Key Malaysian Ingredients

 Amy cooks recipes from the cooking class she took in Kuala Lumpur in her kitchen in Seattle for the party.  By the end of the meal, shopping lists and plans to cook more Malaysian food are on most everyone's mind.  These six recipes are included in the book: Roti Jala, Laksa, Otak-Otak, Rendang, Fruit Rojak Salad, and Black Sticky Rice Pudding.

 A key ingredient for Malaysian cuisine is dried shrimp paste. The Blachen package in the photo is a popular brand -- and a lifetime supply with infrequent use -- as a recipe usually calls for one teaspoon. Keep it tightly covered and contained in the freezer as it has a really nasty smell until cooked and mixed into the other ingredients.

Shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaf, turmeric, coconut milk and chiles are common in many dishes.