Asian Cuisine

Malaysian Popiah

Today I sampled many different asian foods.  It started with a trip to the “Wet Market” in Chinatown.  This is the area where locals go to buy fresh fish, meats, vegetables, fruits, dumplings, noodles, etc.  My first introductions included 3 Asian fruits:  Dragon’s Eye, Rambutan and Dragon Fruit.  The Eye of the Dragon was my favorite of all.  It reminded me of a grape but much sweeter.  The texture was spot on for a grape.  The Rambutan was delicious.  It looked very scary but once I understood how to open and eat the fruit is was really very good.  Was much more delicate than the Dragon’s Eye and was a bit more citrus tasting.  Finally, the Dragon fruit was the least impressive to me.  The fruit itself is very beautiful, pink with folds but the taste is light and very bland.

Next, I sampled a traditional Chinese dumpling.  It was filled with water chestnut, salted egg and green bean paste.  I wasn’t looking too forward to this dish at first but it was actually very delicious.  It was served with a sweet sauce and a chili sauce.  Mixing the two created a perfect combination for the dumpling.

For dessert I tasted my very first Chinese Ice Cream.  It was vanilla ice cream with coconut syrup, kidney beans and green, white and black jelly.  The beans and the jelly are for texture.  Neither of them have much of a flavor but they do give a good texture to the dessert.  The coconut syrup was out of this world!

Later in the day we stopped for a taste of Malaysia.  A “popiah” is a soft, thin paper-like crepe or pancake made from wheat flour.  The filling is mainly finely grated and steamed or stir-fried turnips, jicama, grated carrots, slices of Chinese sausage, thinly sliced fried tofu, chopped peanuts or peanut powder, fried shallots, and shredded, boiled eggs.  It is served with a sweet sauce and a chili sauce creating the perfect balance.  Very good!

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