Liza is a homemaker. She has an obsession with coffee and loves photography, baking, cooking, and writing.
I love home-cooked meals, particularly those that have a traditional background. I have cooked many traditional Malay dishes before, but I also love trying new recipes. When I was growing up in Perak (a southern state in Malaysia), I was influenced by the Malay and Asian cuisine that my mother cooked. Nothing compares to a home-cooked meal, right? It always tastes better.
Cold Weather Makes Us Hungry
When the weather gets cold, as it does here in Utah, it's time to prepare meals that are warm and delicious. The cold weather always seems to make me get hungry more easily. Winter is all about comfort food.
For me, comfort food means dishes that are hearty, tasty, and aren't too complicated to prepare. I also like experimenting and combining different kinds of flavors. For example, if I'm making fried rice, I will pair it with shrimp, eggs, or chicken. I will also add vegetables such as carrot, cabbage, broccoli, and much more.
When I cook instant ramen, I like to add some protein, such as eggs or chicken, and I also add vegetables like mushrooms, green mustard, and tomatoes. Be creative with the food that you're making.
Here are my favorite home-cooked meals that I make for my family when the weather turns cold.
1. Spicy Fried Noodles (Mie Goreng) With Shrimp Tempura
I first made this dish when I wanted to try using the tempura flour I bought at an Asian store. It was very easy to use—just add water to the tempura flour, dump in the shrimp, and fry. Voila! I would encourage working parents to try using tempura flour; it's cheap and fast. You can pair the shrimp tempura with rice or ramen. I decided to serve it with spicy fried noodles (mie goreng).
2. Chicken Noodles (Mi Sup)
This is a must-cook dish in the winter. The warm and delicious bone broth from the chicken is perfect to warm your stomach. I never thought that after I moved to the United States I'd be making chicken noodles (mi sup) at home, because back home in Malaysia, it's easy to find restaurants that do the cooking for you!
3. Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng)
In Malaysia and Indonesia, fried rice is known as nasi goreng, and it is one of my favorite comfort foods. It is very simple but delicious, and it's so tempting when you're feeling hungry.
The best thing about fried rice is it's quick and easy. All you need is cooked rice and some other ingredients that you already have in the fridge. Fried rice is a dish that is endlessly flexible; you can prepare it with your own style.
4. Malaysian Curry Noodles (Mi Kari)
One of my favorite comfort foods is curry noodles (mi kari). In Malaysia, this dish is very popular, and you can find it at the local restaurants and hawker stalls (a more informal food stall selling cooked takeaway meals).
One of the best features of this dish is that it contains all of the important flavors and tastes: spicy, creamy, sweet, and sour. It's perfect for the cold weather. If you have leftover broth, save it and have it the next day for lunch.
5. Instant Ramen
Instant ramen noodles are one of my favorites to make during winter. It's cheap and fast. However, I like to improve the ramen rather than just have it plain from the packet. I sauté sliced shallots and garlic with a little bit of oil in the pan. Then, I follow the instructions on the packet.
I also like to add hard-boiled eggs, chicken, and vegetables to the ramen. It's perfect! Be creative and make your own spruced-up instant ramen.
6. Veggie Pizza
Pizza is probably the most popular comfort food in the United States. Therefore, I wanted to include a pizza recipe on this list. I like making veggie pizza at home because it's cheaper and I can put extra toppings without any extra charges. To save time, I make the dough ahead of time and save it in the freezer. I love mushrooms, bell peppers, marinara sauce, and cheese on the top of the pizza.
7. Chicken Tikka Masala
Cooking chicken tikka masala requires a bit of time and effort, but it is so worth it. I recommend making this dish on the weekend when you can prepare the ingredients earlier and have it ready for dinner. For a perfect chicken tikka masala, you must marinate the chicken so the spices will absorb and you can get the authentic flavor from it. Serve with naan bread or basmati rice.
8. Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
This recipe is as easy as it gets. When you are too tired to even think about fixing dinner, this is what you should make. Spaghetti aglio e olio is one of my favorite classic Italian dishes. I love the simplicity and the freshness of it. It is a big plate of comfort food that is so simple and quick to prepare. Perfect for a family dinner.
9. Hot and Sour Thai Soup (Tom Yum)
Perfect for the wintertime, hot and sour Thai soup (tom yum) is usually cooked with a variety of vegetables and proteins. Tom yum originally came from Thailand, but it's also famous in Malaysia, where you will find it served at many restaurants and food stalls.
10. Malay-Style Rice Noodles Soup (Bihun Sup)
This is one of my favorite dishes to make during the winter season. Malay-style rice noodle soup (bihun sup) features a broth with a flavorful blend of different spices. It can be prepared with meat or without. When serving, I like to add sambal kicap (spicy soy sauce) for an extra kick.
© 2019 Liza