Vegetarian and Vegan Delights: Healthy and Hearty Malay Options
Here at Mak Tok we are celebrating the delights of vegetarian food all week! What many people do not know is that two of Malaysia's largest communities are the Indian and Chinese ethnic groups.
I was born in Penang, a predominately Chinese and Nyonya area. Growing up I had the privilege to be brought with delicious Chinese and Nyonya tastes and flavours through recipes passed down from my ancestors. Although I am not a vegetarian myself, I took a huge liking to what dishes were on offer. My favourites included Dou Jiang You Tiao, Crispy Sesame Balls, and Chee Cheong Fun.
The veggie food contributions from the Indian community are on par with that of the Chinese. Dhal Curry and Crispy Vadai were two yummy vegetarian dishes introduced by the early immigrants of Malaysia's third largest community, both preferences of mine. Indian vegetarian dishes here are popular due to the use of spices and lentils.
Most dishes here on our website can be adapted to a vegetarian dish by replacing the meat with a veggie or vegan protein.
New to Malaysian vegetarian cuisine? We have you covered with our top three veggie dishes below.
VEGETABLE EGG FRIED RICE
Known as Nasi Goreng Sayur in Malaysia, Vegetable Egg Fried Rice is a light and colourful dish. Quick and simple, this plate is usually made with leftover rice and can be flavoured with lime, tamarind, or our own Mak Tok Sweet Soy Sauce. Top the dish off with veggies, such as tomatoes and spring onions, and a fried egg.
VEGETABLE CHOW MEIN
Inspired from the traditional Chinese Chow Mein dish, the vegetarian option is healthy and yummy - what's more to love? Ready to serve in under 20 minutes, this simple yet delicious dish is made using pan-fried egg noodles, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, spring onions, and bean sprouts. Added in also are oil, garlic, white pepper powder, and garlic chili sauce (we recommend Mak Tok's Garlic Chilli for an extra hint of spice). Vegetable Chow Mein is guaranteed treat for the whole family, full of flavour and texture. Best served with this scrumptious offering is vegan lettuce wraps and spring rolls.
Stuffed Vegetable Tofu, or Tauhu Sumbat, is actually a vegan dish usually eaten as a street food snack here in Malaysia. A childhood favourite of mine and hugely popular amongst most Malaysians, this Tofu can be stuffed with one of four main options - bean sprouts, cucumber, carrots, or sweet jicama. I prefer stuffing tofu with cucumber for that extra crunch, or with carrots as it alters the colour to a lighter shade. The best tofu for this dish is the pre-fried spongier kind, which can be bought from any oriental shop in the UK. Ready to eat in under 25 minutes, this dish is accompanied well with a drizzle of Mak Tok's Hot Chilli Sauce to bring that kick.