Embracing the plant-based lifestyle in Malaysia

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Photo by Eric Ooi Photography

APA KHABAR!

I’m Davina Goh, a performer and plant-based lifestyle advocate.

I’m based in Malaysia, and “Apa Khabar?” means “How are you?” in Bahasa. Welcome to my page!

I had previously been using social media to post pictures of the food I was making. My friends, excited about my creations, began to bug me to get a blog going. So here it is, finally! This is my space to share recipes, green living tips, and places to find great plant-based food in the Klang Valley, where I live, and aim to expand this to other countries I get to travel to.

It is a huge aspiration of mine to create a happier, healthier Malaysia through a plant-based lifestyle. If you would like to be a part of this movement together, drop me a line! I’d love to explore ideas with you.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy my website! It is a pleasure and honor to share my passion with you.


Freshly squeezed!

2-Ingredient Seaweed Crackers

2-Ingredient Seaweed Crackers

This recipe would not have been published 3 years ago. In fact, in my mind I didn’t even consider anything with less than 3 ingredients to be a recipe at all. I just assumed that people would not be interested in something so simple.

“Are you kidding me?” a friend exclaimed incredulously. “People LIVE for this stuff! Heck, if it was a ONE ingredient recipe they would be on it!”

Thankfully, I have eventually realized this too. So here is a record broken on my blog for recipe with fewest ingredients!

Seaweed Crackers entered the giddy realm of Chinese New Year snacks relatively recently in Malaysia; my ballpark guess is that it has been about 15 years, around the same time that Nga Ku (Arrowroot Chips) became an honorary traditional festive snack.

Don’t let its constitution fool you into thinking that the making of it is just as straightforward.
It requires a fair amount of labour, and you’re going to quickly understand why it is priced as competitively as other CNY snacks if you buy it ready-made.

But out of all the snacks, it is still one of the most accessible to make at home. Nori and Spring Roll Skin are both easy to find in supermarkets, you probably already have a frying pan, and the fanciest tool you’ll need is a pastry brush.

Some notes:

  • Whatever the brand is, Nori Sheets tend to be more or less of similar size. Spring Roll skins are available in multiple sizes. I find the one that suits the dimensions of Nori Sheets best are the ones that measure 215mm x 215mm (8.5″ x 8.5″). If you can’t find this size, feel free to improvise with whatever size skins you can find and use a scissors to shape an ideal fit.
  • When wetting your spring roll skin, the aim is to make it beyond moistened, but NOT soggy. Soggy skin is very hard to work with and may cause your nori to ‘melt’ and break apart when you are pressing the sheet down.
  • If you are working with a wooden chopping board, be quick to lift the combined sheet off the board. If resting on the board for to long, the skin may stick to it and may cause your nori sheet to peel off as you are trying to peel the skin off the board.
  • When layering your combined sheet pieces to cut with scissors, whenever you can, try and ensure that the seaweed sheets are not facing each other. They will stick together easily and be hard to separate.
  • There are no hard and fast rules with cutting your crackers, as long as they are bite-sized. Lines don’t need to be neat either. Even for the pieces where the nori sheet and skin have separated, they will be great for frying too.
  • If your pan is not big enough to accommodate all of your crackers, fry in small batches. Also, don’t skimp on your oil. Overcrowding and too little oil may lead to uneven cooking. This photo represents both. Oh, Davina.

Tip for those who are looking for gluten-free options: this recipe works with rice paper too! Feel free to cut the paper to better complement the square shape of the nori sheet.

Pre-fried rice paper nori crackers are sticky to the touch, and are sticky in the frying pan too. They may also soak up more oil. Try to your pre-fried crackers apart even while frying them, and get your paper towels ready to soak up as much oil as possible. On the left here is crackers with rice paper; on the right is crackers with spring roll skin.

Even though I’m presenting this as a Chinese New Year delight, Seaweed Crackers are versatile and generic enough to be enjoyed at any time of the year. Sprinkle them onto salads, fried rice and congee!  I first cooked them to replace fried anchovies in the nasi lemak I served to the crew of Greenpeace’s campaign sailing ship The Rainbow Warrior.

If you’d like to level up your crackers for movie night, I’ve also come up with two different seasonings. They don’t contain salt as I find these crackers to be salty enough on their own, but you are welcome to add a pinch. The measurements are for 3-4 servings, so feel free to double or triple up the measurements to sprinkle over an entire batch. What you see here is my curry seasoning, tripled.

