Saturday, 9 February 2013

Negotiating Malaysian Street Foods - Night Market

Tepung pelita, a Malay dessert (kueh) made of rice flour, coconut milk,
and sugar steamed in little banana baskets

Friday is a night market time for us. My strategy is to go as early as possible. It is because most night market food are ready to eat. Prepared early, and brought for selling starting about 6 pm, and can go on till 10 pm. That is four hours of the limit where ready to eat food is safe to eat in the humidity and heat of Kuala Lumpur. Take preparation time 1-2 hours earlier than 6 pm. Buying late or eating late into the night is stretching food safety to much. Some food though are prepared on site, and those are great for the late dinner.
Satay - beef on the left and chicken on the right

Laksa - one day I'll give this another try

Fried Noodles, Fried Rice, Fred Kueh Teow

Fried rice with prawns!

I go usually for yong tau fu and nasi kerabu, while my son goes for all the satay. The satay are meat and lots of fats. There are also stalls selling laksa, rice noodles and cut vegetables served with gravy made of fish, spices and herbs, another fare low in fat. For something soupy, laksa has to be really well made to be delicious. Our neighborhood night market laksa has a lot of room for improvement, so it get a pass from me for now. A traditional Javanese dish called pecal is also being offered by one lady. Whenever I need a pecal fix I made a beeline to this lady stall. It will do until I take time to prepare my own.

same as wadea -made of finely mashed dhal (lentils),
and spices then deep friend

This is wadea - made of coarsely chopped dhall,
spices and also deep fried.

Night market fare are not only yong tau fu, satay, pecal and laksa. There are so much more being offered. From roti canai to deep fried candied potato slices. Burgers and kebabs and all kind of rice, as well kueh and cakes. These foods are not for the faint hearted. Literally.

Sweet addiction - drinks of many hues and flavors

Snack numero uno - all deep fried.

New addition to the snack tray, Malaysian made,
deep fried potato slices

Thus never ever go to the night market super hungry. You could end up with ready to eat food purchases enough for a dozen of people instead of just two. Fine if your entire family came to camp, but money down the drain and a health hazard these night bounty can be, if you had bought food by the gurgle of your stomach. Tonight my choices are pecal, deep fried battered chicken satay (only meat no chicken fat or skin) for my son, some fruits and vegetables and a coconut drink (flesh and water of young coconut). I also usually go for the fresh produce, like  fruits, vegetables, and including sweet potatoes. While favorite snack is usually the steamed groundnuts, although funnily the seller signage says "kacang rebus", boiled groundnuts in Malay.

sweet potatoes, casava, green brinjal, limes, ladies fingers


papayas, pineapples, oranges, apples, atc ...

steamed groundnuts

deep fried chicken fillets (the seller called it chicken satay)

There are also non-food items being sold at the night market. Perfume, bags and all the jazz. It is a place supposedly to get cheapest of daily needs. So if you are in hurry to say furnish your house, and budget is tight, night market can be a place to start. But expect what you buy would not last, a long time. Still, it is a place to bargain. So enjoy.

Hope everyone's Friday is a good one.
Alternative Foodie

(This post has been updated on 30th March, 2013 to include more photos of the night market fares)

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