My friend Sandy (Foodhoe) and I have been following the Instagram account of a Malaysian chef named Tracy (Eat with Tracy) for over a year, obsessing over her food creations. Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tracy is a self-taught cook who is influenced by her mother and the variety of street foods found at morning markets and night bazaars where she grew up. Tracy specializes in Malaysian cuisine and her food is enticing because she cooks dishes that you definitely cannot find anywhere else.
She hosts events through Feastly, a website that allows you to find homemade meals and food experiences prepared and served in a cook's home, pop-ups, or any inventive space. Many of her events sell out, so when the opportunity to attend a feast for Lunar New Year arrived in our e-mail inboxes, we jumped at the chance and grabbed the final four remaining spots.
Sandy, Mr. K (her husband), Patrick and I joined 5 other eager eaters/strangers at Tracy's home in the Inner Sunset, SF to experience an elaborate 8-course Chinese-Malaysian Lunar New Year feast. It was a wonderful first introduction to Malaysian food for me and I can't wait to explore more dishes. Here's a recap of our experience and a look at each dish served at the feast.
Raw Fish Rainbow Salad - Prosperity Toss
The first course was an incredibly flavorful, savory and refreshing salad consisting of thinly sliced sushi-grade fish, vegetables, crispy noodles, fried crisps, pomelo pulps, herbs, five spices, and sweet & sour plum sesame dressing.
Malaysians celebrate the beginning of a new year with a prosperity tossing ritual, where everyone at the table is supposed to stand up and mix all the neatly arranged ingredients together with chopsticks while saying wishes to each other.
Cured Duck Wagyu Leek Wraps
I always enjoy eating with my hands, so this dish was a fun one. We all made our own wraps filled with a little bit of wagyu, cured duck pieces, negi leeks and pickled jalapeño and Mandarin orange glaze.
The cured duck tastes like duck prosciutto, very nice in small quantities. The slices of wagyu were so incredibly tender. The entire combination was explosive - savory, rich and salty balanced with a sweet citrus.
Longevity Fried Noodles
The recipe used for these noodles belong to Tracy's mother. We could smell all the wonderful aromas as she was cooking it. The noodles were chubby and chewy, very flavorful and overall just really good.
Shrimps with Duck Egg Crust
I am familiar with the ingredients used in this dish, but never had anything like it before. The perfectly cooked large shrimps, which symbolize happiness and good fortune, were coated in a duck egg and curry leaf crust. Just give me the duck egg sauce alone with a bowl of rice and I'm golden. It was one of my favorite dishes!
Champagne Coffee Ribs
Everyone raved about the sauce on these sticky sparkling wine & coffee pork ribs. The ribs were packed with flavor.
Sous Vide Chicken
According to Tracy, this Malaysian/Singaporean "Hainanese" chicken is "a seemingly simple dish that is actually quite hard to perfect. Chicken cooked skin-on at a low and precise temperature, then immediately ice-shocked to achieve a tender and smooth texture."
If there was a prize out there for the most tender chicken, this would win first place. The chicken had a great natural flavor. I went crazy with the three amazing sauces: caramelized shallots, garlic lime chili and scallion oil.
This was one of the few dishes where she used her Nomiku sous vide machine. It actually made me really excited to get my Nomiku next month because I need to recreate this dish at home.
Abalone Scallop Vegetable Platter
This is a classic Southern Chinese banquet dish with sliced abalone & sous vide scallops on a bed of mushrooms & greens in master stock reduction. Abalone is considered to be a luxury item and is commonly served during Lunar New Year to bring good fortune.
Agar Jelly Art - Koi Fish
Our minds were blown away when she presented these beautiful koi fishes made of lima beans, sugar and rice flour (nerikiri) floating in almond-rose water agar agar with roasted black sesame "gravel". It was mildly sweet and refreshing. Fish are considered to be lucky, symbolizing abundance. I can't think of a better way to end a memorable meal.
Would you believe me if I told you that she prepped and cooked every single dish completely by herself in a tiny kitchen?
You can taste the hard work, passion and culture in Tracy's food. I've never been to Malaysia, but it almost felt like I was transported there through the meal. We are already thinking about going back and doing a private group meal with her in the future.