The 21 Best Dishes To Eat in Malaysia
Nasi Lemak | © dolphfyn / Shutterstock
The first thing you should know about Malaysians is they are passionate about food. Malaysia has inherited a vast array of cuisines from its melting pot of cultures. So a list of Malaysian food to try is bound to be unlike any other. It’s a bit like New York. Some dishes might not have originated from Malaysia, but they have found a home there.
Nasi lemak, literally ‘fat rice’, is comprised of coconut rice, prawn sambal, fried anchovies, peanuts, cucumber slices, and ayam rendang. There might be variations with regards to the accompaniments, but the rice, cucumber, and peanuts are pretty much staple.
Nasi lemak | © Dolly MJ / Shutterstock
This famous Malaysian rice dish is distinct for its blue rice, which is served with fried chicken, egg, and fried keropok.
Nasi kerabu | (c) amrufm/Flickr
This beef dish was brought to international renown when Gordon Ramsay came to Malaysia to learn how to make it. The tenderness of the meat and the high flavour of its sauce come from slow-cooking it over the course of several days.
Rice noodles served in sour tamarind broth peppered with mackerel and vegetable garnishing. It prompts a heat in the back of your mouth thanks to the spicy paste.
Assam Laksa | © wong yu liang / Shutterstock
This is laksa for those who prefer their soups creamy. It’s the same heat, but the broth is thickened with coconut milk.
Curry laksa | (c) Dion Gillard/Flickr
A filling, hearty dish of rice fried with carrots, peas, and some meat. The more indulgent versions of the dish can include egg, small anchovies, and really just about anything.
Braised, silky chicken served on a bed of rice that has been cooked with chicken broth to deliver the ultimate chicken flavour.
Hainanese chicken rice | © norikko/Shutterstock
Eating banana leaf rice is definitely an experience. Per the name, this dish is served on a broad banana leaf. In the middle sits a bed of white rice, topped with crispy pappadom, surrounded by an assortment of vegetables.
There are few pleasures as fatty at bak kut teh, a pork rib stew with a salty broth, perfect for dipping savoury yau char kwai in. It comes in a large pot, so order to share with bowls of rice as accompaniment.
Bak kut teh | (c) Charles Haynes/Flickr
Exactly what it says on the tin; it’s Indian curry made with fish head; specifically the head of a red snapper. The extra adventurous should savour the fish eye. It’s said to be the best part.
Sometimes described as ‘mouse tail noodles’, the name is not as off-putting as it seems. It describes the shape of the rice noodles, not the taste. Lou shu fan are great fun to eat because they’re slippery from the peppery broth. It’s a nice, clean meal; great for those who are partial to fewer spices in their food.
A mixed-rice dish ostensibly from India, briyani has found a loving home in Malaysia because a good Malaysian will never turn down a meal that combines rice, spices, and meat. Lamb briyani remains a firm favourite. Once again, be wary of the spice level.
This light flatbread is a staple in the street-side mamak of Malaysia. A serving of roti canai is accompanied by three dipping sauces of varying levels of spiciness. Those who are not fond of chilli are advised to try this roti with an inoffensive bean dahl.
Roti and chicken curry | © vm2002 / Shutterstock
As indicated by its name, this roti is tissue-thin and comes in the shape of a teepee as tall as your arm. As fun to eat as it is delicious, the trick is to tear it off bit by bit from the top down, without compromising its structural integrity. It usually comes with a thick sugar undercoating, but can be ordered sans sugar for those who prefer a savoury treat.
Roti tisu | (c) goosmurf/Flickr
This dish of fried noodles is the closest edible embodiment of crack. Available at mamak stalls, feel free to order it kurang pedas (‘less spicy’) because these vendors don’t joke with maggi goreng, and with telur mata (‘eggs sunny side up’).
Kaya is jam made from coconut milk with the consistency of soft butter. When not used as a bread spread, it’s jammed into a bun and steamed to perfection for breakfast.
Kaya butter toast, Ipoh, Perak | © Suthida Sririttha/Shutterstock
It’s deep-fried banana. Simple as that. Golden, crunchy, with the creamy sweetness of a banana in the middle. The pisang goreng has ruined many a dinner and many more diets.
At first glance, satay appears to be nothing beyond slightly charred, skewered meat. But good satay is juicy and flavourful, especially when it has been fanned lovingly over a charcoal grill. Served with cubes of rice and peanut drip, satay is delicious with or without them, and is available in chicken, lamb, and beef. It’s so good the Malaysia Airlines has it as a staple on their flights.
Satay | (c) marufish/Flickr
A dessert that looks like a mountain of colourful shaved ice because that is exactly what it is. The colour comes from the sugar syrup, usually bright pink or blur to add a bit of pizzazz. At the bottom of the mountain are jelly, corn and red bean to help balance out the sweetness of the syrup and give the dessert a bit of a bite.
Ais kacang | (c) Miss Dilettante/Flickr
A dessert much like ice-kacang with the difference that instead of shaved ice, there is an abundance of coconut milk mixed with palm sugar syrup, topped with green rice jelly and other condiments. A creamy alternative to the ais kacang for those with sensitive teeth.
Cool down with a bowl of cendol | © Edy Kasim / Shutterstock
Gula melaka (‘Malaccan sugar’) is the Malaysian term for thick palm sugar syrup. It has a toffee-like consistency and is present in many Malaysian desserts (see ice kacang, cendol) but nowadays, can be found in contemporary desserts across Malaysia as well. Whether it be gula melaka cream cake or gula melaka creme caramel, these desserts are well worth a try for its particular brand of sweetness.
Top 12 Delicious Malaysian Street Food Dishes To Try In 2021
Just like the country itself, Malaysian street food is exciting, eclectic and bursting with myriad flavors. With its Chinese, Thai and Indian influences, the best Malaysian food will blow your mind with a range of dishes that use interesting and exotic ingredients to create a palate-satiating fare. Do try all these delicious dishes on your next trip to Malaysia.
12 Malaysian Street Food Delights
From the famous Jalan Alor food street to the Gurney Drive, you can feast your senses and your tummy on a Malaysian street food tour from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. Let us take you along on this culinary hunt for the best Malaysian street food:
1. Penang Assam Laksa (Rice Noodles In Fishy Soup)
Malaysian street food recipes vary in different parts of the country. In Penang the humble noodle soup dish (laksa) is transformed into a tangy and delightful concoction by adding Assam (tamarind) and many more flavourful herbs, making it one of the most popular Malaysian street foods. Flat thick rice noodles and mackerel shavings give the broth its flavor while lemongrass, ginger flower, and Vietnamese mint leaves tantalize your taste buds with every spoonful. Add just a scoop of shrimp paste to this mix and you’re in for a treat!
Where: Pasar Air Itam Laksa, 1, Jalan Pasar, 11500, Ayer Itam, Penang
When: Every day, 11:30AM-8PM. Rate: RM 4.50
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2. Rojak (Fruit And Vegetable Salad)
Don’t let the name deceive you into wondering what a salad is doing on the best Malaysian street food list. This quintessentially Malaysian variant is a sweet and sour preparation of assorted fruits and vegetables in shrimp sauce garnished with crushed peanuts. It typically uses turnips, cucumber, green mangoes, bean sprouts, fried tofu, and green apples. The Penang style rojak uses guava and honey too; the final dressing of sugar, chili, lime juice, and shrimp paste suffuses the dish with its unique flavor.
Where: Asyiq Dang Wangi, Jalan Kamunting, 50300, City Center, Kuala Lumpur
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3. Ipoh Hor Fun
These unique flat rice noodles found nowhere else in the world have not just a delightful taste but also an interesting story to tell. Brought to Malaysia by the Chinese immigrants at Ipoh (in Perak State), these noodles are said to get their unmatched flavour by using the special spring water from limestone hills around Ipoh. The rice noodles are served in a rich chicken and prawns broth with shredded chicken, prawns, mushrooms, spring onions, fish balls, et al. Also called Kai See Hor Fun, they are sometimes served with hot chillies in soy sauce.
Where: Thean Chun’s stall in Old Town, Ipoh.
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4. Hokkien Mee
Brought to Malaysia by the Hokkien immigrants from China, this is another Malaysian food offering a flavor overload with its range of ingredients. Yellow egg noodles cooked in a dark soy sauce are then topped with pork meat, squid, prawns, and pork lard. A little sambal balacan gives it a nice spicy hint. The Penang variant is cooked in shrimp stock and garnished with fish cake, spring onions, and lime to give it a distinct flavor, while keeping the basic dish same.
Where: Fatt Kee Hokkien Mee, 183, Jalan Imbi, 55100, City Center, Kuala Lumpur
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5. Lok Lok/Satay Celup
Literally meaning “dip dip” this is one ubiquitous Malaysian street food that offers a variety of tastes in a single satiating meal. The idea is to choose from a range of Malaysian food skewers with varying prices, and dip them in a steaming hot delicious broth. This fun way of community eating around a single clay hotpot is now hugely popular through food trucks around the cities. The semi-cooked skewers include meatballs, prawn, cockles, etc which are dipped in either hot peanut sauce or boiling soup stock.
