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The author of ‘The Malaysian Kitchen’ was first fascinated with food as a child in Kuala Lumpur.
Christina Arokiasamy has just written a new cook book called "The Malaysian Kitchen", which celebrates the cuisine of her home country, and she invited us into her home kitchen for a cooking lesson.
Why is Malaysian food so good? Because it is big on condiments, it makes copious use of okra, and it goes smashingly well with beer. Because its food created by Indian, Chinese, Portuguese and Baba Nyonya multicultural flavors. I believe you will be eager to peruse it, too.

Arokiasamy, a Malaysian native, professional chef, and cooking instructor, showcases a flavorful array of Malaysian dishes in this enticing and accessible collection. Heavily influenced by the country’s main ethnic groups—Malay, Indian, Chinese, Nyonya, and Portuguese—this cuisine often borrows ingredients from other cultures to provide an endless variety of flavors, as Arokiasamy’s welcoming dishes and flavors show.

Arokiasamy, a Malaysian native, professional chef, and cooking instructor, showcases a flavorful array of Malaysian dishes in this enticing and accessible collection. Heavily influenced by the country’s main ethnic groups—Malay, Indian, Chinese, Nyonya, and Portuguese—this cuisine often borrows ingredients from other cultures to provide an endless variety of flavors, as Arokiasamy’s welcoming dishes and flavors show.

