The Best Types Of “Ulam” For Flawless Skin

Written by: Yeu-Gynn Yeung

If you’ve lived in Malaysia for some time, you’ve probably had a taste of ulam, a traditional Malaysian salad that often accompanies a main dish, like Nasi Kerabu. In it’s most traditional form, ulam is a mix of leaves, beans, seeds and vegetables served with a side of sambal.

If you didn’t know it yet, this traditional Malaysian salad has quite a number of beauty benefits, especially for flawless skin. You’ll surely crave for ulam after reading this – first for it’s deliciousness and second for it’s added value in your beauty journey. Let’s put it this way, you can never have too much ulam.

1. Ulam raja

Loosely translated as “the King of salad,” the ulam raja improves blood circulation in your body. Improved blood circulation is vital for your skin to glow like a goddess. You can always use a rose quartz dermaroller for thos but ulam raja will make your skin glow from the inside out, and easily too. All you have to do is eat these leaves. Ulam raja is also rich in antioxidants which firms up your skin and eventually reduces the signs of aging. When you need your skin to glow like a vampire from Twilight, look no further than ulam raja.

2. Pegaga

Also known as centella asiatica, the pegaga leaves are generously packed with amino acids and phytochemicals. The pegaga reduces inflammation, builds collagen in your skin and improves blood circulation throughout your body. You’ve probably seen the term “centella leaf extract” on some K-beauty products too. By consuming the pegaga in your traditional ulam dish, you’re slowly, but surely absorbing all the goodness into your skin. The pegaga speeds up wound healing too, so you’ll find your acne clearing up pretty quickly.

3. Cucumber

We simply can’t leave this refreshing vegetable out of the list. The cucumber is rich in moisture and Vitamin C, which may just give your skin the brightening boost that it so dearly needs. Meanwhile, cucumbers can also reduce swelling or bloating in an individual. The vegetable’s Vitamin C prevents water retention – there’s a reason why women put cucumbers over their puffy eyes. Add this to your ulam and you’ll have bright, hydrated skin, and sparkly eyes to boot!

4. Petai

There are no two ways about petai. You’ll either love these flavorful beans to death, or you’ll hate them with a fiery passion. Love ’em or hate ’em, you can’t deny that petai has some benefits for your skin. They may not smell like it but these beans are rich in Vitamin C which boots collagen production so you can have plump, firm skin. Petai also has antioxidants to fight signs of aging due to skin damage caused by UV rays. If you want to age gracefully, you’ll probably need to add a bit of petai to your ulam-ulaman.

5. Kacang botol

Besides being low in calories, kacang botol, a.k.a. winged beans are rich in Vitamin A. This particular vitamin promotes DNA repair and can reduces the dreaded signs of aging, like fine lines or wrinkles. Kacang botol is also packed with protein – some say they’re almost as good as soybeans. The very structure of your skin is made from protein. A healthy dose of protein every day can help to maintain your skin tone and elasticity. You won’t regret adding kacang botol to your diet, especially if you’ll look super radiant 20 years in the future!

6. Peria

Those who stan peria, a.k.a. bitter gourd swear by the benefits of this vegetable. The ones in traditional ulam is typically darker in colour and smaller in size than typical bitter gourds. Bitter gourd has blood-purifying properties and can help to reduce acne, as well as acne scars. The catch? It’s ridiculously bitter. However, when mixed with other ulam components and sambal, it compliments the salad perfectly. Not a bad price to pay for good skin.

Ulam is so much more than just the forgotten Malaysian salad. Most of us didn’t forget it at all! Did we get you craving for some yummy ulam? At least now you know what to have for your next meal. If you loved reading this, share your favourite ulam with us on our social media handles!