Where: Numerous stalls along Jalan Alor food street, Kuala Lumpur
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6. Nasi Lemak
Though Nasi Lemak is known the world over and available at most restaurants and cafes, nothing beats the fresh banana leaf packages sold on the streets. This popular Malaysian food is primarily a delicious and sumptuous rice breakfast dish. The delicious coconut cooked rice is perfectly served with boiled egg, cucumbers and fried anchovies in shrimp paste and chili sauce. This fragrant rice dish is apparently considered as the national dish of Malaysia.
Where: Jalan Pantai Jerjak, Penang
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7. Chee Cheong Fun
Chee Cheong Fun is originally a Cantonese dish belonging to southern China and Hong Kong, yet it is popular in Malaysia. Perfect as a hearty breakfast or a satiating mi-day Malaysian snack, this rice noodle dish is a must-feature on every Malaysian street-food list for its simple yet flavourful offering. Though similar too yet distinct from the rice-noodle rolls sold at dimsum stalls, this one uses thick rice noodles in a dark sweet shrimp sauce with some chilli sauce.
Where: A small stall outside of Seow Fong Lye Cafe, 94C, Macalister Lane, 10400 Penang.
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This creamy and flavourful Malaysian dessert is a must-try for those with a sweet tooth and an appetite for unusual and interesting dishes. Prepared with coconut milk, palm sugar syrup, and ice shavings, Chendol is usually served in a tall glass or a bowl. The green jelly-like noodles made from mung-bean flour and food coloring (from the pendan leaf, a vanilla like plant) give the dish its unique taste and drool-worthy appearance. Many vendors also garnish it with diced jackfruit and sweetened red beans called ‘durian’ before serving you this delightful Malaysian street food in Kuala Lumpur.
Where: Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul. 27 & 29, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, Penang.
9. Char Kuey Teow
One of the most flavourful noodle preparations among the best Malayasian food, this smoky version is a must try when visiting the country. Flat rice noodles cooked in a traditional Chinese wok at high flame, turn to this aromatic delight with a distinct smoky flavour. Soy sauce, prawns, bean sprouts, spring onions and sausages lend their flavours and taste to make it the king of Malay noodle dishes. The noodles are usually cooked in small batches to retain the smoky aroma. Certain special versions are peppered with mantis prawns and crabs.
Where: Top Kitchen Penang Char Kuey Teow, 21, Jalan 9/62a, Bandar Manjalara, 52200 , 52200, Kepong, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
10. Batu Maung Satay (Grilled Meat On Skewers)
No Malaysian street food market is complete without the huge open ovens loaded with meat skewers being char-grilled to perfection. Marinated pork, chicken and beef pieces on bamboo skewers are served smoky hot with peanut sauce, cucumber chunks and raw onions. The sight of enthusiastic satay vendors fanning their ovens to serve you these perfectly grilled yummy chunks is enough to set your stomach rumbling!
Where: numerous vendors on Lorong Baru Street, Penang
11. Apom Balik
Apom Balik is an unusual panckae that you will only find in the streets of Malaysia. The panckae is made from sticky rice with a creamy corn side. It is very common street food in South East Asia. It is sweet, eggy,and fluffy. You will aslo find a peanut filling inside the panckae that offers a crunchy and peanut-ty taste to the pancake. The giant size panckae should be on your list of Malaysia street food to try when you visit this country next.
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12. Fried Bee Hoon
This is a simple yet delicious Malaysian breakfast which one must definitely try on their vacation to the country. Quite common with the locals there, it is an easily available and loved Malaysian street food. If you are at the Sentosa resort, then it is even easier to get yourself a plate of Fried Bee Hoon at the
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Though the Malaysian street food list can go on and on endlessly with its overwhelming variety and flavours, there are two Indian origin dishes that deserve a special mention for their popularity and taste. The Canak Roti which is a flaky flatbread goes well with the Teh Tarik (literally, ‘pulled tea’) the famous tea that’s poured interchangeably between two containers to give it its froth and add that dash of style before serving! So don’t forget to try them as well on your Malaysian holiday.
A. Nasi Lemak, Banana Leaf Rice, Hokkien Char Mee, Rojak, and Satay are some of the popular Malaysian food.Q. How much does Malaysian street food cost?
A. Kuala Lumpur can be a bot expensive in terms of food. You would be spending around INR 250 bucks for breakfast and INR 500 for lunch and dinner individually.Q. What is Malaysian hawker food?
A. Malaysian Hawker is a kind of street food prepared by the hawkers on the road side. When you are visitng Malaysia, you won’t find delcious Malaysian food in the restaurants. Rather it is these street food markets and hawkers that serve the most lip-smacking cuisine.Q. Apart from Malaya cuisines, what other cuisines are available in Malaysia?
A. Apart from Malaya cuisines, you will also find Chinese, Thai, India, and Western cuisines in Malaysia. So, if you wish to try something else than Malaya cuisine then there are several other options.Q. Why the street food vendors in Malaysia serve dishes made of rice in banana leaves?
A. Malaysian street food vendors use banana leaves as plates to serve dishes made of rice varieties as the leaves give a fresh aroma and taste to boiled rice.Q. Which street foods are best to eat for vegetarians in Malaysia?
A. Vegetarians can try noodles with vegetable curries, topping, and sausages. One can also order the favorite staple food of the Malaysians, the vegetarian Nasi Lemak.Q. Are the street food dishes best for non-vegetarians in Malaysia?
A. Yes, Malaya street foods are mostly made with chicken, fish, pork, and beef. They are available in broth, grilled, stuffing, deep-fried and toasted forms in Malaya culinary.Q. Why Malaysian street foods very hot and spicy?
A. More spices are used in Malaya culinary which are locally sourced. They are fresh and add special taste and aroma to the Malaya delicacies. You must order with less spice if you do not want hot and spicy food.Q. What is the average cost of street foods in Malaysia?
A. The non-vegetarian food items cost from RM 20 to RM 100 whereas vegetarian food costs from RM 10 RM 60 in Malaysia.
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Essential Eating in Malaysia Food Guide
For most visitors to Malaysia, ethnic Malay food will only be part of the overall Malaysian food experience, with the prominence of other colonial influences often just as noticeable. Malaysia is obviously a big country and regional influences vary from the far-flung borders of the Philippines and Indonesia in Borneo, to the mixing pot of colonial settlements on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The three prominent cooking cultures found in today’s Malaysia include; Malay, Chinese and Indian which is also reflected in the demographic makeup of the main tourist hubs of Penang (45% Chinese, 40% Malay, 10% Indian) and Kuala Lumpur (45% Malay, 43% Chinese, 10% Indian). So a better representation of modern, Malaysian food should explore all three cuisines. To name some of my favourite Malaysian food experiences I would include the street food and food courts of George Town (Penang), the prominence of Indian Muslim Food (Mamak) on the west coast, and Jalan Alor of Kuala Lumpur which is my top pick for things to do in Kuala Lumpur on a budget. Malaysian foods are also similar to their nearby neighbours in Singapore, only in Malaysia the prices are quite a bit cheaper. Anyway, here are some of my Top Malaysian food for any visit to Malaysia.
Or Nasi Kandar or Nasi Padang. These are Canteen style curry buffets serving hot pre-cooked dishes and other tasty sides. Grab a plate, pile on the rice and take your pick from the buffet. Nasi Campur (which translates as ‘mixed rice’) often offers tens to hundreds of Malaysian food alternatives and they make well for an introduction to eating in Malaysia. Again there will be regional variations with Nasi Campur where in North Malaysia the Nasi Kandar is a more popular Indian inspired alternative; while in the South of Malaysia Nasi Padang offers a more Malay and Indonesian style of cuisine. Nasi Campur can be found at almost every food court, hawker area or shop house street in Malaysia and is likely the most common eating option in the country. Final prices normally depend on the number, and size of portions you take, but are more than not, unbelievably cheap. It is the norm in many Malay restaurants for locals to eat with their hands, but fork and spoon are also an option. Either way the food tastes the same. Note, table etiquette is to eat with the right hand (the left used for peeing etc).
Fish Head Curry
One of the most popular Nasi Campur options has to be the fish head curry which is one of my all time favourite foods. While Malaysia claim this dish to be their own, the fish head curry is said to originate in Singapore and reflects both Indian and Chinese cultures as it came to existence when an Indian chef added fish head to his curry, in an attempt to please Chinese customers. This fiery hot fish head curry includes the head of a red snapper, lots of veg and a soupy, spicy south Indian style curry sauce. While a full curry is optional on many menus, the fish head curry is better found at Nasi Kandar curry buffets.
