Friday, March 1, 2013

Malaysian Food Fest (Johor Month) Introduction

This month is Johor month, and it is my turn to host Malaysia Food Fest. Last month was Negeri Sembilan and please visit Cook 4 You Me (Hody's blog) for the round up.

Johor (also known as Johore in English) is the state located in the southern portion of Peninsular Malaysia. Johor is one of the most developed states in Malaysia. The Straits of Johor to the south separates Johor and Singapore. I'd been chosen to host Johor month is because I stayed in Singapore permanently, and I travel to Johor for food and groceries quite often whenever I'm free.

Source : Wikipedia

Being at the tip of the peninsula, it was once a flourishing entreport during the the 1600's. The port attracts traders from Makassar, Mollucas, China, Arabic countries, not forgetting the Dutch. With it being once in the Johor-Riau empire, the Bugis and Javanese influence was definitely apparent not only in the history and culture, but also on the food.

In Johor, there are a few popular Arabic influenced dishes. For example, Kacang pool is a popular dish from middle east, but it has been localized to the Johorean tastebud with the addition of heat and meat. Royal dishes like Arisa, that is made up of minced chicken with milk and spices is also Arabic in origin. Let's not forget the ever popular Nasi Beriani Gam.

Johor was in constant feud with the Bugis long ago, but that was history. When the wars and fights are being put behind, food unites the hearts with Burasak being the most famous Bugis food around the state. There might be other Bugis dishes, but as time goes by, they might have been forgotten or not recorded.

There are a lot of Javanese in Johor. They are neighbors across the straits and it's easy for migration to take place back in those days. The Javanese bring along their food and now, it plays a major role in the Johorean food culture. Dishes like Nasi Ambeng, Soto, Lontong and Pecal have been adapted suit the local tastebud.

Besides being influenced by the neighboring places and visiting traders, Johor has some food of its own that is found in no other places. Noodles like laksa johor and mee bandung (it does not originate from Bandung) and mee racun are specialties created or adapted by the Johoreans to be called their own. There is a type of laksa in almost every state in Malaysia but I am very very sure, no other states uses spaghetti as its filler. It is fusioned, very special.

Here, I would like to share with you a list of specialties coming from this state :

And we call it... Johorean dishes

1) Otak-Otak - It's a spicy fish cake. There are 2 types of otak found in this state. One is wrapped in coconut or nipah leaves and grilled. The second form is mainly made by the Chinese and is in big slabs, usually steamed and grilled. Take note that it is different from the nyonya style otak-otak.

2) Ikan Masak Asam Pedas - There are many types of Asam Pedas in Malaysia but for Johor style, it calls for daun kesum, also known as Laksa leaf. 

3) Ayam Masak Merah - Chicken dish cooked with tomato sauce and chilli. These cooking combination usually served during Malay wedding together with Tomato Rice

4) Telur Pindang - This is basically hard boiled eggs infused with lots of local herbs and leaves, boiled for 3 days.

5) Kacang Pool - An Arabic influenced dish. Spiced fava beans with minced meat.

6) Roti Jala or Roti Kirai - Fondly called here as Lacy Crepes too. Popular all over Malaysia but is listed as Johorean food here (WikipediaMakanan tradisi orang Johor and Grand Reception Johor)

7) Lontong Johor - This is a Javanese influenced dish, using combination of pressed rice and special coconut soup with vegetables. Served with boiled egg and chili.

8) Nasi Briyani Gam - A rice dish with long grain rice, it's different than the Indian Muslim version commonly found here. Extremely popular in Batu Pahat.

9) Nasi Ambeng - A rice platter, with a few dishes that includes fried noodles served in a big round tray for a few persons. There are individual servings of nasi Ambeng and is usually packed in a conical shaped wrapping.

10) Arisa - Spiced chicken paste eaten like a dip. Once a dish for the royals but is now made available for the commonfolks.

Johor Noodles 
1) Laksa Johor Jati - This Laksa is very different from any other forms of laksa in Malaysia. It uses Spaghetti and served with a very thick fish and coconut gravy.

