Recipes & Groceries Wine & Dine

Recipe: Have a bit of Malaysia without using your passport with this fusion curry

By: Brian Kennett

Asian fusion recipe for Penang Nua


I was struggling to get creative for cooking the family dinner recently, so I turned to inspiration from one of my recipe books – specifically, one on Thai street food. That’s when I spotted a recipe for Penang Nua. It sounded interested and it got my juices flowing, and I ended up creating this little dish, my own version of Penang Nua. As the name suggests, the dish is inspired by Penang in Malaysia, not far south of the Thai border. So, like many Asian dishes, it’s a cross-border, fusion-curry dish: a bit of Thai, a bit of Malay – and a lot of Brian Kennett.

To make this easier to eat for lunch, I served the curry mixture on roti pratas – ideal for mopping the sauce up. Here’s what you’ll need to prepare enough for five people:

• 500g minced beef

• 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

• 1 tablespoon soy sauce

• 1 tablespoon fish sauce

• 1 cup coconut cream

• 1 cup roughly chopped sweet basil

• 1 finely chopped chilli padi (if you want to turn the dish into a “bum burner”, up the ante and add another couple of chillies)

• 1 packet grated cheese – any type will do

• ½ cup crushed salted peanuts

• 5 frozen roti pratas

This goes really quickly, so keep up, folks!

Heat your work, get the oil in, and fry the minced beef with the garlic. When it’s cooked through, add in the soy, fish sauce, chilli padi, and coconut cream, and stir through. Cook that for another five minutes or so.

Take it off the heat and stir through the basil and peanuts. And that’s you done with the curry – my six-year-old could make it!

At the same time as you’re doing the above, get your oven heated to 240 degrees Celsius. Lay out your roti pratas on some baking trays and drizzle with a little olive oil. Spoon the beef mixture on top as you can see in the picture. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top and pop them in the oven. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the pratas puff up and the cheese has nicely melted.

Get them on a plate quickly, and then watch the plate empty fast. I have to say it: these are absolute belters. Enjoy!

Tip: A good accompaniment with the curry is a little side dish of Thai-style peanuts. (And if you do try these peanuts, I suggest – no, I demand – that you crack a cold beer at the same time.) It couldn’t be simpler: literally just grab a bowl, throw all of the following in, mix and then serve.

• 1 packet of salted peanuts

• 2 spring onions, finely sliced

• 1 chilli padi, finely chopped

• 2 tablespoons lime juice

• 1 lime, peeled and pith removed, chopped into small pieces

• A few coriander leaves, roughly chopped

There it is: salty, hot, spicy, sour – and beer-ry. Ding dong!


If you want to read more of Brian’s recipes, along with restaurant reviews and more, visit