Better known for its origins in Indonesia the spicy beef rendang is also common to Malaysia where it again can be found at the Nasi Campur curry buffets (if lucky). Rendang is a stewed beef dish simmered in coconut milk with a spice paste mix of ginger, turmeric and fiery chillies. It also take hours to perfect through slow cooking so it is found better at pre-cooked curry buffets than quick stir fry restaurants and food courts. After hours of perfecting, the resulting Rendang should be served dry, rich and caramelized as a beef masterpiece, although there are more saucy adaptations.
Nasi Lemak is a staple in Malaysia’s eating and, while not a big fan myself (overly fishy anchovies), it’s a dish you can’t really miss. Nasi Lemak brings an enticing mix of flavours with coconut rice, crispy anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts and a fiery sambal sauce (ground chillies, lime and toasted shrimp paste). While it is the preferred breakfast of Malaysia, it can also be found day round, almost everywhere. Nasi Lemak often comes wrapped tight in banana leaves and sold alongside grilled meats and other optional extras. Good (and extremely cheap) as a meal on it’s own, but does come better served with grilled or fried chicken.
Char Kway Teow
Char Kway Teow, for me, is the Pad Thai of Malaysia (or it could go the opposite). ‘Rice cake strips’ stir fried with egg, beansprouts, chives, and more than not prawns. Flavoured with soy sauce. Char Kway Teow is simple, flavorsome and makes a good start for Malaysian food… but do go further. It is one of the most common Malay dishes found throughout the country, and will again vary regionally often served with cockles, fishcakes and other additions and flavourings.
So, I’m going to be lazy here and bunch a number of noodle dishes together. A similar dish to Char Kway Teow would be Kuay Teow Goreng, where in Malay the word Goreng simply means fried. Replace the Kuay Teow (rice cake strips) with Egg Noodles (Mee) and we have mee goreng (below left). These can alternate with all sort of noodles, and all sorts of regional variations. Fried noodle dishes can keep you busy with Malaysian food, but in my opinion, they’re not overly exciting. Also look out for an Indian inspired noodle dish in Mee Mamak (below right).
Curry Mee is my preferred eggy alternative to the better known ‘Curry Laksa’. The main difference between the two is that ‘Mee’ are egg noodles while laksa are thick rice noodles. The curry in Curry Mee is a coconut-based curry soup, served over egg noodles, with fried tofu, crunchy additions of beansprouts and occasional cubes of congealed blood. I also find Curry Mee to be one of the most common hawker foods in Malaysia and, as a curry lover, is a personal favourite. To use a comparison with Thai food again (sorry) it would maybe come closest to the favourite Khao Soi Curry, only more Indian inspired. Definitely on the must-eat list.
Chicken Satay is quintessential barbecue food. Tender meat pieces, marinated and skewered, and grilled over flaming hot charcoals. Satay will normally come served with a fiery, hot peanut sauce, which can vary throughout regions. With satay sauce I find the better interpretations found closest to its origins in Java Indonesia, and many Malaysian variations come served with a sweeter, less fiery, and ultimately less exciting satay sauce. An increasingly popular street food version would be satay chicken wings.
A personal favourite from the Penang area would be Loh Mee a bowl of think egg noodles stewed in a gooey egg based broth. What I love about this uniquely Malay noodle dish is the deliciously crispy pork pieces and deep fried pork skins which hide inside. Loh Mee comes served with crunchy beansprouts, crispy fried onions, boiled duck egg and the added option of vinegared garlic or spicy chili paste. Loh mee originates from, and is best found in the Penang area.
While I bunched fried noodle dishes together earlier, I do feel Hokkien Mee (Hokkien Char Mee) deserve an honorable mention. Named after its origins in the Chinese Fujian (Hokkien) Province; Hokkien Mee has generated an ongoing regional rivalry but for me the Kuala Lumpur (KL) version is hard to beat. KL Hokkien Mee come served as thick egg noodles, stir fried with pork lard, pork and prawns, all braised in a rich and thick dark soy sauce. Served with sides of lime, sliced red chili, soy sauce and sambal.
Chinese inspired, dough skin dumplings stuffed with ground pork and shrimp, and boiled in a soup. While there are many regional variations to Wonton Mee the most common bowl comes with dry egg noodles, cooked in soy and oyster sauce. The noodles are then served either in soup, or with soup on the side, and more than not, accompanied by boiled Chinese broccoli. While Char Siu (red pork) is the common topping for Wonton Mee I often find all sorts of meaty Chinese favourites such as roast duck or fried pork belly. Another modern variation includes deep fried wontons on the side, instead of being boiled in the soup.
We’ve continually try to find butter prawns outside of Malaysia, and continually fail to do so. Butter prawns is a new generation dish unique to Malaysia and brings a unique mix of cooking cultures through Chinese (rice wine), Malay (coconut milk) and Indian (curry leaves) all fused together with egg and butter to make a deliciously buttery and spicy prawn dish. There are two common variations of this dish, the wet and crumbly version (below left), or the more delicious dry, egg-floss version (below right). We always go with the latter. Probably not the foodies choice but we love it and it has become Fanfan’s favourite in Malaysian food.
Claypot Chicken Rice
A simple, mixed clay pot of rice, heated and slow-cooked over charcoal stoves with stock and chicken. Cooking times take around 20 to 30 minutes before serving direct in the clay pot as the pot holds in the heat. While this simple rice bowl doesn’t sound overly special I love the delicious crisp crust, and smoky flavour from the clay pot cooking. A clay pot can be a meal for one, but it maybe better to share. For an exciting Indian alternative keep a eye out for the Clay Pot Biryani (next).
This Indian influenced Malaysian favourite is a layered rice dish fusing together an aromatic and flavoursome sauce of local spices.Common spices in Malaysian Biryani include cardamom and chili powders with a layering of yogurt. Biryani is a common staple at Malaysia’s Mamak (Indian Muslim) restaurants, and while good as a meal in itself, it does come better matched with mutton curry or cuts of tandoori chicken. Note, Mamak restaurants are always Halal meaning no pork.
The second, more common staple in Mamak food is Roti Canai a humble pan-fried flatbread better known for its authentic origins in India. Orders of Roti Canai come served with sides of curry sauce and can be eaten as a meal on its own… but meaty side orders of chicken, mutton or goat curry (again pork forbidden in Halal) are always welcome. Beyond the simple Roti; variations include murtabak with layered Rotis stuffed with meats. Another is Kotthu where Roti is cut and mixed with meat and egg. Again each meal will come served with condiments of curry.
Tandoori is the term used for foods cooked in the Tandoor – a giant earthenware oven, and it is the secret behind many of the favourite Mamak foods in Malaysia. The obvious favourite would be Tandoori Chicken with chicken pieces first marinated in spices overnight to absorb the flavour, then skewered and cooked the following day inside the Tandoor. The resulting chicken is tender on the inside, and crisp and tasty on the out. Other popular Tandoori treats include Chicken Tikka and Naan flatbreads.
Deep fried pastries with spiced potato, meat and / or veg fillings. Samosas are my favourite ‘to go’ option when eating in Malaysia and I’m often found nibbling through bags of them on trains, buses or even after hours in my hotel room. Samosas are found at curry puff stands which as expected are better found in the more Indian influenced areas of Malaysia. Samosas are sold side-by-side with lots of other Indian inspired treats including pakoras, bhaji and vadai to name a handful.
Steamboat Hot Pots
Steamboats, or Hot Pots as better known elsewhere, were introduced by Chinese traders in the colonial era of Malaysia, and quickly became popular in the Highlands as a food to keep warm in cooler evening hours. Hot Pots are hands-on eating; choose your meats, your veg, your noodles, throw them into the soup stock and cook through. Steamboats often come with split broths and the local Malay ‘Soto’ spiced chicken soup broth is often the most common; but other enticing options may include Malay style curry, satay, or assam soups or even a Thai tom yum, or the mouth numbing Sichuan Peppercorn. Serve meats and soups in small bowls, with sides of hot, sour and tangy dips.
Lok Lok Hot Pot
A second Malaysian Hot Pot option is Lok Lok, not so different to Steamboat restaurants, only they are more commonly found as street food and as an option to eat on the go. The obvious difference between the two is that Lok Lok uses skewered bites which are dunked into the hot pot broth and are easy to eat in a hurry. Lok Lok comes with all sorts of meat and veg options, cooked in all sorts of flavoured broths and can be dunked in a number of chilli dips and gravies (similar to steamboats). At street food areas you will often find small tables which host built in Lok Lok pots.
Rojak mixes the sweets and sours of Malaysia’s regional fruits with the spicy and hot of a rich chilli and tamarind fused dressing. Fruits will again vary through regions of Malaysia and with the seasons of the year, but the more common bites include water apple, pineapple and sour unripe mangoes. To be confusing the word Rojak simply means “mixture” in Malay and another common style of rojak is “Pasembur”, an Indian Halal mixed salad of vegetables and deep fried bites and nibbles, topped with a sweet and hot chilli sauce.
