learning to pause instead of pressure

New Zealand Luv'ya Ambrosia Apples Take On A Unique Malaysian Twist

L-R Chef Wan, Brendan Osborn (General Manager, Sales & Marketing of Healthland Fruit)
& Hanry Chan Huan Yih (General Manager, Lifestyle & Grocery, GCH Retail) 
When most people think of apples as an ingredient in cooking, they view them as traditionally being associated with desserts and primarily in Western cuisine. So, I was interested in exploring all the different ways they can be used in traditional Asian cuisine when I was recently invited to Luv'ya Ambrosia Apple's event in Giant Supermarket, Kota Damansara.

This Raya festive season, Heartland Group through their 'Ambroi Ambrosia' campaign, is inviting consumers to broaden their culinary horizons by showcasing the many interesting and delicious ways that Ambrosia Apples can be incorporated into classic Malaysian dishes. 

Discovered in British Columbia, Canada and now cultivated in New Zealand, Ambrosia apples are renowned for their sweet honeyed flavour, fine crisp texture and juicy tender flesh. They can be recognised by their trademark smooth skin with its bright iridescent pink blush tone and pleasing aroma. 

Speeches by Brendan Osborn & Hanry Chan Huan Yih
"We like to think of them as a gift from the heavens, as the word ''Ambrosia'' itself means 'food and drink of the Gods' in greek,'' according to Brendan Osborn, General Manager of Heartland Fruit. He also further stated that Nelson, an idyllic city situated in New Zealand's South Island along the eastern shores of Tasman Bay, where these apples are grown, has the perfect environment for growing the finest, juiciest and most flavoursome apples. 

Indeed, Nelson has been the centre for apple growing in New Zealand since 1913 with over 40% of all New Zealand apples being grown in the area. 

Helping to launch the Amboi Ambrosia campaign in true Malaysian style, was iconic and world-renowned Malaysian culinary cikgu, Chef Wan, who demonstrated 3 mouth-watering traditional Malaysian dishes with an Ambrosia twist. These included Ambrosia Grilled Calamari Salad, Tom Yum Pumpkin Soup with Ambrosia Apples and Ambrosia Apple Chutney. All these fusion dishes were prepared and cooked using Ambroi Apples to showcase the versatility of the fruit. 

Chef Wan at work
Working his magic
Chef Wan said, "I've always enjoyed the succulent taste of Ambrosia Apples and I was excited at this opportunity to try my hand at infusing some of our nation's signature dishes with these scrumptious apples. I am glad to say that it worked a treat! The dishes turned out amazingly and were further heightened by the apples. It certainly got me saying - Amboi!"

Taste Test moment of truth
I can say after trying a sample of all the dishes cooked by Chef Wan, that the fusion of Ambrosia Apples works exceedingly well and indeed elevates the dishes to a new inspired level of sedapness. My favourite is the Tom Yum Pumpkin Soup with Ambosia Apples. The contrast of the spicyness of the Tom Yum, and the sweetness of the Pumpkin together with the Ambrosia Apples is simply inspired, works perfectly and a match made in culinary heaven. 

Chef Wan's 3 Ambrosia Apples inspired dishes
Other Apples in the Luv'ya range include old favourites such as Royal Gala, Fuji and Braeburn. Try mix and matching to create variety and a different kind of sweet apple flavour to your dishes.  

Ambrosia Apples and all of the above varieties can be found at GCH Retail Malaysia outlets including Giant Hypermarkets, Cold Storage and Jason's Food Hall, as well as other major retailers.

Included below are the recipes for the 3 dishes cooked by Chef Wan :

Ambrosia Grilled Calamari Salad


3 New Zealand Luv'ya Ambrosia Apple, sliced into thin strips
400 gm Calamari, grilled or pan fried
¼ Young Papaya, cut into strips
A handful of Fresh Mint Leaves
A handful of Coriander Leaves, chopped
3 tbsp Palm Sugar
2 tbsp Fish Sauce
2 Limes, juiced

For Chilli Garlic Paste (pound together)
3 Red Chillies
3 Cili Padi
3 Garlic

  1. In a bowl, add palm sugar, chilli garlic paste, fish sauce and lime juice. Mix well.
  2. Then, add in the New Zealand Luv'ya Ambrosia Apple, calamari, papaya, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Toss until well mixed and ready to serve.

Tom Yum Pumpkin Soup with Ambrosia Apple


2 New Zealand Luv'ya Ambrosia Apple, diced
4 tbsp Butter
1 Onion, diced
500 gm Pumpkin, diced
3 tbsp Tom Yum Paste
170 gm Canned Tuna
250 ml Coconut Milk
2.5 L Chicken Stock
2 cm Ginger, crushed
1 Lemongrass, crushed
A handful of Coriander Leaves, chopped
Salt and Sugar, to taste

For Garnish
½ Ambrosia Apple, diced
50 gm Salted Fish, diced and crispy-fried
4 tbsp Coconut Milk
1 tsp Chilli Oil

  1. In a pot, melt butter over medium heat and fry the onion and pumpkin until soft.
  2. Then add in the New Zealand Luv'ya Ambrosia Apple, tom yum paste, canned tuna, coconut milk, chicken stock ginger and lemongrass. Stir and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Next, remove the ginger and lemongrass, add in the coriander leaves and stir. Transfer the soup into a blender and blend to a fine consistency.
  4. In a separate pot, pour in the blended soup and let it simmer. Season with salt and sugar.
  5. Serve the soup with diced New Zealand Luv'ya Ambrosia Apple, diced crispy fried salted fish, coconut milk and chilli oil.

Ambrosia Apple Chutney


5 New Zealand Luv'ya Ambrosia Apple, diced
3 tbsp Butter
1 Onion, finely chopped
6 Garlic Cloves, minced
4 cm Ginger, minced
2 Cinnamon Sticks
4 Cloves
2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp Curry Powder
1 cup Yellow Raisins, soaked in hot water
A handful of Coriander Leaves
2 Green Chillies, chopped
6 Dates, pitted and chopped
¼ cup Cider Vinegar
1 cup Sugar
Salt, to taste

  1. In a pot, melt butter over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic and ginger for 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the cinnamon sticks, cloves, turmeric powder and curry powder. Continue frying for a few minutes before adding in the New Zealand Luv'ya Ambrosia Apple, raisins, coriander leaves, green chillies, dates, cider vinegar and sugar. Season with salt and cook for a few minutes before turning off the heat.
  3. Let the cooked chutney to cool down before storing it.