As a Malaysian at heart, I’ve always loved spice. Anything spicy is just my go to. And since it’s International Hot and Spicy Day, I’m sharing with you a list of some of the weird but surprisingly good spicy food that I found on the internet and the ones I’ve tried that you can also, maybe someday, taste yourself!
I swear, some of these dishes might seem strange at first, but hey, you won’t know if you’ll like it ‘til you’ve tried it!
Maybe you’ll like them, maybe you won’t, who knows? But as I always say “yang paling penting, asalkan pedas!”
My cousin went to Cameron Highlands a few months ago. While she was there, she went to a restaurant that had something on the menu that made her go “ooh, I’ve got to try this!” We’ve heard of a lot of sambals over the past, haven’t we. And really, if you’re creative enough, anything can be turned into sambal. Which brings us to this particular one; strawberries.
She brought a bottle back just for us to try out. It’s… not like normal sambal, I’ll tell you that. It’s a mixture of sweet and sour and it has little strawberries in it that aren’t fully mixed in. Now is it spicy? Yes. Is it good? Well… to me it is.
It’s not any different from acar, if you’ve had those before. If you want to give it a try but don’t want to risk going outside for it (you know, because of the Omicron and Deltacron and all the other Decepticons), you could order one off of Shopee!
I don’t know if you’ve heard about this before because I sure haven’t. Rendang Landak is a thing. And apparently, there’s a restaurant here in Selangor that you can eat at called Restoran Lembah Bernam, Sekinchan that sells porcupine rendang. Don’t worry, they’re all farm bred.
The porcupine rendang is cooked just like a normal rendang is, with robust curry spices and coconut milk. But the meat itself is said to be similar to chicken or beef but with more fat than meat, since porcupines are mostly fat. But okay, we’re not really here to talk about the porcupine. We’re here for the spice. And according to some reviews I read online, the rendang is pretty spicy.
So, if you’re in Sekinchan and craving for something unusual, head over and give that dish a try.
Nasi Lemak Tea
We’ve had a lot of nasi lemak inspired dishes before. Some of them were less than normal, like the nasi lemak ice cream from Santan and Crème De La Crème and the nasi lemak cheesecake from Lepaq Lepaq cafe. But have you ever tried drinking nasi lemak flavoured things?
Because yeah, this is a little weird. I’m just going to put that out there. It’s not technically physically available anywhere here yet but you can still order them online and have a taste if you want.
It’s supposed to taste like a “fragrant rice blend of houjicha, genmaicha, coconut flakes, dried pandan, dried chilli & flavouring”, according to the website. Honestly though, if I were to buy this and it tastes just like nasi lemak, imagine how much weight I’d lose just drinking this instead of inhaling nasi lemak everyday?
I had these once by accident. I bought it at a supermarket in the clearance section right after the mooncake festival ended a few years ago. It’s surprisingly good because the outside is doughy and sweet but the inside is spicy. Very much ideal for someone who likes something spicy but also something on the go.
However, I do think that these are seasonal, so if you don’t find them anywhere near you when you go out, that’s probably why.
If I were to properly describe it, it would have a similar taste as those sambal ikan bilis buns from Gardenia. Although I would understand that sambal mooncakes might not be the most delicious thing you could eat. But if you do want to give it a shot, there are few shops on Shopee that sell them for you to try out. You can even give them as gifts to your friends who enjoy both spicy and sweet desserts.
These kinds of snacks usually come out during Raya season. You know, when they have all sorts of kuih and biskut Raya by the table where you sit and catch up? My aunt always buys these in bulk whenever Raya rolls around. And they always end up half empty halfway through conversations. (Take a drink every time I say Raya.) Anyway, we used to always make honeyed cornflakes when we were younger, no?
But nowadays, we Malaysians like to always push ourselves above and beyond into creating something that’s not only familiar, but also spicy. This snack has become one of my all time favourites, but even I have to admit, you just have to get used to it at first.
The belacan may be a teensy bit overwhelming to someone who’s not used to their cornflakes being savoury. But it’s great, trust me. Make it yourself and give it a try!
Bonus: KoKo Krunch And Chilli Sauce
Don’t make that face. Hear me out. I used to throw this back in high school. During lunchtime, my friends and I would exchange our lunches and come up with our own food concoctions. Some work, others… not really.
We were all pretty adventurous when it came to food. And one day, one of our friends brought KoKo Krunch to school but forgot to bring milk. We could have easily just eaten it dry but where’s the fun in that? So, we tried it with a whole bunch of condiments, but chilli sauce was the best one. And we’ve had that snack ever since.
Don’t Knock It ‘Til You Try It
Now that you’ve read all that, which ones are you most excited to try out if you haven’t already? You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but what’s the point in life if you can’t try out new exciting food? Branch out your tastebuds a little bit, friends! There’s a whole world of spice you haven’t discovered yet.
Speaking of unusual spicy dishes, have you ever wondered what chocolate sambal tastes like?