2) Mee Rebus Johor - This is one of the famous noodle dish in Johor too. Due to the existence of beef and sweet potatoes, the gravy of Mee Rebus Johor makes the difference.
3) Soto Johor - This originated from Java, but very popular in Johor. A spiced chicken broth that is served with either pressed rice or noodles of choice.

4) Mee Bandung Muar - Mee bandung comes from Muar, Johor. It's yellow noodles served in a sweetish spicy gravy with meat and vegetables.

5) Mee Racun - Literally translated as Poisonous Noodles, but it's not fatal. It's a spin off from Mee Bandung, but it uses Lamb shank. Extremely popular in Batu Pahat.

Johor Dessert's

1) Kueh Kole Kacang - A Johorean Kueh made from toasted green bean flour and lots of coconut milk.
This kuih is intense in aroma and rich in flavour.

2) Biskut Batang Buruk - Crispy pastry in tube form stuffed with either toasted green bean or toasted peanuts.

3) Kuih Talam Tokyo - It's almost like kuih Seri Muka, but the base is made of glass noodles and sago. Created in Johor, not Japan.

(Source : Yatie Memories)

4) Air Kathira - a green beverage made of a lot of ingredients, seen sold all around Johor during the month of Ramadan. It's different from the Singaporean version.

You could simply google for more Johor food recipes. Or if you have any special Johor recipes to share, please let us know. I urge all of you to join this month's event by replicating some Johor dish at home to share it with us! I will look forward to your entries!

1. Who can join? Anyone can join. Come let's replicate some Johor Food at home!
2. Prepare a dish (sweet or savory) that is from Johor, be it old time favorite, modern dishes or dishes that has been localized. Chinese or Malay or Indians cuisines. All are welcomed. Take a picture of the food or many pictures. If possible, tell us the story about the dish, share with everybody so that others will learn.
3. Provide a recipe that is credited (from books, internet, friends or family or maybe it is from your own, be specific). Submissions without stating recipe sources will not be accepted for all forms of submission.
4.Submit your entry latest by 31st March 2013 except for Facebook submissions.

a. Prepare a dish (sweet or savory) that is from Johor
b. Blog about it from 1st March - 31st March 3012
c. Include this caption below your blogpost
"I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest, Johor Month hosted by Annie of Annielicious Food"

Send the following information to this email address ( with the email subject as
" MFF Johor"

Name/Nickname :
Blog name :
Name of dish :
Url of post :
Picture : ( URL or attachment that is lesser than 500k)

2. Facebook user
a. Like this Facebook Page
b. Prepare a dish (sweet or savory) from the state of Johor
c. Take a picture and upload it into Facebook ( this month's FB page link )
d. Provide recipe with picture

Bloggers can submit old recipes to Facebook. Anyone that has once cooked a Johor dish and have a picture and recipe can submit to Facebook. Not necessarily a recently done dish.
For a pictorial guide on how to submit via facebook, pls click here

3. Non Facebook users and Non Bloggers
Email a picture of the dish together with the recipe to ( latest by 31st March, 2013 by 11.59pm (Malaysian / Singapore time)

A Round Up will be done for all blog entries and emailed in entries on 1st April 2013. Facebook entries are not included in the round up.

Happy Cooking!!!! 


  1. Hello Annie,
    I'm residing in JB and am glad that I shall be participating for this event. Let me see what I shall cook up to submit to you!

    1. Hello Mel, I shall look forward to your submission :D

  2. Hi Annie, may i know after I posted my old post to the MFF Johore month's page, do I have to emails details and photos to you? TQ in advance!

  3. Hi Annie, may I know after I posted an old post from my blog to the MFF Johore FB event page, do I still have to email to you the details/photo of the dish?

    1. Hello Christine, if it is your old post, then, you don't have to email me. Sharing it on FB page will do. If you just cooked & blogged it recently, then, you email me your details ok? :)

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  5. terimakasih sudah berbagi makanan malaysia, kapan kapan ke indonesia yah nyobain makanannya, enak-enak loh. :)