We caught up with four NYC chefs who recently visited Malaysia, detailing their favorite dishes.

From Matt Lambert: “Sambal belachan is something I experienced in all three cities – Penang, Melaka and Kuala Lumpur — with the southern style being thicker and hotter (a quality I enjoyed). In Melaka I was reduced to tears, literally, with a raw form of sambal. I had pounded out the ingredients by hand in a cooking class and missed a bird’s eye chili, which I later ate in a salad. New levels of heat.”