Peranakan Dishes From the Malay influence a unique “Nyonya”

1 January 2018

From the Malay influence a unique “Nyonya” cuisine has developed using typical Malay spices. Examples are Chicken Kapitan, a dry chicken curry, and Inchi Kabin, a Nyonya version of fried chicken. Pindang bandeng is a common fish soup served in Indonesia during the Chinese New Year and so is a white round mooncake from Tangerang which is normally used during the Autumn Festival. Swikee Purwodadi is a Peranakan dish from Purwodadi, it is a frog soup dish.

Nyonya Laksa is a very popular dish in Malacca, Malaysia while another variant called Asam Laksa is famous in Penang, Malaysia. Pongteh is also another popular and savoury dish of the Malaccan Peranakan community. The main ingredient is onion, black mushroom (optional), chicken (at times pork is used instead of chicken, hence it’s called Babi Pongteh) and fermented bean sauce. The Malaccan Nyonyas are well known for this dish.

Other dishes from the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia Peranakans in Kelantan includes Telur Kesum, Ayam Kerabu and Khau Jam are influenced by Chinese, Malay and Thai cuisine. While in Terengganu, popular Peranakan foods are such as the local version of crab cake, Ayam Pachok which resembles satay with a stronger flavour, fish in spicy tamarind sauce and slow-cooked chicken with palm sugar.[16]

Besides that, Peranakans of Malacca are also well known for a wide variety of traditional cakes (kueh or kue) such as Lepak Kacang, Ang Ku Kue (a black variant is called Kueh Ku Hitam), Kueh Tae / Nastar, Nyonya Bak Chang, Apom Balik (Peranakan’s version closely resembles Indonesian’s Serabi), Kueh Bakol, Tapae, Kueh Kochi, Kueh Bongkong, Rempah Udang, Pulot Enti, Kueh Gulong/Semprong (another variant is Kueh Kapit), Kueh Bolu, Galeng Galoh (also known as Seri Muka), Kueh Bangket and many more. Traditional kueh (or kue) are sometimes made in conjunction with festivals that the Peranakans celebrate. For example, Kueh Genggang (also commonly known as Kueh Lapis), is a type of multi layered cake, most often eaten during Chinese New Year to symbolise a ladder of continued prosperity.

A small number of restaurants serving Nyonya food can be found in Penang and Malacca in Malaysia; and Jakarta, Semarang, Surabaya in Indonesia.

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