Shaved ice is a common dessert in most Asian countries, but for me the best is found in Malaysia with the Ais Kacang, a mix of shaved ice with variations of fruits, beans, ice-creams and syrups. As expected ingredients will vary from one place to the next, but the traditional mix comes served with red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly and cubes of green agar jelly. Ais Kacang is one of the most popular desserts in Malaysia found at almost every food court and dessert menu.
Durian is both feared and revered in Malaysia as the formidable King of Fruits. For those who brave past the somewhat alien-esque shell, and pungent smell, you can expect a lifelong obsession for the sweet, creamy and perfect fruit inside. Or you may hate it. There’s definitely a love, hate relationship with the Durian with the common phrase ‘tastes like heaven smells like hell’. As with most fruits, the Durian is seasonal, and harvests are found more than not, between June and October.
Extra Strong Beer
Coming from the UK, the strongest beers on the shelves would be Carlsberg Special Brew (8.8%) a beer synonymous with alcoholism. In Malaysia Carlsberg Special Brew is tame, the type of beer you drink with noodles and at every corner store it is trumped by a selection of Extra Strong beers with almost double the content (12% to 15% ). Even Guinness in Malaysia has added alcohol content boasting 6.8% (rather than the usual 4%). This maybe because alcohol in Malaysia is relatively expensive with high ‘sin taxes’ under Islamic laws. Extra strong beers get you drunk on less. My favourite… Penguin.
So Malaysia’s state religion of Islam forbids consumption of alcohol at Muslim establishments; such as mamak stalls and nasi kandars. This means no alcohol with them delicious Indian food favourites. This therefore forces my hand to fresh fruit juices and lassis as a delicious substitute. Two of my favourites are fresh lychee juice and the salted mango lassi. For those with alcoholic tendencies it maybe best to avoid ‘Restorans’ with the ‘Malaysia Halal’ symbol and instead steer towards the restaurants fronted by Carlsberg or Beers signs.
As with almost everywhere in the world Coffee and Tea are both daily essentials in Malaysia, and are both found almost everywhere. Teh Tarik or “pulled tea” is the most common example, a mixture of black tea and condensed milk, poured back and forth, often from height, to give a frothy top. Being more of a coffee lover I opt instead for the Kopi O (Hot Black Coffee). While both are found almost everywhere in Malaysia, they are more common to Mamak restaurants.
Top 10 Malay foods to eat in Malaysia
We reckon Malay cuisine is one of the most under-represented cuisines on the world stage. If you’re in Malaysia take the time to venture off the beaten path and seek out some of the dishes mentioned below. You will be blown away by the flavours, variety and sheer deliciousness of Malay cuisine. For details of where to eat these dishes watch the videos below. Head to our YouTube channel and check the description box of the applicable video for restaurant details. Happy eating!
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1. Ikan Bakar
Ikan bakar translates to ‘burnt fish’ but what actually awaits you is a BBQ seafood feast like no other. Fresh local fish including squid, barramundi and stingray are wrapped in banana leaves and then basted with a spicy chilli sauce before being cooked on the grill. Smoky, flaky whole fish are served with rice and ulam (fresh vegetables and herbs) to create a mouth watering seafood feast.
2. Masak Lemak Cili Api
Masak lemak cili api is a style of cooking that uses coconut milk, chilli, spices and aromatics. The masak lemak gravy is creamy and spicy and poured over various meat. Our favourite way to enjoy masak lemak is with smoked meats and fish. Served with white rice and ulam (fresh vegetables and herbs) this is a Malay favourite.
You’ll find that nearly each state in Malaysia has its own version of laksa. The contents of your bowl will vary- you might find wheat noodles in a creamy coconut broth or rice noodles in a spicy, tangy broth. Extra ingredients might include tofu puffs, lettuce, torch ginger flower, chicken or slices of BBQ pork depending on the variation you are eating. One thing’s for sure- it’s bound to be delicious!
4. Nasi campur
Nasi campur means mixed rice and it’s one of the best ways to lunch if you’re unsure what you feel like! Load up a plate with a buffet selection of different curries, vegetables dishes, salads, stir fries and crunchy fried treats like fried bergedil (a potato croquette of sorts). This is a style of eating that you will not get sick of!
5. Nasi Kukus
Nasi kukus is a riot of flavour. A mound of freshly steamed white rice is doused in creamy gravies and topped with a piece of golden fried chicken, roasted pineapple and a spicy sambal. The texture and flavours of the dish are varied and you’ll find yourself coming back for more!
6. Nasi Lemak
You can’t visit Malaysia and not eat the national dish of nasi lemak! Traditionally a breakfast dish, in reality this classic meal is eaten at all hours of the day. Nasi lemak is made up of rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, sambal, fried anchovies, boiled egg, peanuts and refreshing cucumber. In its simplest form it’s wrapped up in a banana leaf package otherwise it’s served with side dishes like rendang or fried chicken to create a more substantial meal. This is one dish you do not want to miss!
7. Char Kuey Teow
Char Kuey Teow is a popular fried noodle dish in Malaysia. The Malay version of this Chinese dish may lack the addition of pork lard and Chinese pork sausage but it is by no means a slouch in the taste stakes. You’ll find a dry version which is similar to the Chinese version called kuey teow goreng as well as a wet version. Both are cooked in a wok over high heat and use rice noodles, often seafood, sambal, sweet soy and aromatics to create a satisfying plate of fried noodles.
8. Asam Pedas
Asam pedas is particularly famous in Melaka and Johor. Seafood and sometimes beef is cooked in a sour tamarind gravy with okra and served with white rice, vegetables and half a salted egg. Asam pedas has a great depth of flavour- tangy and a little spicy- we suggest trying it with ikan pari (stingray).
9. Ikan Patin Tempoyak
For the durian lovers out there, you’ll want to try tempoyak a fermented durian paste which is most famous for being cooked with ikan patin, a freshwater fish. Tempoyak isn’t as pungent as the fruit in its raw form but imparts a beautiful aroma and fruity flavour to the fish. Try this dish with the fish cooked in a tempoyak gravy or bakar style where the fish is grilled and topped with the tempoyak paste.
10. Nasi dagang
Nasi dagang is a dish that hails from the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia from the states of Terengganu and Kelantan. A mixture of glutinous rice and normal rice is topped with a creamy, spicy gravy cooked with a piece of local tuna and served with toasted, grated coconut and pickled vegetables. The crunch and tanginess of the vegetables and the meaty, flavoursome fish is an addictive pairing.
No matter where you’re travelling to we always recommend you have travel insurance. We use and love World Nomads. The great thing about them is that you can purchase travel insurance while you’re already travelling!We hope this Malaysia food guide has helped you eat and explore like a traveller, not a tourist!
Spending more time in Malaysia? Check out our Top 10 Things to Eat in Malaysia post
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10 Mouthwatering Malaysian Foods To Try in KL • Travel Mermaid
First time visiting Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia? Here are my picks on delicious Malaysian foods to try, and where to hunt them down in town!
Contents: Quick access to the good stuff
It didn’t take long living in Kuala Lumpur to learn that Malaysians are a proper, bonafide foodie nation. Never have I heard people talk so passionately about food, or seen overflowing crowds of people queuing for ages to sit at a restaurant that’s loved or highly recommended. And when I talk to Malaysians about Penang, they can’t wait to tell me all about the food!
Being the self proclaimed foodie that I am, I couldn’t wait to eat my way around KL when I arrived fresh off the boat two years ago. It is, my friends, the cause of some very happy love handles that I’m now trying to burn off here in Australia! But to be truthful, the love story was a slow burn.A well-known kopitiam in KL’s Chinatown
Unlike in Thailand, where I would mop up Thai food for breakfast, lunch and dinner pretty much every day, I only ate Malaysian food a couple of times a week in KL.
One reason, comes in the form of ikan bilis (dried anchovy) and belecan (prawn paste)! Whilst normally it’s a small addition to a stock or on the side, it took a while to adapt my ‘western yet travelled’ palate to this fishy flavour. I was used to fish sauce from Thailand, but this was sometimes more intense.
Secondly, although incredibly tasty, I found some dishes to be quite heavy and oily. I worked with an Indian Malay who said that the ‘oil brings flavour’…what do you think? 🤔 I found that it just gave me a muffin top!
And then there’s a ton of awesome restaurants in KL from most worldwide cuisines. The temptations are aplenty.
Top Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur
But one thing you don’t really get anywhere else in Southeast Asia, is so much diversity. With influences from Indian, Chinese, Thai and Indonesian cuisines (to name a few), Malaysian food is enormously multifaceted.
This means that aside from those fishy serves of ikan bilis, heap of show-stopping flavours will win you over- from fragrant Southeast Asian staples like kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and coconut, to aromatic Indian spices like cumin, cardamom and coriander.
