NUR Dayana Azman Wong’s craving for Malaysia’s reliable standard avenue foodstuff when finding out abroad encouraged her to create her possess cookbook Penang Makan.
Adding yet another feather to her cap, the 32-yr outdated writer designed Malaysians proud when her debut cookbook Penang Makan was awarded the finest in the planet under the street meals group at the 27th Gourmand Awards in Sweden early this thirty day period.
She upstaged other contenders, amid them, a culinary institute from China, Potential Food stuff Studio via Shanghai Jianbing Street Meals, Comida Callejera Guatemala (Guatemala), Bak Fritay (Haiti) and My Street Food items Kitchen area from the United Kingdom (United kingdom).
Sharing her cookbook journey with Bernama just lately, Dayana who was born and raised in Penang reported she begun collecting recipes of her favorite hawker fare just after returning residence from her studies overseas.
Dayana graduated with a Grasp of Science in Worldwide Organization at the Hult Organization School, London in British isles in 2017.
“I have extensive harboured an ambition to produce a reserve, additional of a childhood dream and the interest grew wider when I was doing my Master’s degree in London as I could not come across any cookbook on genuine Penang dishes right here (London),” she reported.
The daughter of a Malay-Chinese couple, Hayati Ismail and Azman Wong Abdullah, Dayana claimed her really like for food stuff and lifestyle was ingrained in her from youthful from her mother and father.
She grew up mastering how to cook and value traditional dishes from the matriarchs of her family members her fondest reminiscences as a youthful lady revolve all over cooking and sharing foods with her loved ones.
“The guide, Penang Makan is absolutely nothing quick of a labour of love”, said Dayana, who has also shared her individual childhood memories of increasing up in the foodstuff haven, that is Penang Island.
Sharing her passion in amassing recipes, Dayana reported immediately after completing her research in United kingdom in 2017, she returned to the Pearl of the Orient and labored in a personal business just before supplying up her task to assist with her relatives business enterprise.
“I began viewing my favorite stalls in Penang. As an alternative of inquiring the hawkers for the recipes, I only ate the food stuff to reignite my taste buds and manufactured absolutely sure I understood the elements in the dishes,” she explained.
Dayana said that most of her recipes in the cookbook have been adapted to suit her palate.
“Then the pandemic transpired and it gave me the much desired time to compile the recipes and exam them out with my mom,” she extra.
Dayana, who also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Toronto, explained the cookbook characteristics more than 50 recipes that are carefully picked and curated for Malaysians to recreate recollections of Malaysia when they are overseas.
Cucur udang, the first recipe
Amid Dayana’s favourite food items is cucur udang, the Malaysian variation of prawn fritters. The deep-fried crispy snack is the first recipe which designed its way into her cookbook. It is usually offered on pushcarts along the roadsides in Penang, with a few variants, Malay, Chinese and Indian.
“Cucur udang is simple but the memory that I get from consuming is, it provides me again to a time when I was a child, when I was 4 decades outdated. My grandmother will make the cucur udang for the afternoon tea.
“Just after my grandfather was performed training in his backyard garden, he would tear open up the cucur udang and give me the prawns he will eat the cucur that is empty. I felt truly loved and that is 1 of my favourite recollections to reminisce,” she stated.
Dayana mentioned cucur udang is in all probability one of the least difficult recipes in the e-book which reminds her of her late grandfather every time she eats it or would make it.
“My mom however cooks the identical cucur udang when I come again from overseas. When I move into the house, I can scent it,” she claimed, including that the scent of cucur udang reminds her of dwelling.
On the cucur udang variants, Dayana claimed the Malay model is rounded with a crispy exterior when fresh new from the wok and a delicate interior crammed with many veggies.
“The prawns employed are shelled and are possibly full or chopped and combined into the batter right before deep-frying. The Chinese or Peranakan variation is crispier, wafer-slim with unshelled prawns on best.
“The Indian or Mamak variation is mainly observed in pasembur (Malaysian salad). They are extra rectangular in shape and are loaded with sliced onions, spring onions and the prawns used are not shelled,” she said.
Up coming, a cooking display perhaps
To a query, Dayana explained it was her childhood desire to look in a Television cooking programme or video clip generation to encourage Malaysian foods and Malaysia to the earth, as she grew up viewing cooking exhibits hosted by renowned superstar chefs.
“I viewed cooking shows by Chef Wan, Denise Keller, Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain, those are my favourites.
“I would really like to have a single, particularly an in-depth cooking vacation programme that discovers the several Malaysian ethnic meals and cuisine, but so significantly, I have still to get any proposal for that,” she stated.
Dayana explained she would like to consider of herself as a human being who prefers dwelling cooked foodstuff and a single who strives to preserve Penang heritage and legacy.
She is at the moment advertising and marketing Malaysian delicacies in Belgium in collaboration with the Malaysian Ambassador to Belgium, Datuk Ahmad Rozian Abd Ghani and is also included in a advertising celebration with the Malaysian Palm Oil Council in Europe.
“We are really fired up about this celebration and are so grateful for the assist and encouragement to encourage Malaysian cultural heritage.
“I consider the up coming action is to organise a very similar occasion and glimpse for distributors to sector our cookbooks throughout the world,” she additional.
Food items is adore
“I want people to appreciate the common way of cooking no matter of in which they are. In a nutshell, while we nevertheless use modern day appliances, the essence is nonetheless there (primarily based on recipes), we nevertheless prepare dinner food from scratch (without having prompt pastes),” she claimed.
Dayana stated the e-book would help the youthful era to know the food substances these types of as lengkuas (galangal), belacan (shrimp paste) and gula Melaka (palm sugar).
“I consider my genuine adore for Penang foodstuff is portrayed in the cookbook. And this is really the variety of guide that I desire I had when I was away from house, when I was finding out at the university for the to start with time,” she famous.
On profitable the coveted award, Dayana explained, “I am pretty honoured and grateful for this award especially this remaining my first ebook, and ‘Penang Makan’ was up towards so lots of many others in the functioning.”
“Successful the award actually boosted my assurance as it speaks volumes about the standard of our Malaysian cookbooks, which is as good as any out there,” she extra. – BERNAMA