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Sydney Table - March 2010

It would appear Amy and I are tuned in together today. After weeks of being busy and getting my new computer and concentrating on Salty Popcorn and being sick and having the parental units staying with me I finally made the decision today that the recipe for the main course of my Megafeast Dinner had to go up. Click on Megafeast Dinner for the menu and first course of Halloumi in Chilli Sauce - YUMMY.

For an extensive history on Malaysia and how its food became so diverse head on over to THIS WEBSITE

But the main for me was my grand affair - the meal I had to create that could show all my extremely judgemental school friends that I could cook and deserve the right to hassle them constantly to read more of my websites - including Sydney Table. So today is Sydney Table's Malaysian Day - Amy has given us a superb restaurant to visit that I most definitely will - I do believe the small restaurants can produce the best meals - less pretension and more food cooking - YUMMY. And I am giving you Malaysian Seafood Stew - this takes between an hour or two to prepare and about half an hour to cook - it is authentic and the best part is the freshness mixed with your own made paste - hope you enjoy - do yourself the favour and spend a day making this divine meal. If you are a coriander you can also throw in a bunch of coriander - all finely chopped - for me it would have ruined everything

This serves between 6 & 10 people depending on the size of your servings - it would be ideal with the Halloumi as an entree above and while Helen's Grape and Chardonnay was immensely loved I would next time like to serve a lemon myrtle or green tea ice cream as the dessert.

Malaysian Seafood Stew Recipe

* 4 medium to hot fresh red chillies, seeded
* 8 garlic cloves
* 2tsp paprika
* 4tsp shrimp paste - preferably fermented but not absolutely necessary
* 3Tbsp chopped fresh root ginger
* 500gms small shallots - red is preferable but I could not find them so used the standard
* 6Tbsp peanut oil
* 2tsp crushed fennel seeds
* 4 fennel bulbs cut into thin wedges
* 1.5 litres of fish stock - (I just bought the Campbell's giant popper sized ones)
* 500gms of thin vermicelli rice noodles
* 900mls coconut milk (I bought lite)
* juice of 3 limes
* 80mls of Thai fish sauce
* 900gms of white fish fillets, monkfish, halibut, snapper or similiar - cut into think chunks
* 900gms of large raw prawns (then shelled and deveined)
* a bunch of fresh basil
* 4 spring onions thinly sliced

It is very easy to prep nearly everything during the morning or day and then it makes it much easier to cook at night. Prep your paste and your seafood so all ready to cook - the rest should be simple.

Malaysian Seafood Stew Recipe

1) Process the chillies, garlic, paprika, shrimp paste, ginger, and four shallots to a paste in a food processor, blender or spice grinder - I used a Bar Mix Add 2tsp of the peanut oil to the paste and process again until fairly smooth.
2) Heat the remaining oil in a large pan. Add the remaining shallots, the fennel seeds and the fennel wedges. Cook until lightly browned, then add 6Tbsp of the paste and stir fry for about 2mins.
3) Pour in the fish stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 9mins.
4) While this is happening prepare the vermicelli noodles by the instructions on the side of the pack - mine stated to place the noodles in cold or warm water for 2mins and then to drain, set aside.
5) Pour the coconut milk in to the pan of shallots, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, then add the juice of 2 limes, with 4 Tbsp of fish sauce (you may want to block your nose ) Stir thoroughly to combine. Bring to a simmer and taste, adding more curry paste, lime juice or fish sauce as you think necessary - I did not add any more to mine.
6) Place the fish in the pan and cook for about 4mins, then add the prawns and cook until they turn pink. Chop up most of the basil and add to the pan.
7) Divide the noodles evenly among the plates and then ladle over the stew. Sprinkle with the spring onions and remaining basil leaves and get ready for plenty of compliments

I recommend a nice sweet red wine with this and a great bunch of friends.


Sorry Jason - I had to hijack this one coz I think anyone who likes South East Asian food and loves a good spice should try this place out!

Malacca Straits serves traditional Malaysian cuisine. I am sure in my travel blog that I've mentioned I like Malaysian food. Well, in Sydney, I have found a couple of really good authentic Malaysian places that actually make me feel like I am in Malaysia - and this is one of them.

The place is tiny - but is always packed. From curries to stir frys to excellent desserts, there haven't been any dish that I did not like!

Highly recommended are: the Chicken Kapitan Curry, the Crying Tiger, Sambal Udang and 'Butter Chicken' (I think this one is only available through the specials board in store)

Now - things are going to be spicy, and I generally don't like chilli - however it's a funny thing. The Malaysians must have some sort of aromatic spice that makes the chilli actually taste good, and not just spicy. Be ready with a glass of soy milk if you are not spice tolerant.

Check their website for other yummy stuff on the menu:

When I go again I'll take some photos

Besides the smell of mint I have never been a huge fan. When I tried to grow it it went completely out of control, like a weed, and killed everything else in its battle of dominance. And when I have cooked with it in the past I am unsure if I had used to much of it but its flavour also always seemed to dominate.

lamb with mint and chilli

Not with this meal - as my eating partner in crime stated "the marriage of the chiili and the mint in this dish is deliscious" - well said Carrie - it was divine and will be cooked again.

We had a great night - hadn't seen Carrie in close to a month - was a great meal at my newly arranged and now unflooded lounge room - I now have a fully functioning dining table - am sssssssoooooooo civilised and makes for better meals. It was also awesome that Carrie cried with joy at how much weight I had lost - I told her my biggest secret was to stop drinking red - of course I said this while we were finishing a bottle of red - hahahahaha

lamb with mint and chilli



* 2TBL spoons of oil - I used rice bran but vegetable would also be fine
* 750gms lamb fillet, thinly sliced - thankgod Coles had it pre sliced but 750gms cost about $18-
* 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 1 small red onion - cut into wedges or thinly slices
* 2 small red chillis, thinly sliced - leave seeds in for more kick - the chilli I used were the standard long red chillis and it was not hot at all - more sweet
* 1/3 cup of oyster sauce
* 2 and a half TBL spoons of fish sauce
* 2 tsps brown sugra
* 1/2 cup of finely chopped mint leaves
* a small handfull of whole mint leaves
* a pack of fresh baby corn
* cooked rice to serve

lamb with mint and chilli


* Heat a wok over high heat, add one TBSP of the oil and swirl to coat
* Add the lamb and garlic in batches - I found four batches was managable - and stiry fry for 2 mins or until lamb is almost cooked. Remove and set aside, covered
* Heat the remaining oil in the wok, add the onion and stiry fry for 2mins or until soft
* Return the lamb back to the wok with the baby corn
* Stir in the chilli, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar and the chopped mint leaves and cook for another 3 mins
* Remove from the heat, serve over rice with a small handfull of the full mint leaves on top of each plate

lamb with mint and chilli

I cannot fault this dish at all - it is divine to eat and so simple to make. TIP: If cutting the lamb yourself - ensure you cut across the grain - it keeps the meat together during cooking.

To make it taste even better, eat it with chopsticks and drink a nice sweet red with it

And massive thanks to Carrie for bringing dessert - yummy fruit flans and a tub of icecream that was bigger than my freezer


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