Malaysian Cooking – A Field Report of a Cooking Course in Kuala Lumpur

Food brings people together and sometimes it’s a good way to get to know a culture better. to get to know a culture better. That’s why we decided to do a cooking course in Kuala Lumpur. in Kuala Lumpur. Since usually only one dish is cooked in such a course, we chose a vegetarian dish – Martina is a vegetarian. vegetarian. However, carnivores can read on with confidence, because the would not have been any different for meat dishes, and especially the sauces especially the sauces we cooked are suitable for everything!

Where can you take a Cooking Class in Kuala Lumpur?

We looked around a bit online online and finally decided on a cooking course with a visit to a market. market. Our cooking class was on a Monday. However, this is not the best day for it. Since Sunday is the busiest and most stressful day, many market stalls are closed on Monday. Many market stalls are closed on Monday.

Possible websites through which to book cooking classes are as follows: 

How does a cooking class in Kuala Lumpur work?

Communication before the cooking class

First we booked the cooking course online. Then we wrote to the hosts and chose together what would be cooked. We could also indicate that we wanted to cook vegetarian food. It would also be possible at this point to indicate food intolerances

Local market in Kuala Lumpur

The meeting place for the cooking class is a regional farmers’ market, the TTDI market in Kuala Lumpur. We take a Grab (cf. UBER) there and reach it a bit too early. So we wait at the entrance. An alternative method to visit the market would be to take the Rapid Rail / Monorail line T814 to Komersial Tun Fuad station. 

Our hosts are Teresa and her friend Noorani. They are both over 50 but look under 40, are funny, modern and have a lot of fun answering our questions. We walk around the market for some time. Many shops are closed today because it is Monday. Nevertheless, there is a lot to see. You can get almost all the fruit and vegetables you can find in Germany, plus at least twice as much that you’ve never seen before.

Vegetable stand at the TTDI market

We learn that the shoots of pumpkins are also eaten here. The leaves of moringa are also eaten. A vegetable that looks like an angular cucumber we get to know as loofah gourd – the thing from which loofah sponges are made. We also take a wing bean, a century egg and an egg pickled in salt and coal to try. We also buy some ingredients for cooking, like water spinach.

Schwarze in Salz und Holzkohle eingelegte Eier in einer Kiste
Eggs preserved in charcoal

After the market, we drive in Teresa’s car – a BMW – to her cooking studio. It is a small flat with a beautiful view over Kuala Lumpur. Here, even small groups have enough space and we find everything we need for cooking. We can also sniff our way through a variety of spices and sauces. Some things like cinnamon and star anise we know well, others like tamarind and kaffir lime are familiar but we wouldn’t have recognised them. Still others, such as duck sauce, we have never seen before (it will not be used today either).

First there is tea and Coffee. The coffee is from Malaysia, it’s very tasty and it comes in tea bags! 

Then we start to Cooking. Teresa and Noorani explain every ingredient and every step. step. 

Die Kochlehrerinnen zeigen die richtige Zubereitung der malaysischen Gerichte
Cooking teachers Teresa (l) and Noorani (r) show the correct preparation of Malaysian dishes

What was cooked?

We cooked the following dishes at cooking class:

Erdnusssoße mit Zitronengraß, Chillipaste und, Kafirlimette
Peanut sauce with lemon semolina, chilli paste and, kafir lime
Scharfe Sambal Soße mit viel Chili und Zwiebeln
Spicy sambal sauce with lots of chilli and onions
Frittiertes Tofu
Fried tofu
Tempeh mit Tumeric
Tempeh with Tumeric
Wasserspinat auch Morning Glory genannt
Water spinach also called Morning Glory, beans and sprouts
Normale Eier, ein rötlich verfärbtes Salzei und ein fermentiertes schwarzes hundertjähriges Ei auch Century Egg genannt
Normal eggs, a reddish discoloured salt egg and a fermented black hundred-year-old egg
Gewürzreis mit Ingwer
Spiced rice with ginger, coconut and fried onions
Nachspeise Tapioka Pudding mit Honigmelone
Dessert Tapioca Pudding with Honeydew Melon

We try the Malaysian food!

For dinner, we let Teresa and Noorani alone for a bit so we can taste in peace. 

First, we test the eggs. The Century egg is a spooky black colour. The egg white is slightly translucent, and has an unusually firm consistency. The yolk is very creamy and black-green in colour. Taste-wise it is not bad at all, only the rotten smell is nasty.You can definitely eat it. Traditionally, it is prepared with fish and chilli. We can even imagine that. It’s just that we can’t get that smell out of our noses. After tasting it, we have to put it away and it even takes a few hours before we no longer have the impression of smelling our stomach contents. 

The salted egg, on the other hand, is harmless. It tastes like a totally salted normal egg and only the yolk tastes dried up and crumbly. This is not a treat we need to repeat either. 

Verschiedenes malaysisches Essen auf Platten angerichtet
Dinner is served

The vegetables are very tasty. The coconut-ginger rice is so good that we seriously wonder why rice is always so boringly prepared as a side dish in Germany. We could lie down in the sauces (if they weren’t so spicy). Max is very fond of the chilli sauce, Martina single-handedly eats almost all the peanut sauce.  

The dessert is also very tasty. 

Following the meal, we sit together for a while and talk about Malaysia. We learn some more about must-visit destinations, but also about public life, politics and how religion is treated. It’s exactly these unofficial unplanned conversations that make such courses incredibly valuable. 

Summary Cooking Course in Kuala Lumpur

We learned a lot today. We learned about new foods, new spices, new tastes and new ways of preparing food. We probably couldn’t cook the recipes ourselves. But we at least got an idea of what the typical flavours of the country are made of: chilli paste, palm sugar, tamarind, ginger, coconut milk and lemongrass.

But besides cooking, we also met wonderful new people and learned a lot about Malaysia. For us, the cooking class was absolutely worth it. 

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