to Kapitan Keling Mosque)

Opening Hours: 10.00pm-9.00am

Hope you all enjoy our post and dont forget to taste when you come to Penang. Thanks for reading :)

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