Until a few days ago, every medal won by the country of Malaysia had been won by a male in badminton,. That all changed with 19 year-old Pandelela Rinong, who won a bronze medal in women’s 10 meter platform diving. Rinong was also the flag-bearer for her country at the opening ceremony, and it is easy to see why: the interview she conduced with NBC reporters after winning her medal could have been a commercial for the Malaysian tourism board, with Rinong endlessly beaming with pride over being Malaysian.
The national dish of Malaysia is Nasi Lemak, a rice-based dish cooked in coconut milk and served on a pandan leaf. The name translates to “rich” or “fatty” rice, a name derived from the cooking process: the rice is steamed and simmered in coconut milk, giving it a rich and creamy texture and flavor. That done, the nasi lemak is served with any number of accompaniments, depending on the time of day (it can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner): this usually includes sambal, along with sliced cucumber, hard-boiled egg, anchovies (usually fried), roasted peanuts, and meat. Then, just mix and match the flavors any way you wish! We can only assume the dish is plentiful at all times of day on Jalan Alor, the main eating street in Kuala Lumpur, but unfortunately we did not sample it on our 12-hour layover tour of KL in 2010. We’ll have to go back – Pandelela, want to take us on a tour of your capital? You seem just like the person to do it!