KUALA LUMPUR: “Inside the ‘badak’ (hippopotamus) we put grated coconut soaked in palm sugar. It is very delicious…can get us addicted. When I make (‘badak berendam’, made with glutinous rice flour) I put lots of coconut inside and eat it non-stop (that I will become as big as hippo)”.
The spontaneous joke of YouTuber couple from Japan — Jimmy and IChang — as they were enjoying famous traditional dessert ‘badak berendam’ (literally translated as soaking hippo), has endeared them to their viewers on their YouTube channel, which has now reached over 132,000 subscribers.
Jimmy, whose real name Yusuke Nishida, and his wife IChang or Ai Nishida, discovered the dessert, very popular in the east coast, after being recommended by one of their followers on social media.
The couple, currently residing in Hong Kong, loves Malaysian food and tries to prepare the dishes themselves until they become addicted to them.
Apart from ‘badak berendam’, which is their favourite dessert, the pair also learn to cook other popular Malaysian dishes such as chicken curry and ‘asam laksa’ despite facing difficulty to find basic ingredients such as certain spices and ‘kesum’ leaves in Hong Kong.
“We don’t have many options here. We need to go to a specialty store to choose the spices and herbs that we need. We then make our own curry powder using the stone mortar and pestle,” said Jimmy in an interview for the ‘Cer Fikir’ programme.
The couple was eager to enjoy the authentic experience of Malaysian food that they put extra efforts to find banana leaves and eat with hands.
They even tried Sugu Pavithra’s curry dish after watching the video by a national bodybuilder Sazali Samad who tried the recipe.
Jimmy said they loved watching the videos by Sugu Pavithra as they were presented in a casual manner apart from using basic pots and pans.
“The way she describes her cooking steps is easy to understand. Should there anything that we could not understand, we will use Google Translate to understand what those words mean”, he said.
On top Malaysian food, they also learned some Malay words such as ‘garam’ (salt), ‘daging’ (meat), ‘bawang putih’ (garlic).
“It wasn’t hard for us to learn the Malay words because the pronunciations are quite similar to Japanese. We’re trying to learn more words,” he said.
They have visited Malaysia 10 times and fallen in love with Malaysian food since the first visit.
“We went to Penang and tried durian for the first time. We knew there are many different types of durians, we have tasted the Musang King and D24… and we love it.
“We also visited Melaka, Kota Kinabalu and Johor to try the different variety of local food and dishes including the street food,” he said.
Their love for Malaysian food and culture is evident as they are looking forward to return here once the Covid-19 pandemic has been eradicated.
“Hopefully things will be better soon. We want to enjoy more Malaysian food and we miss Malaysia very much”, he added. – Bernama