Nothing beats having a warm and loving meal cooked in the comfort of home…
Food prepared at home is often likened to mom’s cooking – fresh, hot and tasty. Typically, people cook at home to avoid the hassle of dining out. However, eating out does sometimes raise questionable hygiene issues as well as unsanitary dining conditions. In addition, open-air eateries such as roadside stalls and alfresco food-courts are potential suspects for their general cleanliness in food handling and food preparation. Even though upscale diners and premier restaurants might be the ideal destination of choice for the discerning culinary foodies, they usually set back one’s budget quite substantially. Moreover, pristine & premium food always comes with a hefty price-tag. Also, home-cooked meals need not necessarily be pricey, sacrifice their quality or compromise on taste. Below are five restaurant-quality homemade dishes on a budget. Happy cooking folks, and bon appetit! ;)
A generous offering (i.e. 150 gm portion) of premium-cut beef/buffalo steak pan-grilled to perfection, marinated with your favourite black pepper or brown sauce. Served sizzling hot with an assorted selection of sautéed vegetables, lightly-baked herbed potatoes, and optional French fries on the sides. Truly an eye-opening treat as well as a mouth-watering dish for steak lovers and meat aficionados alike!
One of the more distinct signature dishes of Penang Island which is famed for its hawker fare and street foods. This classic Penang-style curry noodles has earned its mark among legendary Penang delicacies such char koay teow, assam laksa or rojak pasembor. The fragrant coconut milk in the curry broth & noodle mix coaxes (stimulates) one’s palette and drives (seduces) one’s hunger. Its so-called ‘cocktail combo’ of vermicelli rice, bean sprouts, peppermint leaves, yellowtail shrimps, fresh cockles and tamarind slices is definitely too inviting or irresistible to ignore. It would be the ultimate foodie cardinal sin if one does not “clean out” the laksa bowl – apparently to justify its heavenly tastiness and absolute deliciousness!
If you love prawns, this dish would be a perfect starter to any meal. Premium tiger prawns deep fried Japanese-style with accompanying hot & spicy dipping sauce adds zest to the irresistible crunchy prawns. Add onion slices and bay leaves for an extra kick or punch to this delectable treat. Makes for an ideal ‘finger food’ snack at any event or for any occasion. Best shared with only your best buddies!
One of Malaysia’s most enduring delicacies is a satay-style Mediterranean fusion dish between Middle Eastern kebab and Japanese sashimi (uncooked fish strips). The salmon stick fillets are quick grilled over charcoal fire until slightly charred or mildly caramelized. Sprinkle the “smoked salmon” with a dash of salt and serve immediately with mayonnaise or your favourite sour sauce dip (Thousand Island). Ideal as an appetizer to start your main course or can be even enjoyed on its own!
A variation of the American-style breakfast set of bacon strips and scrambled eggs. For the Malaysian variety, you can replace bacon with beef tenderloin or chicken sirloin. The bacon is typically pan-seared whilst the eggs scrambled & fried. Makes for a light but hearty breakfast when you are in a morning rush. This simple and straightforward dish qualifies as a “fast food”, minus all the frills. Since this basic breakfast is without the frills or add-ons, do not expect toast, cheese or sausages. Perfect for campers who need to travel light, and for nomads who are constantly on the move. Another example of Malaysian creativity with their food!