Malaysian food isn’t really ‘hot’ and it’s far from the slap-me-in-the-face chilli comas you’d get in Thailand. But if you’re a chilli freak and eat the stuff up for breakfast like I do (seriously, chilli eggs should become a thing), then a side of chili padi is never far away (chopped bird’s eye chilli).
My Top 10 Malaysian Dishes & Where To Find Them in Kuala LumpurPacked with flavour : at Ali, Muthu & Ah Hoc
As a Brit who’s lived in Southeast Asia for four years, I understand that sometimes as a foreigner, eating at a hawker stall can be a bit intimidating. It’s not the ‘western’ looking eatery you’re used to and you’re not always sure what food to expect. Plus, they sometimes work a bit differently.
But for a true Malaysian food experience, you’ve gotta go local. I’ll be easing you in though (just in case you’re a newbie) and will take you to some traditional eateries that are a little more western-friendly, but not touristy, as well as some slightly more upmarket restaurants to experience a range of pukka local food. Each one I’ve either eaten at personally, or it has been highly recommended by locals.
So are you ready to get your mouth around some pukka Malaysian food? Let’s go on a food tour lah! 🙌🏼
Tip! If it’s your first time to KL & you only have limited time to spare, then I’d recommend going on a food tour with a local. Not only will you sample some cracking Malaysian dishes at local haunts but you can get a better understanding of the cuisine with a local’s insight. Check out With Locals to find out more.
1. Roti CanaiThe heartbeat of Malaysian food
If you’re leaving KL and only have time to try one thing, it should be indulging in Roti Canai! My heart sings for this stuff, and I give it my vote as Malaysia’s national dish 🙋🏻♀️.
This simple yet delicious, light yet filling, flaky flatbread was brought over by the Indian Malays and it’s made from flour, egg and ghee. It always made the biggest appearance at my school’s staff meetings, being the cause of many love handles in the teaching department! But don’t worry, you’re on holiday 😉.
Roti Canai can be eaten at anytime of the day but it’s traditionally a breakfast staple, adapting to be a late night/hangover option for expats! Usually it’s served with a small portion of sauce for mopping up, such as a scrummy lentil dahl or chicken curry.
Here’s a video of a chef make it when I stayed in Pangkor Laut Resort. This 👇🏼 Roti Queen had the busiest section!
Where to get your mouth around it
If you’re lucky, your hotel might have it as a part of a brekkie buffet. Otherwise, pretty much every mamak (Indian-Muslim eatery) will serve it. I’ve personally eaten it at Pelita’s, a really good chain of mamaks in KL.
You could also check out a highly rated Indian-Malay restaurant called Tg’s Nasi Kandar in Bukit Bintang which is said to have some really authentic Indian food. Or if you want to go all out, head to Valentine Roti close to Ampang, a specialist roti eatery that’s meant to serve some of the best stuff in town.
2. Nasi LemakFlavoursome Nasi Lemak at Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock
Nasi Lemak is one of the oldest and most traditional Malaysian dish there is. On it’s own, it’s made up of white rice that’s been soaked in coconut cream to give it a fragrant aroma and creamy taste- naughty, but nice.
It’s usually served with a chilli paste called sambal, which I sometimes set aside when too much anchovy or prawn paste is added to it..but you may like it. It comes with a hard-boiled egg, cucumber slices, roasted peanuts and a side of ikan bilis.
When Nasi Lemak is pimped up it can be served with extras like a fried chicken leg, curry or beef rendang curry.
Where to get your mouth around it
For this one, I’m going to take you to a place I visited and loved- Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock.
This award wining kopitiam recently opened in my burb of Mont Kiara, at Publica Mall. It also has its flagship restaurant in Chinatown which is conveniently central if you’re in KLCC. Unlike most other kopitiams, this one is unique in that it’s run by a Malay, a Chinese and an Indian guy, whom I call ‘The Three Musketeers’. Therefore you’re presented with the best of Malaysia’s eclectic cuisine.
I really enjoyed the Nasi Lemak here because the chicken had an awesome crispy skin so there was bags of texture, and they weren’t stingy with the seasoning. I even ate most of the ikan bilis that came with it! 😳…it only took two years!
Their Publika branch gets pretty busy at lunch, but just grab a seat and there’s table service. You can ask your waiter for help if you’re not sure what anything is. I’d recommend having a traditional teh tarik with it too, a tasty Malaysian ‘pulled’ tea with condensed milk that originates from India.
3. Beef RendangBeef rendang @Opium in KL
This dish is the bees knees! It’s a Malay stew that’s normally served at special occasions, and one of my favourite Malaysian dishes. The rendang is slow cooked, so has oh so tender pieces of beef that falls apart like butter, which absorbs the rich curry-like sauce that’s totally moreish.
Where to get your mouth around it
I’ve eaten a pukka rendang for breakfast at the Double Tree by Hilton’s Makan Kitchen in Melaka, which also has a branch in KL.
Otherwise Opium’s rendang curry is said to be highly succulent with great reviews. I’ve visited Opium a few times during my time in KL for cocktails and tasty titbits. It’s got a buzzing atmosphere and is well-positioned in the hustle and bustle of Bukit Bintang.
4. Grilled Fish & Local Baby Vegetables
Ember, a Modern Bistro located in an awesome KL burb of TTDI (what a great excuse to venture here) is run by an inspiring Malaysian chef called Gary Anwar. Although essentially a Modern Asian eatery, this grilled fish and baby veg couldn’t be more Malaysian.
Gary, who is passionate about local, fresh produce, visits Pudu wet market every morning to hand-pick his ingredients, including the local fish for this dish. Each time I’ve tried this meal, I was served a lip-smacking snapper that’s cooked on a Malaysian charcoal grill. I ignorantly thought it was a hibachi grill, but Gary informed me that the Malaysian one is more shallow.
To top it off, this succulent fish is served with local veg that grows abundantly in Malaysia- pucuk paku and pucuk labu. It has distinctive frond curls, although I’ve never eaten or seen before. It totally blew my mind.
So that’s why Ember’s grilled fish and veg, that’s created by a Malaysian chef, who uses local Malaysian ingredients and cooks them on a Malaysian charcoal grill, is a must try on this list. Apart from it being totally delicious!
Where to get your mouth around it
Ember Modern Bistro is located in the popular expat hangout of TTDI. Believe me, eating here is well-worth the Grab ride if you’re not staying locally.
To accompany the fish and veg dish, the rest of the menu is divine, but another exceptional favourite of mine is the grilled lamb and noodles. I had no idea that noodles could taste so good and the lamb was enormously tender, sticky and succulent.
Note: They are closed on a Sunday and Monday and serve a range of awesome craft beers, but they are BYO for wine with a small corkage fee.
Want to combine a fab night out at Ember with cocktails and comedy in TTDI? Then check out Crackhouse Comedy Club on a Friday or Saturday for some laughs, followed by a nightcap (or two!) at The Pawn Room secret bar.
5. Nyonya Chicken CurrySitting pretty on the left : Kebaya’s Nyonya chicken curry
I first tried this mouth-watering curry at Kebaya, a Nyonya restaurant in Penang. It was utterly delicious and the crowd-pleasing flavours reminded me a lot of a Thai Massaman curry, filled with mild aromatics and coconut milk. It’s usually cooked with potatoes, chicken on the bone for added flavour and comes in a thick curry sauce.
This is one of the classic Malaysian dishes that Poh Ling Yeow, a Malaysian-born Masterchef Australia runner-up, created for Malaysian Airlines flights. If you want to try cooking it at home or to see how it’s made, check out Poh’s recipe in this video.
Where to get your mouth around it
I’m kicking myself that I didn’t visit Limapulo Baba Can Cook whilst I was in KL, but it’s definitely on the list for when I’m back. This place comes highly recommended, as well as being featured in cooking shows such as Air Asia, and the reviews speak for itself. In addition to their Nyonya curry, their Curry Laksa is meant to be top notch 👌🏼.
Check out a short video about the chef behind this eatery. I don’t know about you, but I love nothing more than eating pukka food from a chef that’s truly passionate about cooking. Baba gets my vote!
6. Hokkien MeeHokkien Mee at Kim Lian Kee – photo @yennyeats
It may not look like much, but don’t let appearances fool you. This dish is simple yet really tasty and an utter umami bomb.
Traditionally Hokkien Mee it’s made up of thick yellow noodles, wok-fried in a thick dark soy sauce with a combination of pork, squid, fish-cake and cabbage, and crispy fried pork lard a a garnish…an important feature for some naughtiness and crunch.
It was invented in 1927 on the streets of KL by a Chinese migrant called Wong Kim Lian. Hailing from Fujian, he brought over the art of its noodle-making and invented a charcoal fire to fry them in, adding a dark soy sauce. As the legend has it, one day a customer asked him what his tasty dish was called. After a moments consideration he said, ‘since I am a Hokkien, I call it Hokkien Mee‘.
