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Li Shen Chong

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Li Shen Chong was born in Subang Jaya, Malaysia in 1996. She is a student at the University of Minnesota.

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0:03:00

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

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“Dah makan ke?” “Ni saaptiya?” “Chi le ma?” “Shek bao meng ah?” “Have you eaten?” Malaysians always greet each other with “Hi, have you eaten?” instead of “Hi, how are you?” Malaysia is a country located in the South East Asia. It is a multiracial country consisting of the Malays, Chinese, Indians, and other indigenous people. To me, Malaysian food is the best reflection of the multiethnic make-up of its population. Let me introduce you to some of the popular Malaysian food. Of Malay origin, “Nasi Lemak” is frequently referred as the “National Dish.” It is made of rice steamed with coconut milk and “Pandan” leaves, accompanied by dried anchovies, peanuts, hard-boiled eggs, and sambal or curry. A representative of Chinese Malaysian food is “Bak Kut The,” which means pork rib soup. It comes from a Hokkien dialect, “Bak Kut” means meaty ribs and “Teh” means tea. Pork ribs is boiled with garlic, dark soy sauce, and herbs for many hours and typically served with Chinese tea. “Roti Canai” is a type of Indian-influenced flatbread found in Malaysia. It is made of wheat flour and comes with many variations, either savory or sweet. For instance, “Roti Telur” (egg flatbread), “Roti Pisang” (banana flatbread), “Roti Tisu” (flatbread looks like tissue and covered with sugar), “Roti Bomb” (flatbread looks like a bomb and contains margarine inside it) and even “Roti Nutella.” I think a lot about Malaysian food since I have been in the U.S. because it gives me a taste of home. Cooking and eating it helps me to cope with homesickness. I have been far away from my home and family for four months now. To overcome homesickness, I have learned to cook my favorite food from home. I got some good recipes from my mother and the Internet. I was really grateful that I have packed packets of traditional spices along and I am able to buy some ingredients in the Asian market here. Whenever I cook Malaysian cuisine, I will ask my friends to come over and eat it together. Malaysian food shows my identity and enables me to share my culture and tradition to other people. It makes me feel at home, even though I am far away