In Pictures: A Wet Market (Pasar) In Malaysia

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Morning wet markets start early and get very crowded by about 10:00 a.m., especially on Sunday mornings.

Kuala Lumpur has seen plenty of new additions to its grocery scene in recent years, and it’s wonderful to have so many overseas-style supermarkets like Jaya Grocer’s and B.I.G Ben’s Food Market cater to customers who’d like a clean and modern food shopping experience. Prices may at times be a little steep, but that’s a given if you want imported groceries and the convenience of easy access to fresh food, anytime during business hours.

Yet, it’s hard to beat the charm of early morning, outdoor produce markets known in Malaysia as pasar pagi, where you’ll find local veggies, fruits, seafood and poultry at its’ freshest. Never mind that the grounds are wet, and never mind that the whole area in the vicinity of the market smells strongly of fish and springs onions; your gourmet side will overlook this upon setting eyes on the colourful array of high-quality produce on sale at reasonable prices.

A busy schedule usually means that I end up buying at the newer grocery stores (they are also closer to where I live,) but I never regret the occasional Sunday morning trip to the Section 17 wet market in Petaling Jaya, of which my family has been loyal customers since I was in primary school. Everything there is usually top-notch, especially the main fruits stall, which carries a very good selection of imported fruits in addition to local delights.

Travel brochures tend to recommend pasar malam, another type of street market that caters to an evening crowd in search of cheap dinners and shopping, as the archetype Malaysian street market experience. But to really explore and delve into local food ingredients, a pasar pagi is the place to go. And no two pasar pagi are alike. Depending on the ethnic makeup of the neighbourhoods around the market, produce sold is usually geared towards the majority’s needs.

The Section 17 market that caters primarily to Chinese customers, is captured here through Instagram filters, and all taken on an IPhone 4:

Vegetables

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Who can name every single veggie pictured here? I know I can’t. 🙂

Fruits

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This fruit stand is one of the best in town.

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I’m not really a fan of bananas but these look good.

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Seven pears for RM10 (USD$3) is CHEAP.

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Some bargaining is allowed.

Seafood

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You might wrinkle your nose when you get close to a fish stall…

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…but it’ll be a different story once you get one of these beauties home and onto a hot frying pan.

Sundries

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Dried herbs, nuts, peas and spices to dress up your fresh ingredients can also be found here.

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Dried seafood (shrimp, anchovies, etc.)

Even kitchen and household items

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Yes, even kitchen and household items are sold here at a wet market.

End your visit with some street snacks

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All that shopping and squeezing through crowds can make one hungry. Street snacks are always available for that reason.

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The most popular is known as Apam (Ah-pahm.) It’s a thin and crispy pancake folded in half, with a sugar and peanut filling.

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Apam also comes in a thicker and chewy kind. Whichever you prefer, melted sugar and crushed peanuts in a hot pancake makes for a great snack.

Haave a happy week, wherever you are!

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I’m linked up with #SundayTraveler and Travel Photo Mondays with Noel Morata.
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