Many die-hard KLites will judge a good Hokkien Mee (as well as other noodle based dished) on the chefs ability to wok hei.
This classic feature of Cantonese cooking literally refers to the ‘wok’s breath’, meaning the ability to cook food over a really high heat without it burning. Therefore the food should be tossed about non-stop to create even cooking and a good char that slightly caramelises the food. To go a step further, dexterous cooks momentarily toss the cooking flames into their woks to create a banging flavour kick! 😋
Where to get your mouth around it
I ate a yummy version of this dish at Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock, which you can also try alongside their nasi goreng and assam laksa.
But if I were you, I’d head to Lot 10 Hutong, an air-conditioned food court with multiple vendors serving Chinese-Malay food, conveniently located in Bukit Bintang. There’s a hawker stand there called ‘Kim Lian Kee, that’s meant to be owned by the grandson of Wong Kim Lian, the guy who invented this dish. Of course, this place comes highly rated and is said to knock up a mean Hokkien Mee. Open: 10am – 10pm.
Otherwise, you can find Hokkien Mee at endless hawker stalls or kopitiams in Malaysia. I’d highly advise trying it anywhere you can see a vendor using the old school method of a charcoal fire instead of gas, to give it more caramelisation and a smokier flavour.
7. Banana LeafBanana Leaf rice at Vishal – photo @kaprikornikus
You can’t really get much more Indian than this. Hailing from Chettinad in South India, this rice based dish has become a much loved Malaysian pastime and staple on any high street. And why? Because as an Indian colleague once said to me, eating off a banana leaf tastes so much better.
On top of your ‘plate’, you’re served white rice alongside a variety of vegetables, condiments and pappadum. You can then choose to order curry or meat to accompany the dish and make it pop. People normally eat this one with their hands, so give it a go! When you’re done, you should fold your leaf inwards.
Where to get your mouth around it
Just down the road from my condo was Raj’s Banana Leaf in Sri Hartamas. Each time I walked past, the heavenly aromas used to sing to me!
But I’d suggest heading to a highly rated Banana Leaf eatery in the heart of Brickfields, aka the ‘Indian quarter’ of KL, Vishal Food & Catering. It won’t look much from the outside, but it’s meant to serve really authentic banana leaf rice with banging curries.
8. Assam Laksa vs Curry LaksaAward-winning curry laksa @BabaCanCook
Just like tom yum and tom kha are Thailand’s most loved and widespread soups, laksa is Malaysia’s treasured noodle soup. There are multiple variations of this bowl of goodness, but most fall under these two ‘umbrella’ categories- assam laksa and curry laksa.
Assam Laksa is probably the most popular, a hot and sour soup which flavour profiles make it similar to Thailand’s tom yum (minus the fish addition and belecan). In fact, Penang is meant to do the best version of this dish and due to it’s close proximity to southern Thailand, the tartness and heat is reflected in the food.
Assam Laksa’s broth is made from a tamarind, mackerel and torched ginger flower, with added mint leaves and rempah (spice paste) consisting of red chillis, shallots, galangal, lemongrass, turmeric roots and belechan (shrimp paste). It comes with thick rice noodles and is served with mint leaves and batons of pineapple, red onion and cucumber.
The other well-known variation, curry laksa – also known as curry mee– is a Nyonya creation and uses coconut milk to make it more creamy. It too has a fragrant rempah spice paste and comes in a chicken or prawn broth. Curry Laksa is usually served with a combo of prawns, fish cake or tofu, Vietnamese mint and cucumber.
I couldn’t get enough of this soup in when I lived in Australia, but the love story was a slower burn in Malaysia because of the addition of belacan, giving it a fishier taste. But everywhere adds a different amount to their rempah, and after a while you begin to appreciate the depth of flavour it adds to the dish. Try and see!
Where to get your mouth around it
If you’re visiting Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock for some Hokkien Mee and Nasi Goreng, then you can try their Assam Laksa here too.
However if you can make the special trip to Aik Asam Laksa, located just a bit further south than TTDI, then they’re meant to knock up the real deal. Owned by two Penangites, this is said to be the closest thing you’re going to get to a Penang assam laksa. And just for a RM6.50 per bowl! To get there, head to the Sea Park market and it’s on the corner of Jalan 21/11B and Jalan 21/17A. (Opens: 12 noon to 5pm and closed on a Monday). Address: 1, Jalan 21/11b, Sea Park, 46300, Petaling Jaya.
Or, for an authentic taste of curry laksa, it’s got to be the highly recommended and award-winning Limapulo Baba Can Cook for this one, where you can also try their Nyonya chicken curry.
Fancy making Assam Laksa at home or seeing how it’s prepared? Check out Poh’s version and recipe.
9. Malaysian Prawn CurryMajapahit’s ‘Curry Galore’ with the Malaysian prawn curry at the bottom – photo : The Straits Times
You can find all sorts of curries in Malaysia, which constitute a whole genre rather than a distinct dish. This one is no exception, but I loved this prawn curry in Majapahit! The flavours were aromatic, moreish and it had a nice heat kick.
Where to get your mouth around it
Majapahit’s flagship restaurant is in Mont Kiara and due to its great success, they’ve opened up another branch in KLCC. It serves a range of mouthwatering South-East Asian dishes, predominantly from Thailand and Indonesia, with a few hailing from Malaysia and Vietnam.
If you want to go all out, I’d recommend their Curry Galore, serving four awesome curries that pack a punch (Thai red with beef, Thai green with chicken, Malaysian prawn and Indonesian with squid) as well as their Malaysian chicken satay and finger-lickin’ Indonesian sweet sauce wing (aka- sticky yet crunchy chicken wings).
10. Char Kuey TeowChar Kuey Teow at Lot 10
Some Malaysians might argue that Char Kuey Teow rivals Nasi Lemak as the national dish of Malaysia. Concocted by the Chinese-Malays, it consists of super tasty, wide rice noodles that are wok cooked to get them slightly caramelised and smokey. It’s cooked in a flavoursome mix of garlic and shallots that’s tossed in some dark soy sauce. Additions vary, but can be a combo of fish balls, prawns, cockles, scrambled egg, Chinese sausage, as well as bean sprouts and garlic chives for some fresh crunch. Lip smacking!
Where to get your mouth around it
You can find this dish at many hawker stalls and kopitiams across KL. I’ve only ever eaten it in Penang, which Malaysians will argue has the best Char Kuey Teow anywhere. Nevertheless, locals are pretty obsessed with this dish, and each have their favourite hawker stall which they’re fiercely loyal to.
If I were you, like with the Hokkien Mee dish, I’d head to Lot 10 Hutong. There’s one vendor there called ‘Penang Famous Fried Kway Teow‘ that’s meant to offer a wonderfully authentic version of this dish. Open: 10am – 10pm.
Otherwise, you can check out Jan Alor in the evening and head to Cu Cha. Don’t expect much from their service, but their signature Char Kuey Teow is meant to be pukka.
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A bit extra…The Three Faces of Malaysian Food
Malaysian fare was born from the Malays, moulded by the Chinese and seasoned by the Indians, making it anything but one dimensional. One thing you can expect, is bags of flavour and varied textures blended into a melting pot of cultural richness.
Just like Turkish cuisine is an eclectic blend of Greek, Jewish, Arabic, Armenian and Kurdish food. Malaysian food is equally as colourful, diverse and cannot be defined in a single national dish.
Traditionally, long-standing Malaysian dishes gilded by the Malays (and shared with Indonesia due to historic migration) are typically rice, rendang, satay and sambal.
Then added to the melting pot are countless regional influences from Southern Chinese settlers, establishing a range of noodle dishes, dumplings, soups and favourites from Cantonese, Hakka, Fujian and Teochew cuisine. I’ve honestly eaten some of the best Chinese inspired food in Malaysia.
Popular eateries such as Kopitiams, which you can also find all over Kuala Lumpur, were created by the Chinese community. The word kopi is Malay for ‘coffee’ and tiam is Hokkien for ‘shop’. They traditionally serve a range of breakfast and lunch dishes, but also some classic ‘Malaysian’ fare. You definitely have to visit one when you’re in town!
To further add to the pot, there’s Nyonya cuisine. It was the early Chinese settlers that intermarried with Malays in Penang, Melaka and Singapore, who created this unique blend of cookery. Although arguably the best Nynoya food is from these regions, there’s plenty of well-rated restaurants in KL.Kerala cuisine at Kayra
Then to top it off, South Indians brought a combination of fragrant spices, biryani, curries, chapatis, roti and dosa. Growing up in London, where Chicken Tikka Masala was equally as important on my childhood dinner table as were fish & chips and roast dinners, some of my favourite Malaysian food is Indian inspired.
It was also the Indian Malays who introduced banana leaf dining and a Mamak culture, which are typically 24/7 Indian-Muslim eateries that you can see all over KL. Specialist Mamak restaurants serve the Tamil inspired dish Nasi Kandar, a buffet-style selection of white rice or briyani, served with rich curries, meat, veggies and papadum.