Warning: Because they are so light and paper thin, a container of seaweed crackers can go VERY fast. Without self-restraint, a whole container can be emptied by one person in one sitting. Keep tabs on yourself! If you’re really good at it, you can store these crackers in an airtight container for up to a week.

During this second round of Movement Control Order, I know the celebrative mood is not exactly at an all-time high. But I hope this little recipe will bring simple pleasures and a pinch of festive spirit into your home. Wishing everyone happiness and prosperity of the heart this Chinese New Year.

This recipe has no ratings just yet.

Seaweed Crackers

February 5, 2021
: 8
: 45 min
: 15 min
: 1 hr
: Moderate

Addictively crispy, these Chinese New Year-inspired crackers are enjoyable all year round, easy to assemble, but maybe not so easy to share!

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 packet of 10 Nori Sheets (for rolling sushi)
  • 10 Spring Roll Sheets (215mm x 215mm) OR 20-22 small-sized Rice Paper sheets (16cm)
  • Cooking Oil for frying
  • Drinking Water for wetting skin / rice paper
Directions
  • Step 1 SPRING ROLL SHEETS:
  • Step 2 Remove 1 sheet from the packet and lay it flat on a clean, dry, flat surface. Keep the other sheets moist by covering them with a clean, dampened cloth.
  • Step 3 Wet a pastry brush with water and brush it all over the skin until it is thoroughly moist. You can apply 3-4 times layers of water.
  • Step 4 Take 1 nori sheet and lay it on top of the skin, gently pressing down with your palms to allow it to stick to the skin. If there are sides or corners that are not sticking, carefully lift up the nori sheet, brush the skin with a bit of water, and press down again. If it still doesn’t stick, don’t worry.
  • Step 5 RICE PAPER:
  • Step 6 Take 1 nori sheet and lay it on a clean, flat, dry surface.
  • Step 7 Take 2 sheets of rice paper and with a pair of scissorrs, cut both sheets into half, creating 4 semi-circles.
  • Step 8 Wet a pastry brush with water and brush 1 semicircle on ONE side until it starts to moisten and curl up.
  • Step 9 With the moistened side face down, place the semicircle on one side of the nori sheet, so that the straight side of the paper and the side of the sheet align. Press down gently with palms to encourage the paper to stick to the nori.
  • Step 10 Repeat steps for other semicircles until the nori sheet is mostly covered with paper.
  • Step 11 FOR BOTH VARIATIONS: Lift up the combined nori and skin / rice paper as one piece.
  • Step 12 With a pair of scissors, cut into bite-size pieces. Separate pieces carefully and lay on a flat plate.
  • Step 13 Fill up a frying pan with a generous amount of cooking oil (approx. 1.5cm layer) and heat up the pan until the oil is very hot.
  • Step 14 Carefully place crackers into oil in batches the size of a small handful. For the rice paper version, place into the oil as separated as possible to avoid them sticking together.
  • Step 15 Cook crackers until they turn a light golden brown. For the rice paper version, cook crackers until the rice paper side looks bubbly and crisp.
  • Step 16 Stir often to encourage even cooking. If your oil is extremely hot, the crackers should cook very quickly, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. If your oil isn’t hot enough, they could cook for 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on your crackers.
  • Step 17 Once done, remove crackers from oil and transfer to a plate line with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  • Step 18 Allow to cool and serve immediately, or transfer to an airtight container. Store in a cool, dry place for up to a week.
This recipe has no ratings just yet.

Cajun Seasoning

February 5, 2021
: 4
: 2 min

A flavour originating from the North American state of Louisiana, this smokey, herby seasoning adds a unique twist to seaweed crackers and any other savoury snack.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • A pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • A pinch of sea salt (Optional)
Directions
  • Step 1 In a blender, food chopper or dry mill attachment for a blender, blend all ingredients for 10 seconds until a fine powder is achieved.
  • Step 2 Sprinkle on crackers, or store in an airtight jar for up to a month.
This recipe has no ratings just yet.

Curry Seasoning

February 5, 2021
: 4
: 2 min

If you love a good curry kick, this enticing seasoning is for you! Adds a South Asian twist to seaweed crackers and any other savoury snack.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Nutrirional Yeast
  • A pinch of Chili Flakes
  • A pinch of sea salt (Optional)
  • A pinch of brown sugar (Optional)
Directions
  • Step 1 In a blender, food chopper or dry mill attachment for a blender, blend all ingredients for 10 seconds until a fine powder is achieved.
  • Step 2 Sprinkle on crackers, or store in an airtight jar for up to a month.


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