Good things really come in small packages. Take satar, a spicy, fragrant fish-based snack from the east coast state of Terengganu, Malaysia. Satar is made from deboned sardine and grated coconut with a mixture of spices and herbs. The paste is then wrapped in a banana leaf into a small pyramid which is grilled over charcoal using metal or wooden skewers, and topped with chopped chillies.

A local favourite, it’s also in the unwrapping of the satar that we can map present and traditional links of Malaysia’s communities with their coastal and marine ecosystems. From its ingredients, preparation, cooking methods and techniques to its unique flavours, traditional foods like satar continues to underpin our understanding of these connections.

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Nadiah Rosli is a freelance journalist and conservation communicator based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She believes that an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge is a pretty fantastic thing, and focuses on the intersection of science with nature, culture and heritage. Her work has been featured in VICE (Motherboard),, The New Straits Times, The Borneo Post, and others.

Amin Landak is a comics artist and illustrator now living in Kuala Lumpur. To see more of his work, head to his Instagram @aminlandak.