34 Easy Malaysian Chinese Recipes And Sauces

34 insanely easy Malaysian Chinese recipes and sauces you can master right now to cook up a storm in your kitchen.

All you need are a few minutes to try one of the Malaysian Chinese Recipes below today!

These are the tastiest and most popular recipes in Southeast Asia.  All recipes are tested and approved by numerous customers of my restaurant.

Good recipes are for sharing. Enjoy cooking!

spring onionMalaysian Chinese Recipe #1 - Hong Kong Style Steam Fish

The most important element of the Hong Kong style steamed fish is the sauce. The sauce looks like light soya sauce but is prepared with multiple ingredients such as scallion, shallot, ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce.

Hong Kong style steam fish sauce can be used as a replacement for soy sauce apart from serving with steam fish. It can also be used as a dipping sauce by adding chopped scallion, bird's eye chilli and coriander leaf. It is great as the sauce for pouched chicken, another favorite Malaysian Chinese Recipes. You can prepare a large batch of this sauce and store it in a chiller for about two months.

This is the most popular Malaysian Chinese steam fish recipes.

5 shallots, peeled
3 pips garlic
3cm ginger piece, crushed
2 stalks spring onion
A dash of pepper
100ml premium light soy sauce
500ml water

1. Heat up 2 tbsp of oil.
2. Saute the chopped shallot, garlic and spring onion until fragrant.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to boil.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 10 min.
5. Strain.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Hong Kong Style Steamed Fish

Hong Kong steam fish(A)
1 fresh garoupa, cleaned
1 stalk spring onion
5 tbsp Hong Kong style steamed fish sauce

(B)
1 tbsp of shredded ginger
1 stalk of spring onion, shredded finely
1 sprig of coriander leaf

1. Line a metal steamer with spring onion. Place the fish on top.
2. Steam the fish on high heat for 10 minutes or until cooked.
3. Remove the fish from the steamer.
4. Sprinkle ingredients B on the fish.
5. Pour the hot steam fish sauce on the fish and serve immediately.

1. Always steam fish on high heat. Steam with the lid on at all times.
2. Discard the liquid from the steamer after steaming. Transfer the fish to a clean plate and top it with the steamed fish sauce.
3. The duration of steaming depends on the size, thickness, and the intensity of the heat. A medium fish of 600g-800g will be steamed in about 10 minutes.

curry leaves 2Malaysian Chinese Recipe #2 - Kam Heong Chicken

Malaysia is the culinary tapestry interwoven with richness and vibrant delicacy. The Kam Heong sauce is the holy amalgamation of Malay-Chinese flavors created by the Malaysian Chinese.

Dry shrimp is a traditional ingredient for the Chinese, whilst curry leaves and bird's eye chilli are primarily used by the Malays. This Malaysian Chinese Recipe is also suitable for chicken, prawn and crab stir-fry.

80ml oil
50g dry shrimp
8g garlic
35g shallots
6g curry leaves
5g bird's eye chili

10g curry powder
20g oyster sauce
10g light soy sauce
6g sugar
1/4 tsp dark soy sauce

1. Soak the dry shrimp in warm water for at least half an hour. Wash thoroughly with water to remove any shrimp shells.
2. Chopped the garlic, shallots and bird's eye chili. (Note: remove the chilli seeds before chopping if you prefer to be less hot.)
3. Saute the dry shrimp, garlic, shallots, curry leaves and bird's eye chilli with the oil over a small flame until fragrant.
4. Add curry powder, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and dark soy sauce to (3). Stir and mix over a small flame for half a minute.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months
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Kam Heong Chicken

2 chicken drumsticks (chicken thighs), cut into pieces
5 tbsp Kam Heong sauce
100ml water

1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp corn flour
a few drops of sesame oil

1. Mix chicken with marinade and marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Deep fry the chicken in hot oil until golden brown. Drain.
3. Heat up the Kam Heong sauce in a wok. Add the chicken pieces, water and stir fry until the sauce thickens.
4. Serve.

1. Kam Heong sauce has a strong savory flavor and is best to serve with plain rice.
2. You may add some water to the sauce to stir fry the chicken. The sauce should be thick enough to cling to the surface of the chicken.

chiliMalaysian Chinese Recipe #3 - Kung Pao Chicken

The Kung Pao chicken is the most recognizable Chinese stir fry dish in the world. This Chinese recipe is available pretty much everywhere in the western countries and often strongly associated with Chinese heritage.  It is the symbol of the cooking style of the Sichuan province in China.

