Vegan Malaysian Delights With Elliz

Vegan Malaysian Delights With Elliz Azhar
Cooking has always been a part of Elliz’s life. She is always in the kitchen experimenting with her grandmother’s old recipes, desserts and even molecular gastronomy.
Vegan Malaysian Delights With Elliz Azhar
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
Hi, my name is Elliz Azhar! I am a content creator and vegan recipe developer based in Malaysia, specifically the sunny island of Langkawi located in the northern part of the country. Langkawi is a small island off the coast of mainland Malaysia and is a popular tourist spot for locals and international tourists alike.  As a family, we spent a lot of time on the island and officially moved here in 2005, it's been our home ever since! Growing up in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and suddenly moving to a small island like this was a huge change for me. But I'm an island girl through and through now, we even live less than 5 minutes from the beach! Time passes by very slowly here, everything moves at a relaxed pace. A lot of my days are spent outdoors, whether it's in the garden picking vegetables for dinner or out at sea exploring caves and waterfalls on hidden islands around Langkawi.
Vegan Malaysian Delights With Elliz Azhar

2. When/how did your journey as a vegan cook start?

Cooking has always been a big part of my life. Before I started my plant based journey in 2018 I was constantly in the kitchen experimenting with my grandmother's old recipes, desserts and even molecular gastronomy. So naturally when I started eating a plant based diet, I continued on the same path! I'd been wanting to share my recipes online for quite a while but never had the time to do it. Then the pandemic came around and perspectives had to change and so in July 2021 I decided it was time to dive right in.

Vegan Malaysian Delights With Elliz Azhar

Vegan Malaysian Delights With Elliz Azhar


Nothing beats freshly cooked Apam Balik from the Malaysian night market! A pancake turn over filled with crushed peanuts, sugar and sweet, creamed corn. Unfortunately it’s not vegan as it usually contains eggs, so of course I had to veganise this gem! If you’ve never had sweet corn in a dessert before, don’t knock it till you try it! You might surprise yourself !


Vegan Apam Balik
Makes 4

325g all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp turmeric
80g sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil or melted vegan butter
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
500ml or 2 cups plant milk 125ml or 1/2 cup of water 

Crushed peanuts
Cream style sweet corn (creamed corn)
Coconut sugar, white sugar, or brown sugar
Vegan butter or margarine




Vegan Malaysian Delights With Elliz Azhar
3. How do you see your personality reflected in your cooking/recipes?
I'm always up for a good challenge and really enjoy thinking outside the box. When it comes to recreating non vegan dishes and making them plant based without compromising on authenticity and taste, that really helps. A lot of creativity and innovation goes into vegan cooking and I think having a curious nature, and a never say never mentality is a huge plus. 
4. Why vegan? 
We were never big meat eaters as a family, there were even few years where we went vegetarian for a period of time. It was a bit on and off for us. So somewhere along the way I lost the taste for meat. Coupled with being lactose intolerant, eating a plant based diet seemed like the next natural progression for me. In fact it was a bucket list goal. In February 2018 my partner Julius and I watched the documentary What the Health and it was a huge eye opener for us and we slowly started to make the change. How much carbon footprint we could reduce on the planet just by switching our diets was also a strong push for change. For me it was very 'if not now, then when?', especially since it was one of my biggest goals in life.

Vegan Malaysian Delights With Elliz Azhar5. What part of the cooking process do you enjoy the most?

I absolutely love the testing and experimenting part of cooking and developing a new vegan recipe. My kitchen is usually a mess at this stage, with my notes strewn all over the place!

6. What is the weirdest ingredient you've ever used?

The tiny little florets hidden within the core of a banana blossom!

7. Do you have any cooking mentors?

I don't have any cooking mentors, but I'm always in awe and look up to amazing creators like Sadia from Pick Up Limes, Gaz Oakley from Avant Garde Vegan, Marion Grasby and Joshua Weissman!
Vegan Malaysian Delights With Elliz Azhar

8. Give us your two favourite recipes! 

One of my favourites is my vegan Malaysian satay recipe. To veganise it and still retain that meaty bite, I used monkey head mushrooms, they’re also known as lion’s mane mushrooms. It’s the perfect recipe for summer time grilling!  (Ingredients and clip below) You can find satay everywhere in Malaysia! Especially at the night market.

Another gem you’ll find there is Apam Balik or Malaysian Peanut Pancake. It’s a thick, lightly sweetened pancake with a crunchy, creamy filling in the centre. That was my childhood favourite snack, so of course I had to veganise it! (Scroll up for the ingredients and video)


Vegan Malaysian Delights With Elliz Azhar


Who doesn't love a good satay? Originally from Indonesia, satay is also eaten all over Malaysia. Traditionally made from beef or chicken, this vegan version satay is made from the incredibly meaty monkey head mushroom! And let's not forget the peanut sauce too, let's make it together!


Vegan Malaysian Satay
12 - 14 skewers

100g dried monkey head mushrooms (aka hericium or lion's mane mushrooms) -

3 stalks lemongrass
1/2 inch fresh turmeric or 1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 inch ginger
1/4 inch galangal
3 large red onions
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp coriander seeds/powder
1/2 tsp fennel seeds/powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds/powder
1 tbsp mushroom seasoning
2 tsp salt or to taste
60g coconut sugar
80ml vegetable oil

Extra oil for basting
1 stalk lemongrass
12 - 14 skewers

Peanut Sauce:
350g peanuts, roasted at 180ºc for 10 mins
5 red onions
5 cloves garlic
2 stalks lemongrass
1 inch galangal
15g dried chilies, soaked (or sub fresh red chilies for less heat)
60g gula melaka or palm sugar Salt to taste
1 tbsp asam jawa or tamarind paste
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp mushroom seasoning  
use code ELLIZ5 for 5% Off!

1/2 sheet seaweed or nori
3 cups water or more

Serve with cucumber, raw onions and nasi impit (compressed rice)