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Top Must-Try Malaysia Street Foods
When visiting Malaysia, do not attempt to take on Malaysian street food with impunity; you’ll be overwhelmed by the endless choices available to you. Visit any hawker center or noted food street (like Gurney Drive in Penang), and you’ll encounter Malay specialties vying for attention among dishes concocted by other ethnic communities.
The Peranakan (Straits Chinese), more recent Chinese immigrants, and South Indian Muslims who settled in Malaysia have all left their imprint via the Malaysian noodle dishes and Malaysian Indian food available from the country’s many street stalls and hawker outfits.
The flavors you’ll find in Malaysia are totally unlike any you’ll encounter in the West: cooks use local ingredients that combine sour, sweet, and spicy tastes in unique proportions.
The foods on this list are available every day of the week, though the variety increases tenfold when holidays come around – Ramadan food and Peranakan Chinese New Year food can be enjoyed from pasar malam (night markets) wherever you go. Particular cities, too, are renowned for their food, like the culinary scene in Penang, particularly the choices available in the old quarter of Georgetown.
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Penang Assam Laksa – From the Peranakan to the WorldCalvin Chan Wai Meng / Getty Images
While laksa is a commonplace dish around Malaysia and Singapore, Penang’s take on this beloved noodle soup dish sets it apart from the competition: the addition of assam (tamarind) gives the broth a tangy-sour flavor that will make you squint with delight as you eat your way through.
Thick rice noodles make up assam laksa‘s starchy base; slivers of mackerel fish build on its flavor. Other herbs make their presence felt even before you tuck in, with the aroma of lemongrass, torch ginger flower and Vietnamese mint leaf wafting into the air from your bowl.
But it isn’t assam laksa until you add hae ko, or the fermented shrimp paste known in Malay as petis udang. The dish should then be garnished with finely-julienned vegetables and flaked fish. Some stalls serve extra garnishes like fish balls and hard-boiled eggs.
The Peranakan – or assimilated Chinese of Malaysia and Singapore – invented assam laksa. Over the years, increasing public demand for this cheap and tasty meal has catapulted assam laksa into the ranks of the region’s most popular foods. CNNGo.com recognized assam laksa as #7 on its list of the World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods (source).
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Nasi Kandar – Rice Flooded in CurryKevin Miller / Getty Images
Malaysia’s Indian community have added their own cultural richness to the Malaysian culinary soup, and in Penang, this contribution comes in the form of nasi kandar.
“Nasi” is Malay for rice, as white rice serves as the only constant for every nasi kandar meal. “Kandar” refers to a wooden or bamboo yoke that Indian street vendors used in the old days; they would balance a container of food on each end of the yoke, then sell their food on the streets carrying their merchandise. While the kandar has gone the way of the British colonial government, the foods remain, now served from stationary stalls or restaurants.
Alongside their rice, diners pick and choose from an assortment of side dishes: beef spleen, beef cubes, fried sotong (squid), fried chicken, okra, omelets, bitter gourd, and eggplant. The dishes may either be piled on the rice or served in small bowls separately. There’s practically no limit to the food you can choose from when eating at a nasi kandar place.
The finishing touch is a helping of curry sauce, poured liberally on the rice (this is called banjir, or “flooding”).
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Ipoh Hor Fun – Perak-Style Flat Noodles Found Nowhere ElseImage courtesy of Makansutra, used with permission
The city of Ipoh in the Malaysian state of Perak is surrounded by limestone hills. Those in the know say the limestone that created those hills affects the chemical makeup of Ipoh’s spring water, which then improves the flavor and texture of the city’s eponymous hor fun (flat noodle) dishes.
This Malaysian noodle dish was created by the Chinese community in Perak, who are descended from Cantonese immigrants who imported their culinary distinctiveness into the Malay peninsula. When you order hor fun in Ipoh, you’ll get a bowl of flat noodles drenched with a sweet chicken-and-prawn broth, then garnished with Chinese chives, shredded chicken, and prawns.
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Hokkien Mee – Hearty Hokkien InnovationImage courtesy of Makansutra, used with permission
Another gift to Malaysian cuisine from Hokkien immigrants from Fujian province in China, Hokkien mee (also referred to as har meen in Kuala Lumpur) is served in an infinite variety of preparations, but the Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley and Penang variants are the most well-known in the country.
Kuala Lumpur’s take on Hokkien mee uses yellow egg noodles braised in a dark soy sauce. The result is a deep, ebony-colored sauce that is then enhanced with pork meat, squid, pork liver, prawns, lard croutons, and choi sum, along with a little sambal belacan for a spicy kick.
The Penang version is cooked in a fragrant shrimp stock, with pork, chicken, and fresh shrimp added to the mix. The soup is then garnished with fish cake, pork ribs, squid, spring onions, shrimp and fresh lime.
Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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Satay Celup/Lok Lok – Boiling Over with Flavorlaughing mango / Getty Images
This communal hotpot, where diners dip skewers of raw food into boiling liquid, goes by two names, each one more popular in one particular city in Malaysia.
If a friend invites you to try satay celup, then you should prepare to dip raw or semi-cooked food into vats of hot peanut sauce. If you’re invited to try lok lok, then you’re likely to be dipping those skewers in boiling soup stock. The former is more likely if you’re in Melaka, the latter in Kuala Lumpur.
The typical satay celup/lok lok stall or van offers a variety of meats for dipping: cockles, quail eggs, fried bean skins, meatballs, fish balls, kidneys, and prawns, among many others. Diners are charged by the stick.
What you eat, and how much of it, is entirely up to you. “Half the enjoyment of Lok Lok lies in the DIY preparations (the other half is the eating),” explains RasaMalaysia.com’s Bee Yin Low. “Once everyone is seated around the table, they pick out their selections and dip the skewered food into the pot and wait for them to cook…. Everyone talks and laughs amidst the preparations and that’s exactly the fun and art of communal dining.”
06 of 11
Rojak – Sour-Sweet Salad SelectionsImage courtesy of Makansutra, used with permission
This savory-sweet salad is a Malay original: fruits and vegetables chopped into bite-sized pieces, drenched in a prawn sauce and garnished with crushed ground peanuts. Ingredients may consist of green mangoes, cucumber, bean sprouts, deep-fried tofu, and green apples. In Penang, they add squid fritters, guava, honey, while leaving out the bean sprouts and fried tofu.
Don’t be fooled by the fruity makeup of the typical rojak: the flavor tends to be more sour or tart than sweet. The whole dish is brought together by the dressing, which combines sugar, lime juice, chili, and shrimp paste: a medley of sweetness, sourness, and umami creating a unique taste experience.
07 of 11
Pasembur – Make Mine the “Mamak Rojak”Image courtesy of Makansutra, used with permission
Pasembur (along with its Chinese cousin, cheh hu) is related to rojak, but the ingredients are adapted to meet the taste requirements of a different community.
Called “mamak rojak” after the mamak, or Indian food, stalls common around Penang, pasembur contains bite-size pieces of fried dough fritters, boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, cuttlefish, tofu, cucumber strips, turnip, and prawn fritters. Everything is mixed up with a spicy peanut, chili and sweet potato sauce.
Pasembur lends itself to experimentation – diners can add optional extras like sausages, whole prawns, deep-fried crab, squid, and fish cakes. You can also ask for the sauce to be served separately.
The Chinese version of pasembur is called cheh hu, and uses a different sauce: a lightly spicy sweet potato and savory plum sauce, garnished with sesame seeds. The name cheh hu literally means “green fish”, one of the ingredients of the original salad.
08 of 11
Mee Siam – Not Really Thai, but Really Really DeliciousImage courtesy of Makansutra, used with permission
The name translates to “Thai noodles”, but surprisingly, “it doesn’t exist in Thailand,” writes food writer Denise Fletcher, author of Mum’s Not Cooking: Favourite Singaporean Recipes for the Near Clueless or Plain Lazy (compare rates). “The closest thing you will find to it in Thailand is something called ‘Mee Kati’, made with similar ingredients, but with the addition of coconut milk, and presented and served differently as well.”
Name aside, mee siam was invented by the Peranakan: thin rice vermicelli noodles stir-fried in tamarind, rempah (spice paste) and tau cheo (soybean paste), then topped with salted soybeans, hardboiled egg, dried beancurd, shrimp, chicken, shredded omelet, and spring onion. The spice mixture creates a spicy/sour/sweet taste that can’t be found in any other Malaysian noodle dish.
Continue to 9 of 11 below.
09 of 11
Char Kuey Teow – “Breath of Wok” Works its MagicImage courtesy of Makansutra, used with permission
As far as noodle dishes in Malaysia go, char kuey teow ranks among the richest in flavor and aroma. Flat rice noodles are stir-fried in soy sauce with spring onion, bean sprouts, prawns, cockles, and Chinese sausages. The cooking is done in a Chinese wok over high heat; the technique imparts a smoky aroma to the dish called wok hei (literally “breath of wok” in Cantonese).
