Nur Dayana Azman Wong’s craving for Malaysia’s reliable conventional avenue food stuff while learning abroad inspired her to deliver her have cookbook Penang Makan.
Including an additional feather to her cap, the 32-year previous author produced Malaysians very pleased when her debut cookbook Penang Makan was awarded the ideal in the globe underneath the avenue foodstuff class at the 27th Gourmand Awards in Sweden early this thirty day period.
She upstaged other contenders, among the them, a culinary institute from China, Long run Food items Studio by means of Shanghai Jianbing Street Food items, Comida Callejera Guatemala (Guatemala), Bak Fritay (Haiti) and My Avenue Food Kitchen from the United Kingdom (Uk).
Sharing her cookbook journey with Bernama lately, Dayana who was born and elevated in Penang said she commenced collecting recipes of her favorite hawker fare immediately after returning property from her experiments abroad.
Dayana graduated with a Grasp of Science in International Company at the Hult Company College, London in British isles in 2017.
“I have very long harboured an ambition to generate a guide, extra of a childhood desire and the interest grew broader when I was executing my Master’s diploma in London as I couldn’t come across any cookbook on authentic Penang dishes in this article (London),” she reported.
The daughter of a Malay-Chinese pair, Hayati Ismail and Azman Wong Abdullah, Dayana stated her enjoy for food stuff and tradition was ingrained in her from youthful from her mothers and fathers.
She grew up mastering how to cook and take pleasure in standard dishes from the matriarchs of her family members her fondest recollections as a younger lady revolve all-around cooking and sharing meals with her loved kinds.
“The ebook, Penang Makan is practically nothing limited of a labour of love”, said Dayana, who has also shared her individual childhood memories of escalating up in the foods haven, that is Penang Island.
Sharing her enthusiasm in gathering recipes, Dayana mentioned just after finishing her research in United kingdom in 2017, she returned to the Pearl of the Orient and labored in a non-public enterprise in advance of giving up her career to help with her spouse and children business.
“I began viewing my favourite stalls in Penang. As an alternative of asking the hawkers for the recipes, I only ate the meals to reignite my taste buds and designed certain I realized the elements in the dishes,” she explained.
Dayana reported that most of her recipes in the cookbook were being tailored to fit her palate.
“Then the pandemic transpired and it gave me the a lot needed time to compile the recipes and test them out with my mom,” she included.
Dayana, who also retains a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Toronto, said the cookbook attributes more than 50 recipes that are meticulously picked and curated for Malaysians to recreate memories of Malaysia when they are overseas.
Cucur udang, the to start with recipe
Between Dayana’s favorite food stuff is cucur udang, the Malaysian variation of prawn fritters. The deep-fried crispy snack is the 1st recipe which produced its way into her cookbook. It is typically offered on pushcarts alongside the roadsides in Penang, with 3 variants, Malay, Chinese and Indian.
“Cucur udang is straightforward but the memory that I get from having is, it delivers me again to a time when I was a child, when I was 4 years previous. My grandmother will make the cucur udang for the afternoon tea.
“Following my grandfather was performed doing exercises in his backyard, he would tear open the cucur udang and give me the prawns he will eat the cucur that is empty. I felt definitely cherished and that is 1 of my favorite recollections to reminisce,” she said.
Dayana mentioned cucur udang is likely one particular of the least difficult recipes in the guide which reminds her of her late grandfather each and every time she eats it or tends to make it.
“My mom still cooks the identical cucur udang whenever I arrive back again from overseas. When I step into the household, I can scent it,” she stated, incorporating that the smell of cucur udang reminds her of house.
On the cucur udang variants, Dayana explained the Malay version is rounded with a crispy exterior when fresh new from the wok and a tender inside loaded with a variety of greens.
“The prawns applied are shelled and are either total or chopped and combined into the batter prior to deep-frying. The Chinese or Peranakan edition is crispier, wafer-slim with unshelled prawns on best.
“The Indian or Mamak model is typically located in pasembur (Malaysian salad). They are much more rectangular in shape and are filled with sliced onions, spring onions and the prawns utilised are not shelled,” she explained.
Upcoming, a cooking clearly show most likely
To a issue, Dayana claimed it was her childhood aspiration to look in a Tv cooking programme or online video manufacturing to advertise Malaysian meals and Malaysia to the world, as she grew up observing cooking displays hosted by renowned celebrity cooks.
“I watched cooking displays by Chef Wan, Denise Keller, Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain, people are my favourites.
“I would enjoy to have one particular, in particular an in-depth cooking travel programme that discovers the many Malaysian ethnic food and cuisine, but so far, I have but to receive any proposal for that,” she explained.
Dayana explained she would like to feel of herself as a human being who prefers residence cooked food and just one who strives to preserve Penang heritage and legacy.
She is now endorsing Malaysian cuisine in Belgium in collaboration with the Malaysian Ambassador to Belgium, Datuk Ahmad Rozian Abd Ghani and is also involved in a marketing event with the Malaysian Palm Oil Council in Europe.
“We are quite enthusiastic about this event and are so thankful for the support and encouragement to endorse Malaysian cultural heritage.
“I assume the up coming phase is to organise a identical celebration and look for distributors to market our cookbooks across the globe,” she extra.
Foodstuff is enjoy
“I want persons to enjoy the standard way of cooking regardless of wherever they are. In a nutshell, whilst we continue to use modern appliances, the essence is still there (based mostly on recipes), we nevertheless cook dinner food items from scratch (with no instant pastes),” she mentioned.
Dayana claimed the ebook would enable the more youthful technology to know the foods elements such as lengkuas (galangal), belacan (shrimp paste) and gula Melaka (palm sugar).
“I imagine my genuine really like for Penang food is portrayed in the cookbook. And this is actually the sort of guide that I desire I had when I was absent from property, when I was learning at the university for the 1st time,” she famous.
On successful the coveted award, Dayana stated, “I am really honoured and grateful for this award primarily this remaining my very first e book, and ‘Penang Makan’ was up against so lots of others in the working.”
“Successful the award definitely boosted my self-confidence as it speaks volumes about the standard of our Malaysian cookbooks, which is as superior as any out there,” she additional. – Bernama