Farmers market in Kuala Lumpur

Though we think of markets as huge toy stores, the Indonesian bazaars totally overwhelmed us. There were smells both beautiful and nauseating, lots of dirt and mud, muted lights and ubiquitus calls of “hello mister”. After about ten minutes of this and the mixture of extreme crowd and heat, we would find ourselves running towards the nearest exit, without any loot or photos.

Malaysia, or in fact Kuala Lumpur, is a different beast altogether. One that’s tame, clean and well-behaved. Because Ken’s parents and their house-keeper were going to the local markets for their weekly groceries fix, we jumped at the opportunity to join them. We would never be able to find these places on our own since they’re located away from the city center, in the Bangsar district, far from the beaten paths of tourists. They may be not as exotic as in Indonesia, but stocked just as well, and this time we were able to keep our heads straight. Here is what we found:

banan

a whole lot of bananas

IMGP8104 papayas

IMGP8117 young coconuts

IMGP8124 my favourite rambutans

IMGP8120 popiah – a kind of a spring roll wrapped in thin wheat pancake instead of rice paper

jicama jicama – a tuber resembling a turnip; raw added to fruit salad, used as a popiah filling when cooked

IMGP8112 taro tubers

IMGP8100 lots of greens

IMGP8140 lotus roots

IMGP8101 okra and Asian eggplants

IMGP8109

IMGP8132 fish and other seafood

kraby along with trammeled crabs

kakayam and last but not least: roasted duck and silkie – a dark, free-range chicken praised by the Chinese; real cute when alive

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