MasterChef finalist, Poh Ling Yeow, demystifies her native cuisine.

Q. Let’s say we’ve never had Malaysian cuisine before. What’s the steak ’n’ veg dish to order?

Nyonya Curry is a real mainstay – you basically blend together some herbs, spices and coconut milk to make a spice paste, and add it to whatever you’re cooking with.

Q. What do you suggest for those who don’t like spicy food?

Lots! Many people don’t realise that Malaysian food can be really Chinese, Indian or Malay.

So for those who don’t like spice, go for Chinese-influenced dishes like Char Kway Teow, with flat rice noodles.

Q. Give us a recommendation for more adventurous types.

My favourite – Assam Laksa. It’s not well-known in Australia but it’s a sweet and sour fish-based broth, with refreshing garnishes like mint, pineapple and torched ginger flower.

Q. Where’s your favourite Malaysian restaurant?

My mum’s house! However Mamak (mamak.com.au) is really good, and so is Asian Gourmet in the Adelaide Central Market (adelaidecentralmarket.com.au).