The recipe has evolved into various versions across the world. It has become part of the stable of the American-style Chinese food with its own interpretation. Kung Pao chicken is also popular in most Southeast Asian countries due to the high density of Chinese population in this region.  This Malaysian Chinese recipe is prepared with local dry chillies in Malaysia.

20g dry chillies (cut into pieces, removed seeds)
2 tbsp chopped garlic
5g Sichuan peppercorn
100ml oil

5 tbsp chilli sauce
3 tbsp black vinegar
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
200ml water

1. Heat up the oil and saute the dried chillies for a minute or two until it turns slightly dark in color. Add the peppercorn and garlic, saute for another minute until fragrant.
2. Combine with the remaining ingredients and cook on low heat for 3 minutes.
3. Remove from heat.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Kung Pao Chicken

5 slices ginger
1 onion, diced
4 tbsp Kung Pao sauce
300g chicken breast meat, cut into 1 cm cubes
2 tbsp water
2 stalks spring onion, cut into short strips of about 3 cm
50g cashew nuts

1/2 tsp salt
1 egg white
A dash of pepper
1/4 tsp of sesame oil
1 tsp corn flour
1 tbsp water

1. Mix the chicken cubes with marinade and place them in a chiller for at least 30 minutes.
2. Deep-fry the chicken cubes in hot oil for 2 minutes. Drain.
3. Heat up 1 tbsp of oil, saute the ginger and onion until fragrant.
4. Add Kung Pao sauce, water, chicken cubes, and stir fry on high heat.
5. Add spring onion, stir, flip quickly, and dish up.
6. Sprinkle the roasted cashew nuts on top and serve.

1. Kong pao chicken is a Chinese recipe from Sichuan province. Normally Sichuan peppercorns are included in the recipe to render a numb feeling on the tongue while eating. We do not include the peppercorns as they are not available in certain countries.
2. Dry red chillies are widely available in Malaysia. Dry chillies are used in this recipe, but you can replace them with any red chillies.
3. Add some roasted cashew nuts to the chicken after stir frying. The flavor is fantastic.

dry noodle

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #4 - Chow Mein

Stir fried noodles or chow mein in English-speaking countries, actually were named because of a corruption of the Chinese word, “chau-mien.” The name basically just means “fried noodles.” Chow (炒) means fried, and mein ( 面 ) means noodles!

This Chinese sauce recipe will simplify the process of chow mein and remove all the guesswork of what and how much seasoning is required.

140g Oyster sauce
140g Chicken powder
500g Light soy sauce
10g White pepper powder
20g Sesame oil
100g Dark soy sauce
150g Water

1. Mix all the ingredients in a pan or stock pot.
2. Gently heat up the mixture and stir occasionally to combine all the ingredients.
3. Once the sauce is boiled, turn down the heat for 1 minute.  Simmer for a minute and remove it from the stove.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

There are many types of noodles that can be used to stir fry Chow Mein. The following article explains in more detail the different types of Malaysian Chinese Chow Mein recipes

More about Chow Mein (click here)

Chow Mein

25g vegetable oil
1 tsp garlic, chopped or minced
1 egg
40g chicken breast meat, cut into thin slices
20g Chow Mein sauce
40g squids, cut into rings
180g egg noodles
30g bean sprouts
50g cabbage, cut into strips
30g carrots, cut into small strips (fine julienne)
half a teaspoon cornstarch
15g water mix with cornstarch to form a slur
10g spring onion cut into small pieces

1.Boil the egg noodles for about 3 minutes or until they loosen. Use a colander or sieve to drain off the water.
2.Heat up some cooking oil in the wok. Saute the minced garlic over low heat until it is fragrant.
3. Add the meat into the wok. Continue stir frying until the meat is cooked.
4. Add the vegetables, squids and stir fry for about half a minute.
5. Add the noodles and egg. Reduce to medium heat. Continue stir-frying for a minute. Add some extra oil if the noodles stick to the wok. You can also add one or two tablespoons of water if it is too dry.
7. Add half of the bean sprouts and stir fry for half a minute.
8. Add the Chow Mein sauce.
9. Push the noodles to the side of the wok. Pour the cornstarch water into the wok. Stir the cornstarch water with the wok shovel until it is cooked and becomes translucent. Push the noodles back to the center of the wok and stir fry for a few seconds.(optional step)
10. Finally, add the remaining bean sprouts, spring onion and stir fry over high heat for ten seconds. Dish out and serve.

galangal 1

 

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #5 - Satay

Satay is the close analogy to its cuisines such as shish kebab from Turkey, sosatie from South Africa, chicken tikka from India, and yakitori from Japan. The basic ingredients for marinating this Malaysian recipe are turmeric, galangal, fennel, cumin, and lemongrass. The balanced combination of these spices brings out the irresistible flavor of satay while grilling on the open fire with charcoal. Usually chicken breast meat is the most commonly used meat for satay, but lamb, mutton and beef are used as well.  Pork can be used by the non-Muslim in the  Malaysian Chinese Recipe. Satay is usually served along with peanut sauce (called satay sauce in Malaysia).