A stunning new cookbook takes home cooks on a culinary adventure to the heart of Southeast Asia. In The Malaysian Kitchen, chef and author Christina Arokiasamy shares recipes for incredible dishes that are as simple as they are delicious.
Spices do more than perk up the flavor of your food — they put a natural pharmacy right in your kitchen. Few people know that better than Christina Arokiasamy, the local author of the cookbook and memoir “The Spice Merchant’s Daughter.”
Malaysian-born chef Christina Arokiasamy was offered a cookbook deal after appearing on the Food Network in the US as host of Bespoke Malaysian Kitchen based on the idea that she would be introducing and teaching Malaysian dishes to Americans.
Think you can’t cook Malaysian food? Too complicated? Wouldn’t know where to start? Think again! This spicy, tangy, vibrant cuisine is well within reach if you have a copy of chef Christina Arokiasamy’s new cookbook. She served as Malaysia’s first official Food Ambassador to the U.S., so take her word for it and whip up some authentic nasi lemak tonight.
Growing up in Kuala Lumpur, Christina Arokiasamy vividly remembers the spices which formed the cornerstone of her childhood.
This turmeric fried chicken is as addictive to crunch on as it is beautiful to look at.
Influenced by the diverse influences of Malaysian cuisine (Indonesian, Chinese, Indian, and Portuguese), recipes range from preparation of simple sauces like sambal (an Indonesian/Malaysian hot sauce) to popular Penang street food like mee goreng (fried noodles), to tandoori broiled salmon.
Malaysian Food Ambassador Chef Christina Arokiasamy stopped by KCAL9 to show some of Malaysia’s finest culinary heritage.
It seems to happen every time: Your chicken biryani looks and smells amazing, but tastes impossibly bland. The reason, says chef, author and spice expert Christina Arokiasamy, could be that your spices need refreshing...
In honor of National Breakfast Month, Chef Christina Arokiasamy - Seattle resident and Malaysian Food Ambassador to the U.S. - shares her recipe for "flying bread," called Roti Canai.
"What is Malaysian cuisine?" That was my first question interviewing Chef Christina Arokiasamy, the first ever Malaysian Food Ambassador to the U.S.
Chef Christina was born and raised in Malaysia, is the author of "The Spice Merchants Daughter" and is also considered a spice expert, coming from 5 generations of spice merchants. I couldn't recall ever going to a Malaysian restaurant and Malaysian ingredients weren't something I searched for when I went grocery shopping. The National Restaurant Association spotlighted Malaysian cuisine as one of the top 3 trending flavors of 2014 but yet I couldn't find anyone that would recommend any Malaysian restaurants in my area. Meeting Chef Christina would prove to be very educational, enlightening and a great introduction into a delicious cuisine.
"I’ve tasted the future and it’s spicy. For all the cultural diversity in Los Angeles, particularly with regard to the Pacific Rim countries, there is no significant Malaysian presence to be found. That will soon change."
Malaysia's Food Ambassador to the U.S for Malaysia Kitchen USA, cookbook author, and the chef of Malaysia Kitchen USA Christina Arokiasamy was featured in this August 2014 article in Flavours magazine.
KristieHang.com A Taste of Malaysia in LA
"So apparently there was some big survey taken by the National Restaurant Association in which they declared that Malaysian cuisine is one of the top three trending flavors of 2014. My stomach could have told you that!"
According to an industry report compiled by the National Restaurant Association, the top three trending flavors of 2014 are Korean, Peruvian, and Malaysian. We Angelenos are quite familiar with Korean and Peruvian cuisines thanks to influential chefs like Roy Choi and Ricardo Zarate, but the Malaysian culinary scene remains far less prominent in comparison.
Chinamerica FM Malaysia Kitchen Podcast
[Links to a streaming MP3 file.]
Chef Christina Arokiasamy is a fifth-generation descendant of a family of spice merchants. She grew up in Kuala Lumpur, trained in Bali and Thailand, and today makes her home in Seattle, Washington. Arokiasamy says she is now on a mission to introduce the melting-pot style of Malaysian food to Americans.
Nutrition By Carrie Broadening My Culinary Horizons
"For no rhyme or reason whatsoever, I've never had Malaysian food. I've never been to Malaysia, never been to a Malaysian restaurant, never cooked Malaysian food, don't have a Malaysian cookbook in my collection of 200+ cookbooks.
So when I was invited to attend a "Taste of Malaysia" event sponsored by the Malaysia Kitchen Program, I was all in. And I am now a Malaysian food convert!
Noted as one of the top three trending flavors of 2014, Malaysian food and beverage products are heating up the marketplace with Malaysia’s first-ever Food Ambassador to the U.S., Christina Arokiasamy.
Another year of strong growth for both attendee and exhibitor numbers at the NRA Show. The event offered everything needed to achieve success in the foodservice industry. From knowledge to hands-on implementation, to quantity to quality, from variety to value, from innovation to traditional well-proven solutions, the NRA Show had it all.
• Foodamental Studio - A brand new area of the show floor which translated into a hands-on, crash-course workshop where you could try out the processes and techniques behind the most talked-about culinary trends of the year! On May 17, for example, Malaysia’s Food Ambassador to the U.S. Christina Arokiasamy shared her personal story and demonstrated how spices and aromatics such as turmeric and tamarind qualify as “What’s Hot”.
Southeast Asian chef and author Christina Arokiasamy likes to say that when the flavors dance, that’s Malaysia, and she’s on a mission to awaken palates to the unique pleasures of her native cuisine.
Galangal, the fragrant ingredient popular in cuisines across Asia, tends to get lumped in with ginger. It makes sense: They’re closely related to one another (galangal is sometimes called “blue ginger”), both are rhizomes (knobby, underground stems that sprout roots and shoots), and both have long been thought to have medicinal properties. Trouble is, they’re wildly different. "Its [purpose] is actually the opposite of ginger," explained Malaysian cookbook author Christina Arokiasamy...
North Kitsap Herald Exotic Spices
Christina Arokiasamy has been blending spices and flavors since childhood. Her senses are finely tuned to it, the way a musician has an ear for a melody.
Today's Diet & Nutrition Exotic Spices
The last time I spent so many hours shopping for ingredients was cooking from Morimoto's book, so I wasn't sure at first how Christina Arokiasamy could think her recipes were simple. Simple in the same way that Morimoto thought slicing paper-thin sushi was simple, as in, simple for a highly trained professional? As it turned out, though, she was reasonably correct.
Sunset Magazine Spice Things Up
With more people cooking these days, Seattle's spice shops are seeing a spike in business. Local spice girl, Christina Arokiasamy sniffs out her favorites.
The last time I spent so many hours shopping for ingredients was cooking from Morimoto's book, so I wasn't sure at first how Christina Arokiasamy could think her recipes were simple. Simple in the same way that Morimoto thought slicing paper-thin sushi was simple, as in, simple for a highly trained professional? As it turned out, though, she was reasonably correct.
The Dewey Divas and the Dudes A Spicy Treat
The recipes in this book are truly tantalizing to read but are not itimidating to try, written purposely to include ingredients that can easily be found in North American grocery or Asian stores. What I really like about this cookbook are the first few chapters that outline all the main ingredients you'll need, along with very useful tips on how long they can be stored and what to look for when buying them.
The spice merchant's daughter will not open a restaurant. It's almost a shame. Her cooking bursts with such brilliant flavors, it would rank among the city's most thrilling places to eat.
The Washington Post Basil Chicken Recipe
This elegant little book is for those of us who hunger for dishes that explode onto the palate. The first time I tried one of these recipes, I was tasting things in places I didn't even know had taste buds.
Publisher's Weekly The Spice Merchant's Daughter
The perfumes of Malaysia practically float off the pages of this beautifully composed cookbook. With a Proustian nostalgia, cooking instructor Arokiasamy follows her nose back to Kuala Lumpur, where her mother ran a spice stall (and her great-great-grandfather transported spices for the English East India Company), mangoes were delivered to their home by bicycle and baths were enhanced with ginger-scented water. Her aim is to introduce turmeric, star anise and saffron to readers in a country where the term “spice blend” usually refers to Colonel Sanders's secret recipe. Here, spices are the very foundation of cooking; Arokiasamy demonstrates how concentrated sambal made from shrimp paste or a garam masala can be prepared in advance to simplify dishes in a time-strapped kitchen. Recipes circle her native Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Though Braised Pork in Caramelized Soy Sauce and Rice Noodles with Seafood and Basil, for example, are densely flavorful, they are also relatively easy to make. Arokiasamy is a natural teacher, offering useful cook's tips with how-tos for making rice powder and peeling shallots. Suggested spice pairings, a list of shopping resources and a chapter defining the components of a spice pantry give cooks the tools for improvising on their own. Illuminating her techniques with vivid personal anecdotes, Arokiasamy offers a tantalizing glimpse of a rich, vibrant culture and all its scents and flavors.

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