The Malaysian Menu first came with the Curry Puff (or Pasty as a local may insist) which is an occasional guest that appears on the Stable Bar menu on bank holidays weekends. With local venison/beef and leftover heat from the Thursday Pizza night, Rendang was the obvious choice to make, alongside a Malaysian Pickle called Achar Asing which I made with the freshest of veg from the no-dig garden and some top tips from the lovely chef and forager friend Alison Clare.
It’s also worth mentioning that Rendang cooked on English TV triggered Malaysian foodies a few years ago…
These recipes were adapted to embrace the local ingredients from the Crake Valley – both Lawson Park and The Farmer’s Arms Gardens so you’ll have to look elsewhere for authentic Malaysian recipes! Nevertheless, these recipes embrace the classic Malaysian style of cooking called ‘Agak-agak’, a Malaysian term for roughly estimated to taste. This style is often used by elders, but becomes troublesome when one asks for clear-cut recipes…
Also, shoutout to Booths for having a decent selection of ingredients like lemongrass and desiccated coconut.
“Asing” – Malay word for foreign
A little twist to a classic nyonya pickle – this recipe will send you on a side quest to forage pineapple weed/wild chamomile. Give these little joy-buds a squeeze and see if it reminds you of a flavoured candy! Pairing them with the tartness of sour apples, it’s a lovely substitute for pineapples that aren’t grown around here like in the tropical parts of the world. These tiny but mighty pineapple weeds can be found on walks in field gateways on poor, compacted soil or graveled pathways and car parks from June to August!
(Fits in one 1L big and small peanut butter jam jars – make sure they’re sterilized and dried properly)
Then equal amounts of:
Spice Paste Ingredients:
1 — Ground peanuts/cashews into fine pieces, not powder.
2 — Half cucumbers and de-seed cucumbers. Cut into 2 inches long strips. Toss and combine the cucumbers with 1 tsp of salt. And let it sit for 30 minutes while you get on with the other vegetables.
3 — Slice beans, beets and carrots into similar 2 inches long strips. Cut cabbage into bite-size.
4 — After 30 minutes, drain off water pooling in the bowl of cucumbers and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Rinse to remove salt, squeeze and pat dry the cucumbers to ensure crunchiness!
5 — Blanch carrots, beans and cabbage in a large pot of boiling water for 3 minutes and rinse in cold water. Spread them and pat dry on a large tray (they keep longer in the fridge if they are dried properly at this stage).
6 — Blend the spice into a paste. Add a little bit more oil if needed to make the paste blend better.
7 — Preheat a large pan or wok. Pour the spice paste and saute for about 10 minutes until fragrant.
8 — Add pineapple weed buds, vinegar and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Turn off heat.
9 — Stir in all the vegetables and fruit, sesame seeds and ground nuts. Toss until well combined.
10 — Allow to cool down completely in pan/wok. Transfer to jars with a tight-fitting lid. Let them pickle and mingle for 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving. Can be stored up to 1 month in the fridge.
Recipe adapted from RecipeTin Eats
1 — Remove seeds from chilli’s if you hope to make it less spicy. Whizz spice paste ingredients in a small food processor.
2 — Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large heavy based pot over high heat. Add and brown half of the venison/beef then remove onto plate. Repeat with the rest of the meat.
3 — Lower heat to medium low. Add Spice Paste and cook for 2-3 minutes until the wetness has reduced and the spice paste darkens.
4 — Add remaining curry ingredients and meat. Stir to combine.
5 — Once it starts to simmer, immediately turn heat down to low to allow sauce to bubble very gently.
6 — Leave to simmer for 1 hour with lid on.
7 — Check on meat to see how tender it is. It should be tender but not to fall apart at touch at this stage. If so, remove meat from pot before next steps.
8 — Turn up the heat to medium and reduce cause for 30 minutes, stirring once in awhile for the first 10 minutes then continuously for the rest until meat browns.