Mum Came from Malaysia, and All She Brought Was…

After over a year of being back in the States, Annie’s Mum has come over for a visit! Here’s some of the stuff she brought with her:

Mortar and Pestle

mortar and pestle

Our beloved stone mortar and pestle, which we used to prepare ingredients for lots of dishes in Sarawak (like our Stir Fried Pork with Long Beans). We had to leave it in KL with Mum because it was just too heavy to bring with us. But now we have it again – YAY! :-)

What else was in her luggage?


Dried Shrimp, Scallops and Anchovies

Dried Shrimp scallops anchovies Knorr cubes

Mum brought packages of dried shrimp, dried scallops, and dried anchovies. With it, we can make dishes like Daikon in Spicy Coconut Milk, Chinese Winter Melon Soup, and Wonton Soup. The Knorr brand Chicken Bouillon Cubes and Anchovy Bouillon cubes we will use to make various soups.

White Coffee, White Pepper

White Coffee White Pepper

Mum brought some instant White Coffee packets. Besides satisfying a craving for Ipoh-style white coffee, we could also use it to make more white coffee konnyaku when the weather warms up.

Also arriving: some prized Sarawak white pepper – both ground and whole. This is the best white pepper – so pungent! – and we use it in a lot of our cooking. I don’t think it’s going to last long…

Gula Melaka and Penang White Curry Noodles

Gula Melaka Penang White Curry Mee

Mum also brought us some packets of gula Melaka (palm sugar), which we’ll use to make dishes both savory (Ayam Pong Teh) and sweet (Sago Gula Melaka).

One of the foods that’s all the rage these days in Malaysia is Penang White Curry Noodles. While you may be thinking, “what’s so special about instant ramen?”, trust us when we say this is good stuff. It’s so popular, our friend had to scour three different hypermarkets in Selangor before he found and scooped up the last packages available. We’ll review this in another post.

Kaya and Sarawak Laksa Paste

Kaya Sarawak Laksa Paste

A couple more items out of Mum’s bags: freshly made kaya – pandan-coconut jam – (but no fresh roti Bengali to go along with it) and Sarawak laksa paste from Absolute Tribal Restaurant in Kuching.

I’m so excited! I foresee lots of good cooking in the coming days, although I am a bit worried about how much bigger my waistline will be after Mum leaves.

What kinds of foods do you wish to bring back from overseas? Leave us a comment below!

Aloha, Nate

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9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Hey Nate and Annie,

    Welcome back to blogger! I do check in from time to time. And I myself am not very consistent with my postings either.

    You’re so lucky to get your stone mortar and pestle back. My mom brought one from Malaysia when they immigrated here back in the 70s. Since she moved and now passed away, it has gone missing. Luckily I got her pair of scissors. She was a seamstress.

    My friend brought me a bunch of dried shrimp when she visited from KL a couple of years ago. Can’t believe how expensive they have gotten over here. I always use Thai palm sugar, but a few weeks ago, I used my aunt’s batch of gula melaka in my bubur cha-cha (your recipe by the way) and the sugar smelled and tasted so goood! I had forgotten about gula melaka.

    Looking forward to reading new postings here ….

    • Nate says:

      Hi Eileen,

      thanks for the comment!

      We are very grateful to have the mortar and pestle back in our kitchen.

      There’s nothing like gula Melaka, especially the small-batch ones. Just love their smoky sweetness!

      Happy sails to you!

  2. candace says:

    Hi Annie & Nate. Yall were so right about the white curry noodle. I just went back to M’sia for a visit and my relatives over there insisted that I should take some of the noodles back here with me, so I did & boy, isn’t this noodle fantastic ?!! I am so addicted to this noodle after the first package that I tried

  3. Richard says:

    It’s good to hear from you, again! It’s been a while.

    Say, I have a mortar and pestle very similar to yours. Well, I had all the ingredients for moon cakes but, now I’ve got to move! This’ll put things off for a while (sadly).

    Keep your enjoyable site up-and-running, I read everything you write.

  4. Eding says:

    Hi Annie and Nate, so nice to see all the goodies from Malaysia!! I am planning to ask my sister to bring us ikan bilis through LAX when she comes visit. Do you know if the custom will let ikan bilis in, or if there is any limit on the quantity she can bring?

    Thanks

  5. Lindy says:

    It must have felt like Christmas! haha! :D

  6. Yann says:

    Hi,
    Same question as Eding, can we bring in dried anchovy, dried shrimp into US with us when we travel in? Any limit on quantity? Is there a need for any special labelling?

    Thanks.

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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