Peanut sauce is the dipping sauce for satay.. Satay is by far the most famous and unique Malaysian food. Its fabulous spicy and aromatic nature has attracted many locals and foreigners to come back for more for this Malaysian delicacy.

2 pieces dry tamarind (assam keping)
70ml Vegetable Oil
3 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
300g Coconut milk
200g Roasted peanut

100g Red chilli
20g Garlic
100g Onion
1 tsp Belacan (shrimp paste)
30g Lemongrass
20g Galangal

1. Weight and blend all the ingredients to form a paste.
2. Soak the dry tamarind in hot water for 5 minutes, discard the tamarind and use only the tamarind water.
3. Lightly roast the peanuts on a pan or in the oven.  Crush the peanuts in a food processor.
4. Heat up the oil in a wok. Add the blended ingredients and saute until fragrant.
5. Add the coconut milk, tamarind water, sugar and salt. Bring to boil.
6. Add the crushed peanuts. Cook on low heat for three to five minutes until it slightly thickens.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Special note on Belacan (shrimp paste) and dry tamarind

belacanBelachan is made from fermented ground shrimp mixed with salt. It is usually sold in the form of a rectangular block. It has a strong shrimp flavor and a little goes a long way. It is an important ingredient for many Malaysian Chinese Recipes. It can be omitted if you have difficulty getting it.

asam kepingAsam keping or dry tamarind is the ripe asam fruit which is extremely sour.

Ripe Asam fruit is bright yellow-orange. Sundried slices of "asam keping" are commercially available, popularly used as a vegetable salad and is extremely sour. It is found in many Malaysian Chinese Recipes. You can use tamarind (asam jawa) as a replacement.

Malaysian Satay

1 kg Meat (chicken / lamb / beef)
4g Turmeric powder
80g Sugar
1 tsp White pepper powder
8g Coriander powder
10g Fennel powder
10g Cumin powder
150g Vegetable oil
20g Sweet soy sauce
10g Salt

70g Lemongrass
110g Onion
30g Garlic
110g Galangal
1.5 tsp Belacan (shrimp paste)

1. Cut the meat into 1cm cubes.
2. Blend the lemongrass, onion, garlic, galangal, and belacan until it becomes a paste.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and the blended paste.
4. Marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
5  Put the meat onto the bamboo skewers. (Soaking the bamboo skewers before using can help avoid burning of the skewer).
6. Baste the satay with oil and grill until golden brown.

1. Satay is best to be served with peanut sauce. This sauce is also called satay sauce in Malaysia.
2. The flavor of this peanut sauce is totally different from the commercially available peanut butter. The ingredients used to make this sauce say it all.
3. Here are two simple variations to make use of this easy Malaysian Chinese sauce recipe apart from serving along with satay: (a) Spread the satay on tofu and top it with chopped spring onions. (b) Use satay sauce (instead of mayonnaise) to prepare wraps and burritos.

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #6 - Sweet And Sour Spare Ribs

The main component of JIn Dou sauce is black vinegar,( 浙醋 ) which contributes to the signature flavor of the ribs.  The flavor of Jin Dou sauce is special, due to the use of Chinese plum sauce. It also includes Chinese five-spice powder and makes it uniquely oriental.  The sauce forms a glossy shining coating on the meat, which is visually appealing.

These sweet and sour pork ribs are also known as THE KING (排骨王) of pork ribs among the Chinese. They are also called Jin Dou pork ribs, which refers to the same cuisine. This Chinese dish  can be found in many Malaysian Chinese recipe collections.

100ml black vinegar ( 浙醋 )
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
5 tbsp tomato ketchup
5 tbsp plum sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp five-spice powder
100ml water

1. Combine all the ingredients in a pot.
2. Bring to boil for 3 minutes.
3. Remove from heat.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Sweet And Sour Spare Ribs

1-kg spare ribs, cut into pieces

1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 egg
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp corn flour
1 tbsp custard powder
3 tbsp water

1. Mix the spare ribs with the marinade and place it in a chiller for at least 3 hours.
2. Deep fry the spare ribs until they turn golden brown. Drain.
3. Bring the Jin Dou sauce to boil in the wok. Add the spare ribs and mix well. Dish up.

