Today I left Sarawak for a new state of Malaysia, Sabah. But I’m leaving behind some good friends: Mr. Nasi Goreng Kampung, Sir Mee Kolok Sarawak, Ms. Bee Hoon and of course, the esteemed Laksa Sarawak. Wish I could take them all home!
Nasi Goreng is fried rice, Malay village style (kampung is village). Mine had green onion, garlic, onion and little tiny anchovies that provided an excellent salty chew, and a fried egg (that I ate! After I chopped it up and mixed it in, anyway!)
Mee Kolok Sarawak was made with kinked noodles (like ramen. But fresher), bean sprouts, a local green that was similar in flavor to bok choi, and satay-style seasoned beef. The broth that you pour over the noodles, according to the description, was flavored with star anise and cardamom, and has a sweetness to it that I thought complemented the beef. I slurped the whole thing down quick!
Bee Hoon is fried vermicelli rice noodles, with egg or chicken or veggies. The condiments make the dish- spicy little peppers, bright red and bright tasting, and a squeeze of lime- yum!
I saved the best for last- Laksa Sarawak. Rice noodles again (yeah, I like my noodles more than rice), in a dark brown broth of prawn and chicken stock with laksa paste (dunno how to make that yet, but it probably involves pepper and lots of other spices!), and a little coconut milk. So the broth itself is fantastic! Then add chicken, prawns, eggs (scrambled into an omelet and chopped up), bean sprouts, cilantro, and accompany the whole thing with a lime to squeeze and sambal to up your spicy factor. Sambal is a Malaysian chili mixture made with shrimp paste and/or fish sauce, garlic, ginger, or shallots/green onions, sugar, lime juice, and rice vinegar or other vinegars (according to Wikipedia. My mouth just says its magic!). So you go at this amazing dish with a fork and spoon (spoons take the place of a knife here) and eat til you are sated. Or realize there will never be enough Laksa Sarawak to fulfill your desire and promise to learn to make it yourself when you get home!
I’m looking forward to discovering the flavors of Sabah next, and scuba diving some of the nicest places in the world. Til next time!