The traditional Malay food is simple. It consist of its staple, rice eaten with fried or roasted fish [pangang], a bowl of fish stew [kuah] and the Ulam [salad] taken with the traditional sauce like Sambal Belacan [Shrimp paste sauce] or Budu or Cencalok or Tempoyak. Sambal Belacan remains the choice of most Malay and now Malaysian when enjoying their Malay food. Before the introduction of vegetable by the Chinese in the early twentieth century the Malay takes their vegetable mostly raw or lightly boiled or steamed. The assorted raw vegetable is call the Ulam. It mostly consists of young shoots of leaves or freshly grown greens. Most are taken from their own garden around the house. In those days it is normal to seen the Malay enjoying their rice with just one dish like Ikan Singgang or Asam Pedas or the like with their Sambal and Ulam. Before the coming of the refrigerator most vegetables are picked just in time before eating, thus it is always fresh and full of nutrition. Image above shows the Ulam eaten by the Malay with their foods.
Thanks to the wisdom of their forefather the Ulam provides them with a balance diet for a healthier living.
Have a nice day.