The pork ribs can be substituted with fish fillet. If you use fish fillet, coat the fish with flour before frying, just like in preparing fish and chips. Transfer the fish to a pan or wok and coat with the Jin Dou sauce.

There are different versions of this spare rib cuisine.  This is the simple Malaysian Chinese recipe that can be prepared easily at home.

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #7 - Thai Lemongrass Steamed Fish

Thai lemongrass sauce consists of many spices that are less known in the western countries. Lemongrass, lime, dry tamarind and fish sauce are among some exotic ingredients.

Lemongrass has a uniques oriental flavor used in a wide variety of Malaysian Chinese recipes. It is suitable as a sauce for steamed fish, as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, and as seasoning for vegetables.

4 tbsp Lime juice
4 tbsp Assam juice
4 tbsp Thai fish sauce
3 tbsp Sugar
15 Shallots, chopped
4 Stalks lemongrass, cut to very thin slices
2 Red chilli, chopped
3 Bird's eye chilli, chopped
Coriander leaves for garnish

1. Combine lime juice, assam juice, Thai fish sauce, and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring o boil.
2. Remove from heat, add the remaining ingredients and stir well.

  • Use it immediately.

Thai Style Lemongrass Steamed Fish

About 800g fish
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
5 tbsp Thai lemongrass fish sauce
3 Lime wedges

1. Clean the fish and rub it with salt and pepper.
2. Place the fish on a plate. Steam it over high heat with the lid on for about 10 minutes or until cooked.
3. Discard any liquid left on the plate.
4. Heat up the Thai lemongrass fish sauce and pour over the fish.
5. Garnish with lime wedges and coriander.

1. Thai cuisine is renowned for the combination of sourness, sweetness, spiciness, and saltiness. This is an original recipe from the Thai cuisine popularized in Malaysia. You can adjust the sourness, spiciness and sweetness by changing the amount of each ingredient.
2. You need to prepare the fresh sauce each time and should not prepare it in advance.
3. Slice the lemongrass as thinly as possible. Use the white part only as the green part of the lemongrass tastes fibery.

basil 1

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #8 - Three Cups Chicken

The Taiwanese Chinese recipe has become very popular among the Malaysian Chinese due to the universal flavor to this sauce.  The three cups sauce has a strong aroma of basil and heaps of garlic flavor. It is an easy to prepare, unpretentious, and homely sauce suitable for stir frying any meat and seafood. The name "three cups" derived from the easy formula by combining three cups of key ingredients of equal portions - namely sesame oil, Chinese rice wine, and soy sauce. A true and authentic Three Cups Sauce is usually used for cooking chicken, but is equally delectable to cook squid, which is called three cups squid.

1 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp Soy sauce  (equal portion of dark and light soy sauce)
1 tbsp Rice wine
2 tbsp Water
15 g Rock sugar

1. Combine all the ingredients.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Taiwanese Three Cups Chicken

500g Chicken pieces with bone (preferably thighs)
2cm Pieces ginger , cut into thin slices
5 cloves garlic , peeled
1 tsp sesame oil
1 big bunch basil leaves
1 Red chilli, cut into short pieces
8 tbsp three cups sauce

1. Clean the chicken and cut it into pieces.
2. Heat up the wok and add the sesame oil.
3. Add ginger, garlic, and stir fry until it becomes aromatic.
4. Add the chicken and three cups sauce.
5. Cover the wok and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Add water if it is too dry.
6. Add the basil and chilli, stir fry over high heat until the sauce thickens.
7. Dish out and serve immediately.

1. The ratio of sesame oil, wine and soy sauce is 1:1:1. (Use one cup of each, hence the name 'three cups' of this Taiwanese Chinese recipe).
2. The smoking point of sesame oil is quite low. Be careful not to overheat the sesame oil, as it will acquire a bitter taste.

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #9 - Wu Xi Spare Ribs

Wu Xi spare rib is one of the most famous Chinese dishes originated from Wu Xi, a town in the province of Jiangsu. Legend has it that Wu Xi spare rib was invented 800 years ago during the Song dynasty of China. Once there was a beggar asking for food in front of a restaurant. The kind owner of the restaurant sympathized with the beggar and gave him the last two pieces of meat he had. In return, the beggar handed over a bunch of spices.  He told the owner to cook the pork ribs with the spices.

