I was going to sit down and write this post about a few munchies we ate several weekends ago in Chow Kit when it occurred to me that a few weeks ago, when we went out to eat Durian with Iris’ teaching assistant and her boyfriend, we ate dinner first! Somehow, I got wrapped up in my love of Durian.
Side note about Durian: I work with mostly Malaysians. And one German. While my boss was introducing me to people on the first day and, well, every day since, she always mentions that I love Durian. Instant credibility with Malaysians. I tried it out in my class the other day and it worked there too. With kids and adults! Young and old alike, you scream I scream we all scream for Durian. No no, that was horrible. No its not a trash bin, its Durian! Wait now it sounds like I hate Durian. Okay…oh I got it! Don’t be an old coot, Durian is the king of fruit!
Okay, back to the story at hand. So we went to a hawker stall center…somewhere. I honestly have no idea. The boyfriend drove us. I know it was in Petaling Jaya or PJ as they call it here, because we went through the super cool looking gateway between the two cities. (also, every time someone says PJ I just want to shout out “At home, drawing pictures of mountain tops!” but I digress) Once again, I will stay that I do not believe in god or heaven, but if there is a heaven, I am sure it is loud and full of Chinese people because hawker stall centers are as close to heaven as we can get here in the world. And they are loud…the centers, not Chinese people. The boyfriend and TA did all the ordering, and we had ourselves a feast. I honestly have forgotten the names of a lot of these. It will annoy Iris because I will shout to her in the other room to ask her vague questions while writing this. Sample question: “Honey, what was that black noodle thing?” I might be a terrible person
First up, the guts of the matter:
So this is duck liver and tripe, requested by me. I love tripe. Seriously, I think it is amazing! It can be a beat chewy but still great. And liver just makes me feel like I am getting my weeks worth of iron in every single bite. This was simply prepared and good. It let the food speak for itself.
Next, a holiday treat:
This is Ketupat, a traditional hari raya treat. I’ll let wikipedia do my talking for me.
Ketupat (in Indonesian and Malay), Kupat (in Javanese and Sundanese) or Tipat (in Balinese) is a type of dumpling made fromrice packed inside a diamond-shaped container of woven palm leaf pouch. It is commonly found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei,Singapore, and the Philippines (where it is known by the name pusô in Cebuano, bugnóy in Hiligaynon, patupat in Kapampanganand Pangasinan, or ta’mu in Tausug). It is commonly described as “packed rice”, although there are other types of similar packed rices such as lontong and bakchang.
Ketupat is cut open, its skin (woven palm leaf) being removed, the inner rice cake is cut in pieces, and served as staple food, as the replacement of plain steamed rice. It usually eaten with rendang, opor ayam, sayur labu (chayote soup), sambal goreng ati (liver in sambal) or served as an accompaniment to satay (chicken or beef or lamb in skewers) or gado-gado (mixed vegetables with peanut sauce). Ketupat is also the main element of certain dishes such as ketupat sayur (ketupat in jicama soup with tofu and boiled egg) and kupat tahu (ketupat and tofu in peanut sauce).
So you would think that this is nothing special, but it is really really really really good! I am excited to have some more next year. The decorations around the city for Hari Raya is the green and yellow Ketupat. There were giant versions of it outside of buildings, lanterns in that shape and color lining the holiday. Seriously, everywhere. And I can see why, because it is awesome.
Stay stay, have some Satay
You can’t go to a Hawker center with having Satay. This is just chicken and pork, and is as good as it looks in the pictures! Not much else to say.
A thing I can not remember
Seriously, no idea what this is called. It is essentially a giant spring roll however, and was really good. So you can see the money on the table. Ken, the boyfriend, paid for everything so we will be taking them out to dinner sometime for sure! You order from the various stalls (food carts really) and each individual stall brings you the food and you pay them directly. There is a central place where you order beverages. We got some kind of juice. I can not remember what kind, but it was from a fruit I can not get in America for sure, and it was sweet and sour at the same time. (and Iris is not here at the moment so I can not shout to her!)
And lastly, the big boy of the night:
This is Hokkien Mee. It is one of THE foods of Malaysia, right up there with Nasi Lamek. Once again, take it away wikipedia!
Hokkien mee is a dish in Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine that has its origins in the cuisine of China’s Fujian (Hokkien) province. In its most common form, the dish consists of egg noodles and rice noodles stir-fried with egg, slices of pork, prawns and squid, and served and garnished with vegetables, small pieces of lard, sambal sauce and lime (for adding the lime juice to the dish).
It was great. I picked over the shrimp, as did Iris, and our wonderful hosts were more then happy to eat it. So after all this, all this amazing food, that was when they offered to take us to eat Durian. How to lose weight in Malaysia: Don’t eat at a hawker center THEN go get four Durians to split among four people!
That’s all for now folks!