Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year!
Two years since moving back to the US, we are back in Malaysia to visit during Chinese New Year. It is good to be back!
We have soooo been looking forward to this trip! We have missed all our family and friends here. In addition, we have missed all the great food that Malaysia has to offer.
The first thing we ate at our reunion dinner? Yee Sang.
Yee Sang Ready to Toss
What is Yee Sang?
Hawaiian-Style Chex Mix
One of the first Christmases I spent in Hawaii, I remember my pastor’s wife, Aunty Terumi, giving me a bag of Hawaiian-style Chex Mix in a Ziploc bag. I thought it was just some cereal mixed together and didn’t really understand why it would be a special treat. But I was told I was very fortunate to be a recipient of Aunty Terumi’s Chex mix. She was renowned for her party Chex mix. As soon as I took a bite, I understood the fuss.
It was spectacular.
Kacang Pool / Malaysian Foul Medammas
I was introduced to kacang pool only very recently, near the end of our stay in Kuching. My friends, who grew up in West Malaysia, and who knew this dish well, wanted to introduce this dish to us. My friend JY told us that kacang pool (as it is called in Malaysia) was derived from the Middle Eastern dish known as foul medammas, which was made from fava beans.
It was served with a sunny side egg and a side of buttered toast. All of that was great to sop up the runny egg and sauce of this dish. That day, as I was eating it, I thought it reminded me very much of American chilli but with some slightly different spices perhaps.
I have always wanted to make a Fattoush salad ever since I was introduced to it many, many years ago in Michigan by a friend. The salad looked so simple and yet the tangy blend of spices caused my flavor receptors to just burst out singing. The basic Fattoush salad recipe starts with leftover pita bread that has been baked till they are crunchy, tossed with lettuce and other ingredients in a citrusy dressing. The a key ingredient in the tangy Fattoush salad dressing is a Middle Eastern spice called Sumac.
Recently, when I went looking at the International Food Bazaar for ingredients to make a simple tahini and date syrup dip (which a friend had introduced to me), I ended up also finding Sumac. I did not hesitate to grab the sumac I found and that very week, I made Fattoush salad.