Neighborhood Eats: Chinese and Malay flavors in Chinatown

Lauren Glassberg Image
Friday, October 4, 2019
EMBED <>More Videos

Lauren Glassberg reports on Kopitiam in Chinatown.

CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- In this edition of Neighborhood Eats, we're headed to Chinatown -- but not for traditional Chinese food.

Kyo Pang is carrying on the a family tradition with Kopitiam, which is Malaysian for coffee shop.

And yes, there is coffee, made with great flair to create a frothy drink. But the food is very much the draw.

It's known as baba nyonya style, a melding of Chinese and Malay flavors.

Pang opened this second incarnation of Kopitiam with her business partner Moonlynn Tsai, who was wowed by the cooking.

You can start with breakfast, and eat kaya butter toast or nasi lemak. Have balacan wings for lunch, and a fish noodle soup for dinner. There's no Wi-Fi, so get ready to really enjoy your meal and chat with other customers.

Recipe for Nasi Lemak from Kopitiam

This recipe will make 8 portions:

Coconut Rice

--7 cups white jasmine rice

--Wash 2-3 times

--Add 3-4 whole Pandan leaves knotted to the uncooked rice

--2 teaspoon salt

--1.5 cups light coconut milk

--Fill with 7 cups of water in the rice cooker

Ikan bilis sambal (anchovy chili paste)

Yield 4 cups of prepared Ikan Bilis, however it yields a lot more of the sambal to use


--450g peeled shallots

--50g cloves peeled garlic

--50 grams full fried anchovies

--Blend well and set aside


--150g long Fresh red chilis

--100g dried chilis (soak in hot water for approximately 30 min before blending

--Blend well and put on side


--Heat up 1 cup of oil in pan

--Pour the shallot garlic anchovy blend and saute on high for 5 minutes, then turn down to medium low add the blended chilis sautéed for another 10 minutes


--Add tamarind juice or tamarind paste (1 tablespoon dissolved with 100ml hot water) into shallot garlic anchovy blend


--Add 100g tablespoon sugar into the pan and stir for 30-45 minutes until it thickens. Uou may add some more oil and sugar if it's too dry or not sweet enough

Put aside to cool down. This will yield approximately 16 oz of garlic anchovy blend

Frying the anchovies and peanuts:

1. Fry 4 cups of dried anchovies and 1 cup dried peanuts

2. Hand toss the the fried anchovies and peanut together

3. Add the blended tablespoons of sambal and mix well add more sambal for bolder flavoring

*Ratio for fried anchovies and peanuts to garlic anchovy paste is 1 cup anchovies:5 tablespoon garlic anchovy mix.

If using the entire recipe, it will make 4 cups of ikan bilis sambal.


* More Manhattan news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube