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This Meetup is cancelled

Malaysian Cooking Class by Cookbook Author/Chef Robert Danhi at Surfas

  • Surfas

    8777 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA (map)

    34.028872 -118.385988

  • Price: $60.00 /per person

    Refund policy


    Spicy Shrimp in a Sambal of Red Chilies and Tamarind - (Sambal Udang)  'Southeast Asian Flavors' p.335

    From the book: 'Sambal is a chili-based condiment used all over Southeast Asia.  A "sambal" can also be a dish cooked using the spicy condiment. Shrimp is one ingredient that's frequently cooked into a "sambal." It's one of the classic dishes included in the Malaysian sampler platter called "Nasi Lemak," which pairs various stews and fried dishes

    with coconut rice."


    Beef Rendang Curry (Rendang Daging Lembu)  p. 334

    'Layered with spices, this classic Malaysian stew is slow-cooked until the sauce concentrates into an intense, complex paste that coats the tender beef chunks. It's so dynamic in flavor that, to fully appreciate it, this curry needs to be tempered with calming forkfuls of rice between bites.'




    Stir-fried Water Spinach with Garlic and Shrimp Paste (Kankong Belacan)  p. 342

    'Water spinach has as many aliases as a Cold War double-agent: "morning glory," "hollow heart spinach," "ong choy," and "kangkong" are just a few used in Malaysia and Singapore. This very popular green vegetable grows in shallow water all around Southeast Asia. Its unique structure allows for peculiar preparation for cooking. The large top leaves hid tiny, tender baby leaves, or "leaflets" lower on the straw-like stem. Snap and pick the greens underneath each stem leflet.'


    Fragrant Coconut Rice (Nasi Lemak) p.332

    'Each grain of rice is saturated with lightly sweet coconut milk. A knotted pandan leaf is commonly cooked in with the rice to perfume it. Coconut rice, usually served for breakfast, is usually accompaniment by fried peanuts (pg 109), fried small fish (pg 93), a hardboiled egg, chili sambal (pg 284), and sliced cucumbers. In Malaysian and Singaporean eateries, guests select a myriad of curries, sambals, vegetables and other dishes to eat along with the rice. These determine the ultimate cost of the meal. Typically, the coconut rice is piled on a swatch of banana leaf, and all the other items are spooned on. Guests then eat right off of the leaf, or fold it up into a packet to go.'


    All plated together to create this signature Malaysian dish, Nasi Lemak!

    Fragrant Coconut Rice, Beef Curry, Shrimp Sambal and Crispy Anchovies (Nasi Lemak)


    Curry Noodles in Coconut Broth  (Laksa Lemak “Curry laksa”)  p. 302

    'Flavored with a classic Malaysian combination of lemongrass, galangal, chilies, candlenuts, shallots, garlic and turmeric, this dish gets its name from the word, "lemak," which indicates that the dish is "rich," due to coconut milk. Fresh turmeric, a brilliant yellow rhizome that defines the color of the broth, is becoming more and more available in the US.'


    Purple Rice Pudding with Pandan (Pulut Hitam)  p. 348

    'In Malaysia and Singapore this snack is served warm or chilled. "Pulut hitam," the tough grained sticky rice, literally translates as 'black rice." While teacing at the Culinary Institute of America I placed this on the breakfast menu as a hot cereal, garnished with fresh mango and coconut milk. Surprisingly, the dish developed a following that swore by it, reveling in their new found breakfast every day at 6:00am.'


    Dear members,


    A few years ago, I was fortunate to have an opportunity to meet Robert Danhi at an event, and since then it has become one of my biggest goals to have him teach my group how to cook Southeast Asian, especially his favorite Malaysian cuisine.

    Robert is the author of two amazing cookbooks:

    Southeast Asian Flavors















    Easy Thai Cooking














    The cookbook 'Southeast Asian Flavors' was nominated by the James Beard Foundation for the Best International Book 2009 and awarded the "Best Asian Cuisine Book in the USA & "2nd Best Asian Cuisine Book in the World" at the 2009 Gourmand Awards.