 The next morning the restaurant owner thought it didn't hurt to follow his suggestion and gave it a try. To his surprise, the resulting pot of pork received raving reviews and praise from his patrons. The dish was then named after the town Wu Xi, and the recipe was passed down through generations until today.

45g Xiao Xing wine
45g Oyster sauce
45g Light soy sauce
50g Sugar
135g Tomato ketchup
1/2 tsp White pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Wuxi Spare Ribs

500 g pork spare ribs
2 stalks of spring onion cut into 5cm length
20g ginger cut into thin pieces
3cm cinnamon stick
1/2 star anise pod
5 cloves
1 tablespoon of red yeast
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon of white pepper
180g Wuxi sauce

1. Cut the spareribs into single-bone pieces. Marinate with one tablespoon of salt for 12 hours or overnight in a chiller.
2. Blanch the ribs in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain. Pat dry.
3. Heat the oil in a wok. Saute the spring onion, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, and cloves until fragrant.
4. Add the ribs Wuxi sauce, red yeast and just enough water to cover the spare ribs. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for 60 minutes or until the ribs become tender.
5. Remove the ribs from the braising liquid.
6. Strain the braising liquid through a fine sieve. Reduce the liquid to a thick sauce.
7. Add the ribs back to the sauce. Coat the ribs with the sauce and reduce the sauce further until it becomes syrupy.

This popular Malaysian Chinese recipe can be simplified by omitting the cinnamon, cloves, and red yeast. Marinate 500g of pork ribs with 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce, two teaspoons of oyster sauce, and two teaspoons of cornflour for at least half an hour. Deep-fry the pork ribs and cook with the sauce as per the recipe above.

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #10 - Thai Basil Chicken

Basil chicken, which is called pad kra pao gai in Thai, is one of the beloved Thai street foods popularized in the western countries. Its flavor is unique and unlike any other western cuisine.

Make the Thai basil sauce in advance. The sauce can also be used with pork, squid, shrimp or even tofu. The abundance used of basil, red chillies and the unmistakable flavor of Thai fish sauce is unique and considered exotic by some westerners.

Basil is widely used in Thai food and is as popular as spring onion for Chinese food and rosemary for Italian food.  It has a lovely licorice flavor and aroma and is suitable for soups, stir fries, Thai curries, salads, and cold noodles dishes.

If you are yearning for a spicy stir fry, you will enjoy the spicy flavor of bird's eye chillies and fish sauces beautifully mingling with the fresh taste of Thai basil.

75g Oil
40g Garlic
70g Onion

25g Bird's eye chilli
30g Dark soy sauce
45g Fish sauce
1tsp Cornflour
1tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp White pepper
150g Water

1. Finely chop the garlic, onion and bird's eye chilli.
2. Heat the oil in the wok. Saute the garlic and onion until fragrant.
3. Combine the remaining ingredients with the garlic and onion in the wok. Bring to a boil.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months
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Thai Basil Chicken

500g Chicken breast meat
150g Thai basil chicken sauce
20g Thai basil  (leaves only)
Red chilli, chopped for garnish
Oil for deep frying

1. Cut the chicken breast meat into small cubes of about 1 cm in diameter or less.
2. Deep fry the chicken cubes in oil for half a minute. Drain.
3. Pour the Thai basil chicken sauce into the wok over low heat and bring it to a boil.
4. Add the chicken cubes. Stir fry over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until the meat is cooked.
5. Add the basil and continue stir-frying for half a minute until the basil shrivels.
6. Add some water if it is too dry so there will be some gravy at the end of the stir-frying process.
7. Place it on a plate and garnished it with chopped red chillies and fresh basil leaves.

1. Deep fry the chicken before stir frying with the sauce. Deep fried chicken meat has better aroma due to the browning effect of deep frying.
2. Cut the chicken breast meat into 1cm or smaller cubes. The flavor of the sauce will thus penetrate every part of the meat.
3. Be generous with the amount of basil. Basil makes this dish stand out.
4. Stir fry until the sauce becomes a thick gravy so that the sauce can adhere to the surface of the chicken meat.

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #11 - Malaysian Sambal Prawns

Sambal is a chilli-based sauce primarily made from red chilli. Garlic, onion, and belacan are other common ingredients of this spicy sauce.  Sambal sauce is suitable for use in a wide variety of recipes. If you are akin to spicy food, you can add some extra bird's eye chilli or dry chilli to further enhance the flavor of sambal.

