The Satay Malaysian Street Food booth serves satay; grilled slices of chicken on a bamboo skewer, accompanied by a peanut sauce. (photos by John Gregory)
Found: Hard-to-find Malaysian food
Some people work on their hobbies when they retire. Some golf. Some travel. Eunan Aeria cooks delectable Malaysian cuisine and serves it to shoppers each Saturday at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market.
This affable retiree greets customers at his Satay Malaysian Street Food booth. The enticing scents from his cooking emanate from his pots and pans as diners approach. His recipes come from his family, as is often the case for talented chefs.
“I learned it from my parents, my mother,” Aeria explained. “All mothers are great cooks.”
Number one on his menu is the satay; grilled slices of chicken on a bamboo skewer, accompanied by a peanut sauce for dipping.
He offers vegetarian egg rolls as well as stir fried noodles with bean sprouts, shrimp and an oyster sauce on the side.
For vegans, Aeria serves a lentil dhal with potatoes and carrots with flat bread for dipping. Dhal is a sauce or stew made with legumes. The flatbread is called roti prata.
“This is something that I’m doing part-time just to keep myself occupied,” Aeria said. “I enjoy cooking and I thought I’d just bring some Malaysian-southeast Asian flavors to this part of the world.”
While Aeria humbly speaks about his cooking, he casually mentions that this particular type of food is actually quite hard to come across in most parts of the United States.
“You won’t … find a Malaysian-type restaurant in San Diego,” he said. “You might find it in Los Angeles or the bigger cities, major cities. So, if you would like to try something from Malaysia, which is southeast Asia, then this is your place to come.”
It’s another wonderful tidbit about the rare treasures available at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market. But how will new customers sampling this type of cuisine for the first time react?
“They’ll probably like it and want to come back again,” Aeria replied in his simple, matter-of-fact and humble way.
Find the Satay Malaysian Street Food booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market, which is open for shoppers from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every single Saturday at 10380 Spring Canyon Road, in the Innovations Academy parking lot. Visit srfm.org.