Posts Tagged ‘vegetable’

kacang botol winged bean

Ulam, raw vegetables and herbs is integral to Malay cuisine. On the right is winged bean/kacang botol, and part of the dipping sauce shown (at bottom right).

In this post, I would like to highlight an aspect of Malay cuisine – ulam, which is a version of Malay salad.

Ulam consists of a platter of raw vegetables and herbs, and may also include some that have been blanched. It is eaten with a sambal, a spicy chilli-based dipping sauce. Ulam is usually served as part of a rice based meal.

Kacang botol, the green bean shown above is one of my favorites. It has a lovely combination of a crunchy texture and a mildly creamy taste.

Kacang means bean in Malay, and botol means bottle. I’m not sure why it is so named; must be an interesting anecdote somewhere. Incidentally, it is known as winged bean in English, perhaps named after its uniquely shaped edges. Well, it seems like the bean encouraged people to be quite poetic in naming it.

The bean plant grows as a vine, and it is said to be a good source of vitamin A.

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jalapeno peppers plant

Glad that the jalapeno plant is enjoying the hot days –  conveniently providing me with the spicy kick that I like with my food.

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sandwich condiment

The banana pepper plant in my backyard performs well this year . Banana peppers have a distinctive light green hue, and they are mild in terms of heat. They are great pickled, and adds a nice flavor to hearty sandwiches.

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Malay food

The ketola, a type of gourd, makes a tasty soup believed to have a cooling effect.

I would describe myself as an intermediate home cook, but some of my cousins are very accomplished in their cooking skills.

When I’m in Singapore, they would invite me over and cook my favorite food. Featured here are two dishes, ketola soup and fritters made from tiny shrimps.

The ketola is a vegetable believed to have a cooling effect on the body. The English name for it is ridged luffa or ridged gourd.

When my cousin made this dish, she tweaked our grandmother’s recipe a little by adding fish balls to the soup.

The fritters are made from fresh tiny shrimps called krill, or by its Malay name, udang geragau. These shrimps have a unique crunchy texture, and are relatively harder to come across these days.

When another cousin saw them at a market, she instantly bought them. She then went home; battered them with a flour mixture, onions and green chillies, fried them, and presented me with a delectable plate.


Fritters made with tiny shrimps called udang geragau.

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