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An Easy to Prepare Malaysian Party Menu

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When I ran a Malaysian restaurant in London, diners often asked for different dishes that make up a complete Malaysian meal. This is one of many combinations for a successful dinner party. I have chosen this particular menu as most of these dishes can be prepared way beforehand, needing only to be warmed up when it is time to eat.

All the dishes recommended here have different qualities to them in terms of taste and presentation. People often look for variety—different meats and vegetables, and after several heavy courses, I prefer finishing up with a light, refreshing fruit rather than another heavy dessert.

1. Soup – Malaysian ABC Soup

ABC Soup
© Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

Serve this soup steaming hot - it tastes better that way. If your guests are famished, the potatoes and carrots in this first course will help stave off the hunger. The ABC soup is great for clearing the palate and the gentle scent of the peppercorn is a happy presage of the food to come.

2. Starter - Chicken Satay

Satay Ayam
© Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

Chicken Satays are a delicious and popular finger food. Remember to serve them with the Satay Sauce – they go together like cookies and cream.

If you are not planning on having the barbeque going during your party, you can cook the Satays beforehand. Cover them with foil so they don’t get too dry and leave them in an oven on the lowest heat possible. For additional moisture, fill an oven-safe container with water and put it into the oven together with the Satays.

3. Dip – Satay Sauce

Sambal Satay
© Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

You can make a big portion of Satay Sauce days or even weeks before your party. Just store it in the freezer in a microwaveable container. Whenever you need some, microwave the required portion until it is steaming hot. Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl and serve it with the Chicken Satays.

4. Main Course – Sambal Fish

Sambal Ikan Goreng
© Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

The Sambal Fish is easy to make and the spicy and sweet sauce will go down well with most guests. If you have children or guests who cannot handle spicy food, serve a portion of the fish without the Sambal Sauce.

5. Accompaniment – Plain White Rice

Cooking plain rice is simple, and it goes well with just about anything. Eat it with the main course and salad.

6. Salad – Sambal Timun

Sambal Timun
© Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

This is a great accompaniment during a Malaysian meal. The distinct taste of the sambal belacan will bring back memories for those who have travelled to the Orient and tasted the spiciness of the food there. If you have guests who are averse to spices, here’s a non-spicy variation of this recipe. Cut a cucumber into thin slices and add a half teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of sugar. A small, thinly sliced onion is optional. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice into the salad, mix well and garnish with some cilantro.

7. Fruit - Pomelo

Pomelos from Southeast Asia
© Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

After a meal composed of several courses, Malaysians tend to finish up with fruits. Pomeloes are refreshing and most of all, known to be good for health!

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