Traditional [adjective] produced, done, or used in accordance with tradition.
Christmas is filled with traditions – both on and off the dining table. Some Christmas traditions indulge in nostalgia and others can be awkward, but it’s in the kitchen where most of the deep rooted traditions can be found. The argument of which meat – or be that seafood – is the quintessential Australian Christmas. On one side of the kitchen is the stuffed Turkey, and the other is the succulent glazed ham lined with cloves. Then there are the new additions from various influences that make Australian Christmas great; from throwing shrimp on the barbie whilst nursing a refreshing beverage in the other hand, Yorkshire puddings for the British themed late night supper or a duck curry for the adventurous type.
Malaysian food doesn’t naturally come to mind when we think of Christmas. The rich melting pot of flavours that takes inspiration from Chinese, Indian, South East Asia and Portuguese – most commonly known for its laksa – can offer an culinary edge to this year’s Christmas lunch or dinner. Bring the X-factor to the table that will provide a lasting impression this Christmas.
Here are a few handy tips and hints to bring a Malaysia flare to the Christmas table.
Wow your guests with a decadent prawn Laksa. Laksa is one of Malaysia’s best known and most popular dishes, with its rich coconut curry base. The veritable minestrone of South Asia, Laksas can feature anything from tofu puffs, fish shrimps through to chicken pieces and of course, noodles and lots of delicious Asian vegetables. We suggest starting off with an entree size before the turkey or ham.
For post-Christmas meals, why not use the leftover turkey in a prawn booth – keeping the heads and shells and creating a simple broth by adding water, dried chillies, dried shrimp (optional), garlic and palm sugar – and garnished with coriander. Cool and refreshing summer dish that can be served warmed or cold.
Ham is on the classic end of the Christmas table. It always will make an appearance and with its succulent glaze, who can say no to such a delight. The problem with the traditional glaze is its ‘same-same’ taste. For this Christmas, why not add a little Asian influence to the festive table by adding palm sugar and tamarind peel or a Malaysian curry paste for a chilli taste. Serve slices of the ham with sweet pineapple pieces and roti to balance the flavour.
The turkey is the centrepiece to any Christmas lunch. No matter the size or preference for dark or white meat, the turkey will always have its place come the festive season. To look for an Asian influence, we draw your attention to the stuffing component. A fundamental element to the bird in terms of flavour, and this year why not include spices like cardamom, cloves, turmeric and chilli. For those who like a contemporary Christmas, there is the option of coating the turkey in nyonya curry paste or chilli sambal for a sensory Christmas experience.
If you’re leaning towards trifle this year, why not inject mango, coconut cream and pandan . Creating a tasteful Asian fusion to cap off the eating and onto the afternoon nap.
Christmas lunch has just got a lot better. The only downside is that when next year comes around, you will be the one to cook again!
To all of our readers and visitors of The Modern Con, we like to say big thank you for your support over 2015. It has been an fantastic year and we look forward to an even better 2016. The Modern Con wishes everyone a safe and Merry Christmas, with plenty of celebrations into the New Year. We will be back in early 2016 to give you the low-down of what’s noteworthy in Melbourne.
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