Sambal Shiok is ‘The Malaysian Cookbook’ according to its subtitle. However ‘A Malaysian Cookbook’ might be more accurate; not due to any shortcomings but simply because, by the author’s own admission, the book is not intended to be definitive – ‘several of my dishes are not what you may traditionally find in Malaysia but are firmly rooted in Malaysian flavours,’ says Yin.
The author is Mandy Yin, a London based lawyer-turn-street food vendor who now runs Sambal Shiok (which means ‘shockingly good sambal’) Laksa Bar restaurant in the Holloway Road. This is her first cookbook.
You should buy Sambal Shiok. That’s it. Trust me, click the link below immediately, you’ll love it. Still need convincing? Well, if you happen to be new to the irresistibly spicy, sweet, savoury and sour delights of Malaysian cuisine, then this is the perfect introduction.
The selection of essential ‘Hawker-Centre Favourites’ includes chicken satay with peanut sauce, anchovy fried rice (nasi goreng), fried flat rice noodles (char kway teow); curry laksa noodle soup, and coconut rice with egg and sambal (nasi lemak). If that isn’t already making you feel very hungry indeed, then how about some home style dishes like Malaysian chicken curry; beef rendang; tamarind prawns, or classic spiral curry puffs? Yin’s own non-traditional dishes include the satay burgers that launched her food career.
Thanks to a chunky introductory section and generous recipe introductions, there’s plenty to read about Yin’s own food journey as well as Malaysian food culture and background information to the dishes.
Yes, the ingredients lists can look a little long and daunting, but once you’ve got your Malaysian store cupboard stocked up, the recipes are actually mostly very straightforward. Have you ordered it yet?
Suitable for: For beginners/confident home cooks
Cookbook Review Rating: Five stars
Buy this book
Sambal Shiok by Mandy Yin
£20, Headline Home
This book was shortlisted for the Andre Simon Food Award. Read more here.