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More Malaysia: Nonya Chicken Curry and Three Pepper Pork

Gurney Square, Penang

As I’ve mentioned previously, Penang (Pulau Pinang) is one of my favorite places in Malaysia. It’s a bustling little island, with lots of high-tech income and scenic charm. In the next few years there will be modernized trains and a much-enlarged airport. The world-class hotels and resorts (mostly on the north shore) attract lots of visitors.

I have been to Penang several times, always for a week or more. And there’s plenty to see and do. From walking tours of downtown George Town to Fort Cornwallis, you can see British influences at work. After Captain Francis Light claimed Penang for the East India Company in 1786, people of all cultures began to flock there to claim land; a true melting-pot culture ensued. And now there’s even culinary tours.

Ah yes, the food. Here are a couple of dishes I tried while consulting there last year:

Ayam Limau Purut is a very zesty (that means hot, y’all) Nonya-style chicken dish with lots of different flavors, all somehow in harmony with the scorch. You can cut back on the chiles, but that might leave the dish lacking a bit. Still, if your palate isn’t singe-tolerant, dial it back and enjoy.

The Three Pepper Pork was basically a Chinese stir-fry dish, and it could have easily been served in Taiwan, China or even the U.S. Yes, there’s not a lot of pork dishes served in Muslim Malaysia; but this culture is quite tolerant of other cultures and religions, and some restaurants serve pork. Mainly to visitors. Like me. It was delicious!

I look forward to my next visit to Penang with tastebuds primed and ready…

Enjoy the Heat!

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