Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Malaysia: Hunt for Ikan Bakar

Ikan Bakar, or "blackened fish," is a Malaysian and Indonesian specialty whereby local fish is spiced with any variety of garlic, chili, turmeric, ginger, lime, galangal, or other regional herbs/roots, and then cooked on charcoals. The skin of the fish is incredibly crispy and the flesh is tender as butter. Something about the spice-blends, too, are madly addicting. Before departing for our Malaysian adventures, we watched enough of Mark Wien's videos to get our mouths watering. Upon arrival, after we finished the Thailand portion of our adventure, we hunted for the best spot to grab lunch in the backstreets of Kuala Lumpur. The picture you see below - a plate of what, I'm still not sure - was the best lunch we had on the whole trip. I think there was some fish, wilted greens, some type of slow-cooked meat shank, heaps of vegetables, tofu, and everything was smothered in spicy sambal sauce and chili oil. For the equivalent of $4 CAD, a lady took control of my plate and dolled out to me what she herself would have eaten (always the best way to go...). Admittedly, we were sweating and tearing up in the 40 Celsius climate eating chilies, but some nice gentlemen brought us glasses of...hot water... to help us out. ...Evidently with digestion and not the temperature factor. It's the Malay cuisine and Thai soups I miss most from our travels.


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