This Small Business Makes Nyonya Pastes That Taste Just Like Our Grandmothers' Cooking

They make cooking so much easier too.

Cover image via SAYS & @agakagaknyonya (Instagram)

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Sometimes we just need some good ol' tasty, homecooked food – but it can feel like too much effort to make a whole meal, especially after a long day

With hectic schedules, often ordering food or just making instant noodles is way easier than cooking up a proper meal.

But it doesn't always have to be that way.

Shwe Ying, founder of Agak Agak Nyonya, came up with an easy way for people to make Nyonya Peranakan dishes in a matter of minutes and they taste legit

Using recipes from her mother and grandmother (both of whom are Melakan Nyonya), Shwe Ying makes ready-made pastes to allow people to experience what Nyonya Peranakan food is all about without having to go through the laborious trouble of preparing them.

With these pastes, you're able to whip up really yummy dishes in a short amount of time. 

Image via SAYS

We got to try several of the pastes and they tasted surprisingly homemade, just like those comforting meals you might have eaten growing up

Some of the packets came with recipes on them that are definitely worth following because the flavours were just right. You can really sense that there's a lot of heart put into each recipe.

Nyonya ayam rempah
- Using chicken drumsticks, this dish was packed with flavour. Overnight marinating would have made it even better. It lacked the sterile lifelessness that you usually get from ready-made pastes you often find from the store.

Image via SAYS

Nyonya asam pedas - Using mackerel fish, we followed the recipe's instructions and the taste was just nice. Flavourful, super easy, and fast to make, it took about half an hour from start to finish and didn't need any extra salt or sugar. Would buy again.

Image via SAYS

Cili garam - This had a homey, comforting, and simple taste. It didn't need extra salt or sugar. Plus, it only took 15 minutes to cook.

Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS

Pongteh - A good pongteh has balanced flavours and this has it. Plus, the dish tastes just like your mum made it. The instructions and suggestions in the recipe came together well. It went deliciously with sambal belacan, which they recommended to pair it with.

Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS

Sambal tumis - This was one of our favourites. Reminds us of my late grandmother's prawn sambal. Instructions were slightly vague so my sister used chicken, eggplant, and coconut milk along with a bit of salt and sugar. Would definitely buy this again.

Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS

Sambal nanas - Used shishamo fish instead of prawns because of allergies. But the fish might have overwhelmed the taste. Would still give it another chance though!

Image via SAYS

The pastes come in different sizes with prices that start from RM7 a packet

Image via SAYS

They also have vegan-friendly options. 

You can order or check out the full list of pastes available on their website and Instagram.

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