Writing covers many areas including writing about our favourite subject: food!

There are more than several blogs by Malaysians whether dedicated wholly to this or only occasionally. There’s a whole gamut from recipes to restaurant reviews. You can visit Argus World or Julie Yee for a taste. But Rasa Malaysia takes the cake and from there you can hop onto her entire blogroll of food bloggers! Talking about gorgeous cakes you can also visit Just Heavenly (who are providing complimentary cream puffs for this mention!).

In Writing About Food, Jenny Linford says: “Saying you are a food writer is, for a lot of people, tantamount to saying you are greedy and spend your life with your hoofs in the trough.” News for Jenny – you don’t need to say you’re a food writer – just say you’re Malaysian! πŸ™‚

Jenny later gives us writers some good advise: “…the art of creating and writing clear, usable recipes is a basic building block of most successful food-writing.”

Anyway, I thought I’d like to share with you a dish I sometimes cook. I hope it’s clear and usable enough!


Mix 1 heaped teaspoon tumeric powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water and mix into a runny paste.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in saucepan. Add 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves and/or 1 star anise and let whole spices flavour oil for a minute or so (this is an optional step and gives the dish a different flavour).

Add paste and fry for a minute making sure paste doesn’t burn or get stuck to saucepan. If needed, add a tablespoon of water.

Add garlic (3 cloves), ginger (1/2 an inch) and about 2 chilies, all finely sliced. (Hotness from chilies can be quite variable, so how hot the dish is going to end up is always a mystery!) Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Fry for 1 minute.

Add 1 onion, sliced up. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Fry mixture of paste, garlic, ginger, chilies and onion until onions are caramalised. This is a very important step that brings all the flavours out and should take at least 20 minutes. The longer the better!

Add 1 tin of coconut milk (Ayam is a good brand) and 1/2 to 3/4 cup water depending on thickness of coconut milk used. Add 1 stalk lemon grass (sliced into 3 or 4 pieces). Add 1-2 whole chilies (optional – for presentation purposes to garnish but delicious too)

Simmer for 40-50 minutes.

Bring to medium heat and add fish (about 3 fish fillets depending on size, each fillet sliced into 3). Will take about 5 to 10 minutes to cook. Test occasionally with fork.

Remove lemon grass before serving. If sauce is too spicy for younger children, remove children’s portion of fish and, in a bowl, rinse a couple of times in boiling water from kettle.