MUCH has been said of Malaysia’s culinary diversity. But beyond the more popular char kway teow, roti canai and nasi lemak are dishes that our forefathers used to make and enjoy, at an era when life was less hectic, people were much closer to nature and made the most of what they grew or reared in their backyards.

In the rush towards modernity, memories of simple schoolyard snacks such as asam boi popsicles and skewered sengkuang slices, as well as rendang tok and banana-stem paratal, are slowly but surely fading away.

Fearing the loss of these traditional flavours, Hellen Fong of At 19 Culinary Studio and several other locally based chefs: Mohd Shokri Abdul Ghani, Goo Chui Hoong, Khairil Anwar Ahmad and Ezekiel Ananthan, as well as Sandy Shiek and Suraiya Razib from At 19, aim to rescue them from obscurity.

Tapping into their own memories and family recipe archives, they have come up with Lost Recipes of Malaysia, a collection of recipes that’s sure to take us back in time.

Here are 5 recipes from this collection:

1. Nyonya Pickles (Acar Nyonya) (Above picture). Click for recipe.

2. Patin Cooked in Fermented Durian Paste (Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Patin). Click for recipe.

Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Patin

3. Teochew Sweet Taro Paste (Teochew Orh Nee). Click for recipe.

Sweet Taro Paste

4. Tapioca with Sweet Potato Fries. Click for recipe.

Tapioca Sweet Potato Fries

5. Quail Soup with Asian Basil Leaves (Sup Burung Puyuh dengan Daun Selasih). Click for recipe.

asian basil quail soup

Lost Recipes of Malaysia is available for sale at and major bookstores in Malaysia and Singapore.

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