Sambal is a versatile chilli paste used as a dipped sauce as well as for stir frying. Sambal is made of chilli, garlic, and shrimp paste called belacan. A variety of sambal can be prepared by adding onion, anchovies, and squid. It is best known as a condiment for the famous Malaysian dish called nasi lemak (rice cooked with coconut milk).

100g Dry shrimp , soaked in water until it is softened, then coarsely chopped
10 Pieces shallots , chopped
1 tbsp Minced garlic
1 tbsp Belacan
5 tbsp Chilli paste
1/2 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
100ml Vegetable oil

1. Heat up the oil and saute the dry shrimps until fragrant.
2. Add garlic, shallots and stir fry until aromatic.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir-fry until the paste is nearly dry.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Malaysian Sambal Prawns

300g prawn meat
One onion, cut into rings
One red chilli, cut into short pieces
2 stalks of spring onion cut into short pieces
60g sambal sauce

1. Deep fry prawns in hot oil for one minute. Drain.
2. Saute sambal sauce, onion rings and chilli with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil until fragrant.
3. Add the prawns and spring onions pieces. Stir fry until the prawns are cooked.

Sambal prawn is the one dish that is famous for a reason: you will probably have a hard time  to find another dish that is close to its taste!

Another way to use sambal sauce is to add it to the Chinese spring rolls while wrapping them, creating sambal spring rolls.

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #12 - Spicy Garlic Fish

Spicy garlic sauce represents the classic Malaysianised Chinese flavor.  Garlic and onion are sauteed the conventional Chinese way, combined with plenty of red chillies and tomato ketchup.

This is a popular sauce on most street food stalls.  This sauce is full of the aromatic flavor of garlic.  It is normally used as the topping of steamed or deep fried fish, or any seafood and meat. It can also be used as a stand-alone dipping sauce.

2 cloves Garlic,  peeled and chopped
2 Medium size onions , peeled and chopped
5 Red chillies , chopped
150ml Tomato ketchup
100ml Water

(seasoning)
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
2 tbsp Light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp ugar

1. Heat up 5 tbsp of vegetable oil. Saute the chopped garlic and onion until fragrant.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and seasoning.
3. Simmer over low heat until it thickens. Remove from heat.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Spicy Garlic Fish

600g Mackerel about
Onion medium size, diced
3 tbsp Spicy garlic sauce
200g Water

1. Deep fried the fish in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Drain.
2. Heat up 1 tbsp of oil in the wok. Saute the onion and chillies until fragrant.
3. Add the Spicy Garlic Sauce, fish and stir well.
4. Add some water and simmer for about five minutes or until the gravy thickens. Serve hot.

You can use this sauce to prepare the following simple dishes:
1. Eggplant salad: Cook an eggplant until it is soft. Remove the skin and cut it into small strips. Mix in the spicy garlic sauce and serve.
2. Marinate chicken thighs with the spicy garlic sauce for at least one hour. Pan friy or roast the chicken in the oven.

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #13 - Black Bean Chicken

Black bean sauce is one of the most common sauces used by street food vendors in Malaysia. It was developed by the local Chinese and is very much an everyday home-cook Malaysian Chinese recipe among the Chinese community.

The taste of black bean sauce is salty, thick, and has high umami of soybean. It is also suitable for seafood, meat and vegetables such as bitter gourd.

Black bean sauce is made from fermented black soybeans, shallots, ginger, and chilli. It is also called 'douchi' in English, the verbatim translation from Mandarin.

It is widely used in China for steamed pork ribs, fish, and stir fry vegetables. It has a strong and deeply savory taste, perfect for serving with plain rice.

5 Pieces shallots , peeled & chopped
2 tbsp Garlic , chopped
1 tbsp Ginger , chopped
1tbsp  Fermented black beans , soaked & chopped
2 Pieces red chillies , chopped
1 Stalk spring onion , chopped
100ml Vegetable oil
1 Liter water

(Seasoning)
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp white pepper powder

1. Heat up the oil in the wok.
2. Saute the chopped shallots, garlic, and ginger until they become fragrant.
3. Add the fermented black beans and stir fry until aromatic.
4. Add the seasoning and water.
5. Simmer over low heat until it thickens.
6. Remove from heat.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Black Bean Chicken

30 g green capsicum, cut to triangular pieces
30 g onion, cut to pieces
1 red chilli, cut to 1cm length
100ml black bean sauce

1/2 tsp of cornstarch
50ml water

300g chicken, cut into pieces
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp of cornstarch
1 tbsp of oil

1. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
2. Deep fry the chicken with hot oil until golden brown.
2. Heat up the black bean sauce in a wok. add the capsicum, onion, red chillies, and saute until fragrant.
3. Add the chicken into the wok and stir fry with the vegetables.
4. Mix the cornstarch and water to form a cornstarch slurry. Pour into the wok and quickly stir until it thickens.

