I got to know Nazlina Hussin many years ago. At that time, I didn't know that she was into cooking, even though she has started a website called Pickles and Spices. A while later I met up with Nazlina again at a hotel, and that's where she told me she's started a cooking class. So when I decided to create this section on Penang food authors and teachers, I was naturally eager to feature her.
Nazlina teaches traditional Malay cooking at her shop house, Nazlina Spice Station, at 71, Stewart Lane, in George Town, Penang. She started this business in June 2009 with the emphasis on teaching Penang food including Malay, Nyonya and Indian cuisines along with the various street food that Penang is famous for. Nazlina was born in George Town and grew up here till her teens. Then she continued her studies in Kuala Lumpur before obtaining a degree in Electronics Engineering in Manchester, England.
Nazlina Hussin's Laksa book
In September, 2017, Nazlina published a book on laksa. Entitled The Fierce Aunty's No-Nonsense Guide to the Perfect Laksa, the book has on the cover a super slim caricature of herself. Inside, you'd find a detailed guide to the various types of laksa found not just in Penang, but all over the country. The Fierce Aunty's book not only gives you recipes to cook laksa, it even teaches you how to make your own laksa noodle - if you're up to it! Indeed this is the most complete guide to laksa that I have come across.
Here's Nazlina telling us about her book.
About Nazlina Hussin
Upon returning home to Penang, she worked for a number of multi-national electronics companies in Penang before starting a new life as a mother and homemaker. The idea of setting up the cooking class as a business came about after visitors and readers to her website (www.pickles-and-spices.com) asked her if she could teach them cooking local food when they came to visit Penang.
The cooking class attracted the attention of Slow Food, an international organization that advocates clean, good and fair food because Nazlina incorporates market tour as part of her class. She prefers using local ingredients fresh from the market to create the authentic local Malaysian food experience. The shop house is now also used as a base for the Slow Food movement in Penang, with Nazlina as the convivium leader. Slow Food holds meetings here once a month.
For Nazlina, a meal is not complete without sambal belachan, a condiment that is eaten as a dip with local fresh herbs or vegetables, common to the Malay people. Using sambal belachan as a dressing, this versatile dip can perk up any salad. She likes any kinds of dishes with raw fresh ingredients in it and here she is sharing her "Kerabu Udang" recipe with you.
Nazlina Spice Station
2 Campbell Street
George Town, Penang
Phone: +60-4-263 0601, 012 453 8167
Enjoying Penang Food with Nazlina
You can learn to cook the way Nazlina does it at her cooking classes. The rate now (as of May 2015) is RM150. Nazlina's morning class starts at 7.30 am with breakfast and ends at 12.30 pm while Friday afternoon class runs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
To book a spot in the class, please use the form available on Nazlina's Penang Cooking Class website. A typical class can take up to 12 people while Nazlina also organizes cooking class team building, with a larger number of people. Please contact her for more information.
The Penang Travel Tips website is a huge website that documents everything in Penang. On top of the hundreds of streets and tourist attractions, I also add in hundreds of shops and businesses.
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Local Guided Tours of Penang
If you are coming to Penang and need someone to show you around, I can arrange for you a licensed tour guide to take you around. Guides charge a fixed fee of RM360 for taking a small group of up to 10 people on 4-hour walking tours. Walking tours exceeding 4 hours is charged an additional RM90 per hour. Tours are tailored to guest requirement. For more details, contact tour coordinator. Other types of tours also available. For details, click here.
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What's the best way to see Penang on a budget? Take the bus! In Penang, there are at least 12 absolutely FREE bus routes which cover almost every major neighbourhood on Penang Island and Penang Mainland. All you need to do is hop aboard!
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