To know Malaysia is to love the bunga kantan


Torch ginger flowers are pink, red or white. The pink variety is the most floriferous and bears more flowers – that’s why it’s more common than the red while the white is quite rare.

If I had to pick only one ingredient to represent Malaysian gastronomy, it would be the bunga kantan. The torch ginger flower has a special place in our collective heart and taste buds, wired into our psyche with our first taste of asam laksa and nasi ulam. Even haters cannot deny its powerful presence.

Bunga kantan is what gives many iconic Malaysian dishes their distinctive taste: asam laksa, nonya laksa, asam pedas, nasi ulam, nasi kerabu and the numerous kerabu salads. Unlike the chilli, it is a truly local ingredient. It grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions, from Hawaii to Congo and the Philippines, but it is native to Malaysia and Indonesia.

Article type: metered
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Food News

Toblerone chocolate to lose 'Switzerland' label and be made outside Swiss homeland Premium
Belly good dish served cold Premium
Ordering in: The couple who couldn't cook but started a successful food business Premium
Ordering in: Three siblings started an online delivery business focused on Norwegian fjord trout Premium
An increasing number of fathers enjoy cooking for their families Premium
Afternoon tea with Abbey the Bear Premium
Grandma woks up wholesome meals Premium
The Malaysian chefs in key roles at one of the world's top restaurants, Odette Premium
Fall for classic British crumble Premium
Malaysians find creative ways to cope with rising food prices Premium

Others Also Read