1. The black bean used in this recipe is the fermented black bean. The taste is entirely different from the raw black bean.
2. The salt content of different brands of fermented black bean may be different. Adjust the salt required if necessary.

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #14 - Stuffed Bitter Gourd With Minced Pork

Spicy Soybean Sauce is a homegrown Malaysian Chinese sauce with the use of soybean (Chinese) and chilli paste (Malays).  It is suitable for steam fish as well as for cooking a variety of vegetable and meat dishes.

There are many ways to use this sauce. The simplest way is to spread the sauce over the fish or fillet. It is a savory sauce with a touch of sweet note. It can also be used for chicken stir fry or spread on top of stuffed bitter gourd with mince meat.  These are the common Malaysian Chinese dishes that can be prepared at home quickly.

50g, Shallot  chopped
50g Garlic , chopped
20g Ginger , chopped
20g Leek pickles , chopped
50g Chilli paste
100g Chinese plum sauce
100g Grounded fermented soybean paste
100g Vegetable oil

1. Heat up the vegetable oil in the wok.
2. Saute the chopped shallot, garlic and ginger until they become fragrant.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to boil.
4. Remove from heat.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Stuffed Bitter Gourd With Minced Pork

Ingredients A
1 bitter gourd, about 250g
80g of spicy soybean sauce
2 tablespoons of vegetables oil
50ml water
Ingredients B
500g of minced pork
1 stalk of chopped spring onion
1 tablespoon of shredded carrots
1 tablespoon of dry Chinese mushroom, soaked and diced
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cornflour
1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil

  1. Wash and cut the bitter gourd into 3cm length sections. Remove the seeds to form a ring.
  2. Combine all the ingredients B. Stuff into the bitter gourd rings.
  3. Heat up 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a flat pan. Pan fry the both sides of the rings until golden brown.
  4. Add the spicy soybean sauce and water. Simmer until the bitter gourd rings are soft and tender. Serve hot.

Cheong cheng fishYou can use the spicy soybean sauce to make a variation of very tasty noodles: Heat up the spicy soybean sauce and mix with minced pork in a wok. Stir fry until aromatic. Pour sauce over egg noodles and serve with shredded carrot and cucumber.

Alternatively just heat up the spicy soybean sauce, pour over any steamed fish, and serve with white rice.

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #15 - Tofu with Preserved Pickles and Minced Meat

The minced meat sauce is made with minced pork or chicken breast meat and some Chinese preserved radish.  It is a savory Chinese food recipe commonly used as a topping for tofu and Chinese noodles.  It can also be used on any pasta dishes and stir fries with vegetables.

Minced meat sauce with preserved radish is the Cantonese-style cooking among the Malaysian Chinese. The meat sauce is normally prepared with pork, and additional ingredients such as dry mushrooms and pickles. If can be used as topping of tofu or mixed with noodles, much like the bolognese sauce for pasta.

150ml Vegetable oil
65g Garlic , chopped
250g Onion , chopped
170g Preserved radish (choy pou 菜脯)
500g Minced pork
4 Shiitake mushroom , diced and soaked

Seasoning:
100g Oyster sauce
10g Sugar
20g Sesame oil
1 tsp White pepper powder
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Light soy sauce
1 tbsp cornflour
600ml Water

1. Heat up the vegetable oil.
2. Saute the garlic and onion until fragrant.
3. Add the minced meat and preserved radish. Stir fry until the meat is cooked.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the sauce thickens.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Tofu with Preserved Pickles and Minced Meat

1 Cube tofu
150g Minced meat sauce
1 tsp Spring onion  (chopped)
1 tsp Red chilli  (chopped)

1. Deep fry the tofu in hot oil until it turns golden brown.
2. Place the tofu on a plate.
3. Heat up the minced meat sauce in a pan. Pour the meat sauce over the tofu.
4. Garnish with chopped spring onion and red chilli.

1. The Chinese character of the preserved vegetables (choy pou) is 菜脯. If you do not read Chinese, you can show this Chinese character to the owner of the Chinese grocery shop.
2. You can omit the preserved vegetables and increase the amount of mushrooms to prepare another variant of this sauce.
3. An oriental style pasta with the minced meat sauce can be easily prepared by using this sauce as the topping.

