My husband frequently travels to Asia for his job and was looking for something to do on his day off in Malaysia one Saturday, so he thought trying a cooking school would fit the bill. After searching the Internet, he found that Lazat had good ratings (Trip Advisor 5 stars and ranked #3 of 68 activities in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and was not far from his hotel. “Lazat” in Malay translates to “delicious,” and indeed the dishes he prepared were certainly that.

The cost is between $70-$100 US depending on transportation to and from your hotel, and the class runs from 8:30am to approximately 2:30pm.

The day started out at a local open air market where Chef Sue introduced them to many of the local vegetables, meats and fish. Many items are familiar if you’ve strolled through your local Asian market, but there are others that you’ll probably only get in Southeast Asia (many of the greens and fruits fall into this category).

lazat-greens lazat-fish-stall

After the market tour, they loaded into the van and headed to the class. Lazat is located in a typically contemporary Malaysian home that has a converted area dedicated for the cooking class. The menu varies depending on the day or can be customized if you ask.

On this day, the menu consisted of mostly traditional Malaysian food:

  • Cucur Udang/Prawn Fritters (an appetizer or frequently enjoyed for breakfast)
  • Acar Timun/Spicy Cooked Cucumber Salad (a side dish to Beef Rendang)
  • Beef Rendang (a very traditional Malay dish, frequently served at celebrations)
  • Kueh Koci/Sweet Grated Coconut in Glutinous Ball Wrapped in Banana Leaves (a Malay desert)

Each dish was demonstrated by the Chef, and then the students got to try their hand at duplicating the recipe. All instructions, both verbal and written, were in English and easy to understand.

Malaysian Food – Recipe 1: Cucur Udang/Prawn Fritters

The first dish of Malaysian food, Cucur Udang (or Prawn Fritters), is a simple recipe that can be made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry…or at least in my pantry!

lazat-prawn-frittersIngredients:

  • 60 gms (2 oz) wheat flour sifted
  • 10-12 small prawns shelled and de-veined
  • 30 gms (1 oz) fresh corn
  • 30 gms (1 oz) bean sprouts
  • 20 gms (3/4 oz) shallots (1 small shallot)
  • 10 gms (3/8 oz) spring onion cut into 2 cm (3/4 in)
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 90 ml (3 oz) water
  • Oil for frying

Method:

  1. Place the sifted flour in a mixing bowl and add the salt and turmeric powder. Mix well.
  2. Add the prawns, corn, shallots, bean sprouts and spring onions. Mix well.
  3. Add water slowly, forming a batter.
  4. Heat oil to 375F in a deep pan. Drop spoonfuls of the prawn mixture batter into the oil increasing the temperature to ensure 350-375F is maintained. Fry until golden brown.
  5. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  6. Serve with sweet chili sauce, store bought or homemade (recipe follows).

Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium red peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 4 Thai or Bird chilies with seeds, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients into a small sauce pan and simmer for 20 minutes until thickened.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool before serving.

Download and print the recipe here.

Next week I’ll share 3 more recipes! In the meantime, what type of Malaysian food do you enjoy? Have you ever tried cooking it yourself?

Mary Hathaway, Owner of Dinner Diva, has been a personal chef since 2002. She cooks regularly for clients who have special dietary needs, value healthy cooking by using organic products where possible and those who want healthy family meals but have no time to cook. Whether it’s a dinner for 4, a holiday party for 20, or a set of meals for the week, all of the recipes are customized to her client’s needs or lifestyle. Go to: Dinner-Diva.com for more info.