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Malaysian food will highlight Harrison Hills Park event |
Food & Drink

Malaysian food will highlight Harrison Hills Park event

Grace Tabitha Lim-Clark
'Achar timun' is a pickle containing cucumber, carrot, and chillies in a piquant spice blend of candlenuts, ginger, garlic, turmeric and dried shrimp. Typically served at wedding feasts.
Grace Tabitha Lim-Clark
Peanut cookies made using Grace Tabitha Lim-Clark's grandmother's recipe, Freshly roasted peanuts are first ground then mixed with flour and sugar, individually hand-rolled, topped with peanuts, brushed with egg yolk, then baked to golden perfection.
Hikers have enjoyed the trails at Harrison Hills Park and Malaysian cuisine at previous hikes in the park.

Malaysian cuisine will be the focus of an afternoon food hike Aug. 29 at Harrison Hills Park in Natrona Heights.

The scenic 5K hike will be followed by a bountiful meal prepared by Kuala Lumpur native Grace Tabitha Lim-Clark, owner of Grace’s Wok in Natrona Heights. All food will be made from scratch with authentic natural ingredients, including curry mixes purchased in Malaysia.

“Cooking is one of the things I enjoy tremendously,” Lim-Clark says. “I believe food nourishes not just our bodies but also our soul. I put a lot of love into my cooking.”

Lim-Clark’s husband, Spencer Clark, will lead the hike preceding the meal.

“Harrison Hills Park is one of the most scenic parks to hike in this area,” he says. “This is a unique opportunity for the community to experience authentic Malaysian food and learn a little bit about the culture.”

He describes the hike as “moderately strenuous” with a few hills. Along the way, he will share information about the park and its supporters, as well as facts about Malaysia.

The hike is optional; those who wish to skip it may arrive at the park’s Environmental Learning Center at 2:30 p.m. for a brief tour before the meal. Lim-Clark will give a short talk about Malaysian culture before the meal begins.

The rich diversity of Malaysia is reflected in its food.

“Malaysian cooks use methods and ingredients normally associated with Chinese, Indian and Thai cooking, creating dishes that are familiar yet excitingly unique to Malaysia,” Lim-Clark says.

Spicy foods and condiments are common, as are flavorings such as cardamom, cinnamon and ginger as well as coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. There will be a mix of spicy and nonspicy foods at the hike.

Lim-Clark will offer Malay cuisine including the traditional Nasi Lemak, a fragrant coconut rice dish; Beef Rendang, a spicy curry served for special occasions; and Chicken Satay, a non spicy option served with peanut dipping sauce. Chinese food will include fried rice, pork wontons and vegetable spring rolls, none of which is spicy. Representing Indian cuisine will be garlic naan flatbreads with a selection of nonspicy and mildly spicy curries.

Drinks, desserts and tropical fruit will be served. Spencer Clark will demonstrate how to make pulled tea, or Teh Tarik, a frothy hot milk drink popular in Malaysia.

“There will be something for everyone — vegetarians and nonspicy palates included,” Lim-Clark says.

Space for the event is limited. Proceeds from the event will benefit Environmental Learning Center operations.

“I’d like to encourage all adventurous foodies to come out and support this worthwhile community cultural event,” Lim-Clark says. “Many of the participants are repeat attendees and have already booked half the available spots, so please register ASAP to avoid disappointment.”

Cynthia Bombach Helzel is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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