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #16 - Sweet & Sour Pork (Ku LO Yuk)

Ku lo is the sauce to cook Chinese sweet and sour pork. The origin of sweet and sour pork can be traced back to the 18th century Canton or earlier. It spread to the United States in the early 20th century after the Chinese migrants as gold miners and railroad workers turned to cookery as trades. In some countries the dish is known as Ku lo yuk.

Ku lo yuk consists of pork pieces deep fried with corn flour batter. The Malaysian Chinese recipe of this sauce contains tomato ketchup and plum sauce, and stir fry with vegetables and fruits such as tomato, cucumber, pineapple, and onion. The deep fried pork pieces are then either added to the vegetables to stir-fry or just mixed with the vegetables to preserve their crispiness.

5 tbsp Tomato ketchup
3 tbsp Chilli sauce
3 tbsp Plum sauce
2 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Salt

1. Mix all the ingredients in a pot.
2. Bring to boil.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Sweet and Sour Pork

50g Cucumber, diced
30g Red capsicum, cut to triangles
30g Green capsicum, cut to triangles
30g Pineapple, diced
50g Onion, diced
80g Ku Lou sauce
2 tbsp Vegetable oil
Egg and cornflour to coat the pork for deep frying

Pork 300g, cut to 2cm cubes
2 tsp Cornflour
1 tbsp Light soy sauce

1. Marinate the pork with cornflour, baking powder, and soy sauce for two hours or more.
2. Coat the marinated pork with egg and then cornflour.
3. Deep fry the pork in hot oil until golden brown. Drain and set aside.
4. Heat up the vegetable oil in a wok. Stir fry the onion until fragrant.
5. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring the sauce to boil.
6. Pour the sauce on the pork and serve.

1. Ku Lo is the alternative type of sweet and sour sauce in this recipe collection (the other one is Jin Dou sauce). Ku Lo sauce has more tomato flavor than the Jin Dou sauce.
2. You can substitute pork with chicken or fish fillet and cook exactly the same way.

Malaysian Chinese Recipe #17 - Pan Fried Prawns in Char Siu Sauce

Char Siu sauce is traditionally used for barbecue pork, and can be used as a dipping sauce for any meat dishes.  It can be mixed with blanched noodles to become a delicious Chinese dry noodle dish (干捞面) and used for stir frying pork and chicken.

This sauce can also be used for roast duck and seafood such as prawns, which is popular in Southern China.

(A)
100ml Light soy sauce
100g Sugar
1 tsp Vegetable oil
1 tbsp Oyster sauce
3 tbsp Rice wine
1 tsp Five-spices powder
200ml Water

(B)
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 Stalks spring onion
5 Slices ginger

1. Heat up 1 tbsp of vegetable oil.
2. Saute ingredients (B) until fragrant.
3. Add (A) to (B), stir well, and bring to boil.

  • Room temperature : 1-2 day
  • Chiller : 1-2 weeks
  • Freezer : 2-3 months

Pan Fried Prawns in Char Siu Sauce

12 Prawns, medium size, shelled and deveined
1 Green capsicum, cut to pieces
1 Red chilli, cut to pieces
1 Onion medium size, cut to pieces

Gravy:
3 tbsp Char siu sauce
2 tbsp water

1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cornflour
1/2 tsp Sugar
A dash of white pepper
1/4 tsp Sesame oil

1. Marinate the prawns for at least 30 minutes.
2. Deep fry the prawns in hot oil for half a minute. Drain.
3. Heat up the vegetable oil in a wok. Stir fry the onion and chilli until fragrant.
4. Add capsicum, char siu sauce, and water.
5. Add the prawns and stir-fry over high heat until the sauce thickens.

It is optional to use the Chinese five-spices powder to prepare the sauce. The flavor of the five-spices powder is quite strong and only a small amount is required.

I know it is an overwhelming list of Malaysian Chinese recipes and sauces.  It represents the most popular dishes among the Chinese community in Malaysia and Singapore.

Remember, you don't have to try all the recipes on the list.

Just pick the recipe that is most appealing to you and start cooking.

You have the time, and you can do it whenever you wish.

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P.S.  I'd love to hear from you.
Please leave your comments below if you have questions or suggestions to make this list more complete.

KP Kwan
Restaurateur
Malaysia

Now it's time to start cooking in the kitchen!

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