    Since it's hard to get hold of him and coordinate due to his busy schedule of events, lectures, classes and frequent visits to Southeast Asian countries, especially Malaysia where his wife's originally from, it's been so challenging for me to plan, but finally I was able to manage! I am now elated to announce this - after a few years of trying. Glad I never gave up!

    As a matter of fact, one of the reasons I decided to start the official monthly cooking lesson meetups at Surfas was to prepare for this class!!  So, you can tell my excitement)


    Reading his cookbook 'Southeast Asian Flavors' was such a pleasant eye-opening experience for me.  Opening the first page, instantly I smelled.. not only delicious food,

    but also the same type of craziness we seem to have in common in our blood...

    And I basically just love people who have a little craziness! lol   He's such a perfectionist who really digs deep and pays incredible amount of attention to every little detail. With this book he's literally perfected the art of being perfectionist.)  It's not just a cookbook, but much more like an encyclopedia with overwhelming volume of valuable and useful information on the regional cuisines, history, and culture that every cook/chef who's interested in Asian cuisine should have and read from cover to cover.  You would enjoy reading it like a storybook of his personal journey as well.  With abundance of beautiful photos taken by himself in the countries he frequently visits, you would never get bored and learn so much about the region through food.

    I particularly liked this part on Malaysian cuisine in his book;

    "Twenty years ago when I arrived in Malaysia, a food-focused multicultural county, I immediately knew I was in the right place. Even before we left the airport my Malaysian-born wife, and her brother began to plot where we were going to eat before heading to their mom's home. In Malaysia, where food is so central to their lives, breakfast discussions often center around what will be eaten for lunch or dinner."

    Wow, my kind of people!!)


    If you're familiar with Malaysian cooking, you know this signature dish called Nasi Lemak and he will teach every component of the dish from scratch.  You will also learn how to use pressure cooker (for Beef rendang curry) and rice cooker to make fragrant coconut rice.

    The dish itself could be satisfying lunch, but we are fortunate to learn two more items:

    Curry Noodles in Coconut Broth  (Laksa Lemak “Curry laksa”) and the dessert.


    So, here's the complete menu:


    1.  Curry Noodles in Coconut Broth  (Laksa Lemak “Curry laksa”)

    2.   A Platter o Fragrant Coconut Rice, Beef Curry, Shrimp Sambal and Crispy Anchovies (Nasi Lemak) which consists of:

    1) Fragrant Coconut Rice (Nasi Lemak)

    2) Spicy Shrimp in a Sambal of Red Chilies and Tamarind - (Sambal Udang)

    3) Beef Rendang Curry (Rendang Daging Lembu)

    4) Stir-fried Water Spinach with Garlic and Shrimp Paste (Kankong Belacan)


    3. Purple Rice Pudding with Pandan (Pulut Hitam)


    ....I can guarantee you this will be an awesome learning experience for both novice and experienced cooks.


    The class is half demo and half hands-on. And you can also purchase signed copy of his book at the class with discount to the group.


    And as usual, we'll be eating the tasty food that are made in the class together after the class (of course! haha)

    If you'd like to attend, please sign up with $60 prepayment by Paypal.


    From the last cooking class by Philip last weekend which was so much fun and a great success again,  I've adapted a new discount fee system for loyal customers.)  Any attendees of my cooking meetups who have helped me set up before the class, or clean up during and after the class will get 15% discount on the next class.


    So.... if you've been good to me (I know you have)) and helped me in the past, please email me to claim your discount!))  That also includes uploading your photos and videos on my meetup pages as I know it's time-consuming task!


    Thank you, thank you, thank you sooooo much for your help, involvement and interest in my group!!


    Hope to see you soon,






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  • Sarah B.

    Wish I could make it but have guests coming in.

    June 16, 2013


Your organizer's refund policy for Malaysian Cooking Class by Cookbook Author/Chef Robert Danhi at Surfas

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