The history of Malaysia and the Singapore peninsula involves the coming together of many peoples, and this is reflected in the region's exciting food, a medley of fiery and sweet spices, fresh ingredients and flavours from China, India, Thailand and Japan, to name only a few. The region is proud of its distinct localized cooking styles and flavours, such as those of Penang or Sarawak, and of the different groups of settlers, such as the Nonya. Singapore has been a self-contained nation since 1965 and has an exciting urban lifestyle, which has led to an emphasis on quick, fresh food from hawkers. Lining the city streets are rows of stalls, selling noodles, Indian and Chinese dishes, European-style cakes, Indian breads and a plethora of vegetarian and seafood specialities.
The authors explore the culture and history of the regions, as well as describing the cooking equipment, techniques and ingredients used in Malaysia and Singapore. An understanding of the region leads to a greater appreciation of its cuisine and the way that textures, flavours and ingredients work together. The authors focus on using ingredients that are available in Asian food markets, such as the essential flavours of sweet garangal and kaffir lime leaves, and exotic fruits and vegetables.
In the main section of the book, 150 classic, famous and popular recipes have been carefully assembled. The dishes are organised into chapters covering the different elements of Malaysian and Singapore eating - street snacks, fragrant soups, delicious meat, fish and vegetarian main courses, fresh and flavoursome side dishes, red-hot relishes and cooling desserts. Choose among this fabulous menu to try glorious coconut and lemon grass-infused Singapore laksa, rich Malay lamb korma, aromatic grilled tamarind prawns, East-West fusion dishes such as sweet and sour deep-fried squid or sesame prawn toasts, local signature dishes such as Singapore chilli crab, steamed ginger custards, mango lassi and other cool, refreshing drinks, and fiery pickles, from the red hot sambal belacan to crunchy, sweet Nonya acar.