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Sambal Shiok
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About the Author

Mandy Yin is Malaysian-born Chinese of Peranakan Nyonya heritage. She moved from Kuala Lumpur to London at 11 and later studied and practised corporate law. She eventually gave this up for a career in food. Mandy watched her mother cook all the family dishes they'd eaten for years and meticulously wrote down every step. She combined this knowledge of the fundamentals of Malaysian cuisine - its mind-boggling array of snacks, sharing dishes, slow-cooked curries and stews, strong spices and deep flavours, famous spicy laksa noodle soup and the nation's beloved sambal chilli sauce - with her memories of boisterous, hot hawker centres in Kuala Lumpur. Now, she owns and runs critically acclaimed Sambal Shiok in London and is regularly featured in the national press.

Mandy's life goal is to showcase the exciting variety of Malaysian food. She hopes that this book will inspire many to cook Malaysian dishes, to seek out and eat Malaysian food wherever the reader is in the world and, finally, to travel to Malaysia to fully understand and experience the richness of its cuisine and culture. For fellow Malaysians, she hopes that you will find great comfort in these pages, as she did recreating nostalgic tastes whilst writing this book during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

Reviews

The food of Malaysia - with its combination of Indian spices and Chinese techniques - deserves to be better known. Mandy Yin shows just how exciting it can be, from spicy bowls of laksa soup to the peanut-rich comforts of satay. Yin grew up in Kuala Lumpur and runs a restaurant in Highbury called Sambal Shiok. This, her first book, is a charming mixture of recipes (try the gado gado salad) and memories of Malaysian street food. * 18 Best Food Books 2021, Bee Wilson, The Times *
Subtitled The Malaysian Cookbook, this authoritative collection really earns the definite article. There are the recipes, from a fabulously blended cuisine and via Yin's own family that formed the backbone of her incredibly successful London restaurant. Outstanding photography from Louise Hagger. * Tim Hayward, Financial Times *
There's roti canai, a flaky flatbread served with soupy curry, brought by southern Indians and now synonymous with comfort across Malaysia, and a glorious roast chicken with lemongrass, chilli and coconut milk. Malaysian food isn't as well known here as Thai and Vietnamese; we're missing out. * 20 Best Cookbooks Autumn 2021, Diana Henry, The Telegraph *
Recipes are accordingly both instructive and adaptable: learning to cook through Yin's clear, encouraging guidance on sambals, rice, and rempah... It's this effortless folding of the personal into the cultural that makes Sambal Shiok such a wonderful book from which to read, as much to cook. * 17 Best Cookbooks of Fall 2021, Eater *
I'd buy her Sambal Shiok alone for the Penang Assam Laksa recipe, a fruity, sour soup perfumed with lemon grass, tamarind, galangal and fresh mackerel. Prepare to line up an alarming number of ingredients for this one, but it will make your senses sparkle. Other recipes include curries, stir-fries and street food snacks. But the book is also a good read: Yin's personal, lawyer-to-laksa story is intriguing. * Rose Prince, The Spectator *
Mandy's food is real, wonderful, exciting, classic and contemporary all at the same time. To know and understand the secrets of great Malaysian food as cooked and orchestrated by Mandy would be a revelation for anyone from budding amateur to the most experienced cooks. * John Torode *
Vibrant, face-slapping laksa... powerful, satisfying, the very stuff of memories. * Jay Rayner, restaurant critic for the Observer *
Sambal Shiok is a place of joy and great cooking. A beautiful thing to have in London and a wonder to have at my own back door. * Giles Coren, restaurant critic for The Times *
Sambal Shiok's signature laksa has queues waiting around the block. Not bad for a tiny joint in N7... It's Holloway's hottest ticket! * Susannah Butler, Life & Style Evening Standard *
Her delve into Malaysian food's history, coupled with personal memories, make this a book to pore over. * Delicious *
It's a tome you'll want to bring out and splatter with sauce again and again. * Evening Standard *
It takes something rather special to drag me up to the Holloway Road on a chill Wednesday night. At Sambal Shiok, the laksas are magnificent: murky with profoundly fish depth and a base chilli grunt. * Tom Parker Bowles, restaurant critic for the Mail on Sunday *

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