Char kuey teow is often cooked in individual batches, allowing the noodles to absorb the soy sauce and seasonings completely. Deluxe versions of char kuey teow incorporate garnishes of mantis prawns or crab meat.
Food buffs recommend you go to Penang to get a taste of authentic char kuey teow. Traditional sellers make this dish over a charcoal stove, which some believe adds to the flavor.
10 of 11
Nasi Lemak – Malaysia’s National DishPamela Lao / Getty Images
This coconut-infused rice dish is called the unofficial national food of Malaysia. Originally served as a breakfast dish, nasi lemak is now served at any time of the day, with endless regional variations.
Every nasi lemak consists of rice steamed in coconut milk, which imparts a creamy texture. The rice is served on a banana leaf (or a plastic plate sculpted to look like a banana leaf!) alongside a dab of spicy sambal, a small pile of deep-fried anchovies (known to locals as ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, cucumber, and sliced-up hard-boiled egg.
The basic configuration accommodates additional foods such as cuttlefish, chicken, cockles, beef rendang, and pickled vegetables (achar), among others.
In Indonesia, a similar street food is served as nasi uduk. A Malaysian Peranakan version of nasi lemak is served with assam prawns or fried assam fish (assam refers to the meats being cooked in tamarind). The Malaysian Indians like their nasi lemak served with curry. Malaysian diners in a hurry can order nasi lemak to go in packets called nasi lemak bungkus.
11 of 11
Wonton Noodle – Dry or Wet, Good Either WayImage courtesy of Makansutra, used with permission
In the old days, diners called this Malaysian noodle dish “tok tok mee”, after the sound made by the vendors’ knocking two bamboo sticks together to advertise their presence. Today, this one dish is spelled in many different ways, but wherever you find “wonton”, “one ton”, “wan thun, “wan tun”, or “wan than”, you’ll find the same thing: springy thin egg noodles topped with Chinese kale (kai lan), sliced roast pork (char siu) and wonton dumplings stuffed with prawn and minced pork.
Like many of the dishes in this list, wonton noodles lend themselves to endless variation. The “dry” version uses cooked noodles tossed in dark soy sauce with lard and shallots. The “wet” version is drowned in a pork or chicken stock. But it doesn’t end there.
Do you want your wonton boiled or deep fried? Do you like your noodles fine or thick? Do you like ’em with sambal? Soup on the side, instead of over your noodles? Johor has its own version of wonton noodle, as do the states of Sarawak, Selangor, Perak, and Pahang. You’ll probably find all these varieties (and more) in Penang, the state with the most developed food scene in Malaysia.
20 Must Try Malaysian Street Food DishesThe street food of Malaysia is heavily influenced by Thai, Indian, Indonesian and Chinese cuisines. The speciality of Malaysian street food is its vibrant and diverse flavour influenced by its rich past. Feast your senses on the some of the most famous street food in Malayasia like Nasi Dagang, Bakuteh, Hokkien Meh, Satay, Sang Har Noodles, and Nasi Kandar.
Here is a list of 20 must-try street food in Malaysia:
- Penang Asam Laksa
- Lok Lok
- Apam Balik
- Fried Bee Hoon
- Char Kuey Teow
- Nasi Lemak
- Roti Canai
- Koay Chiap
- Chee Cheong Fun
- Teh Tarik
- Ice Kachang
- Hokkien Mee
- Wonton Mee
- Bak Kua Bread
- Otak Otak
- Kuih Kosui
- Roast Chicken Rice
1. Penang Asam LaksaA colourful bowl of Asam Laksa often served with chopsticks (Source)Asam Laksa is a dish hailing from Penang state of Malaysia. Tamarind and humble fish soup with rice noodles make it one of the most famous street food in Malaysia. Herbs, lemongrass, mackerel shavings, ginger flower and Vietnamese mint leaves add to the flavour of this dish. Apart from mackerels, sardines and skip jack tuna are also used in the dish. This type of Laksa uses very thick rice noodles. The dish is found almost everywhere in Penang – coffee shops, mobile carts, roadside stalls and hawker centres.
Where to try: Jalan Pasar, Makan Kitchen
2. Lok LokThe malaysian version of skewers (Source)
One of the most famous Malaysian street food, Lok Lok literally means “dip dip”. One can choose from a variety of skewers and dip them in delicious hot broth. Skewers of meat, vegetables, fish balls, dumplings and seafood are boiled and dipped into an assortment of flavoured dips like garlic, Malaysian Satay or chilli sauce. In order to counter the spiciness of the soup, Lok Lok is accompanied by coconut water, barley drinks or tea.
Where to try: Ping Hwa Lok Lok, Padang Brown Hawker, Caravon Street3. RojakA plate of Rojak (Source)
Rojak means “mixed” in Malay, as it a salad comprising of mixed fruits and vegetables. The dish exemplifies cultural diversity of the region by including both Chinese and Malay elements in its ingredients. Vegetables like water spinach and bean sprouts are blanched, whereas cucumber and turnips are chopped to add crunch. Pineapples, mangoes, apples and starfruits are also added to the dish. Sauce is an important ingredient of Rojak, marking its authenticity. A sticky paste is made by mixing water, lime juice, sugar, chillies and peanuts. The ingredients are added and mixed with the paste to give it a tantalising flavour.
Where to try: Hasan’s Rojak and Cendol, Rojak Bellamy
4. CendolA bowl of Cendol with worm-like green jellies on top (Source)
Little known outside Southeast Asia, Cendol is a famous dessert in Malaysia. It is ubiquitous and can be found in all restaurants and hawker centres. This icy dessert provides a respite from the tropical heat. The worm-like green jellies, made of rice flour, add to the taste of the dish. Cendol can be eaten from a bowl or drunk through a straw. This street food of Malaysia is best experienced after having a hot bowl of Laksa. The origin of this dessert is contested, as countries like Indonesia and Vietnam lay claim to it. Though debates about the origin exist, the fact that the dish is famous across all 10 countries shows how much it is liked by the people.
Where to try: Cendol Sawit, Kuatan
5. Apam BalikThe sweet peanut pancake, populary known as Apam Balik (Source)
Apam Balik (literally “overturned pancake”) is a sweet peanut pancake, which is a favourite street food in Malaysia. The pancake is stuffed with buttery, sugary, peanut filling. The cake is usually thick and has a honeycomb texture. The corners are made to be thin and crispy. One can also add sweet corn to the filling to enhance the taste. The dish is also known as Kuih Haji, Chin Loong Pau and Apam Pulau Pinang. It is usually found in the late afternoons, when people look for snacks to savour along with tea.
Where to try: Apam Balik stall at Petaling street, Swee Kong Coffeee Shop
6. Fried Bee HoonThe Bee Hoon rice sticks (Source)
It is a simple yet delicious Malaysian street food, often served for breakfast. “Bee Hoon” literally means “rice sticks”. The rice vermicelli can be eaten in soups, with gravy and in salads. It is seasoned with soy sauce, rice wine, pepper and salt. Topping the dish with fried omelette enhances the taste. It is very easy to get yourself a plate of Bee Hoon as it is easily available on the streets. Bee Hoon can also be a meal by itself.
Where to try: Limapulo: Baba can Cook, Ginger Restaurant, Kian Lian kee, Restoran Setapak Teochew
7. Char Kuey TeowThe tempting Char Kuey Teow (Source)
Char Kuey Teow is a flat rice noodles stir-fried with shrimp, Chinese sausage, eggs and bean sprouts in a mix of soy sauce. While the dish can be found throughout Malaysia, the Penang version is supreme. This Malaysian street food is reputed for being unhealthy due to its fatty content. The stir was initially served only to the labourers. It is commonly served on a banana leaf, to enhance the aroma of noodles. The dish also has vegetarian variants that exclude eggs. “Wok Hei”, the breath of Wok, is the hot air produced from the heat in the Wok which gives extra flavour to the noodles. One can sense the aroma while walking on the streets of Penang.
Where to try: Lorong Selamat, Damansara Kim, 888 restaurant, Koay Teow King
8. Nasi LemakA classic bowl of Nasi Lemak (Source)
Considered to be the de facto national dish of Malaysia, Nasi Lemak is a type of coconut milk rice. It is perfectly served with fried anchovies, cucumber and boiled egg in chilli sauce or shrimp paste. The best authentic Nasi Lemak is served on a banana leaf with fried fish and boiled eggs as side dishes. This traditional serving style has been inherited through generations- from a little stall to commercial restaurants, the dish is served in banana leaf. It makes for a good breakfast among the locals.
Where to try: Village Park Restaurant, Nasi Lemak Tanglin, Ali Muthu & Ah Hock
9. Roti CanaiThe flatbread Roti Canai served with a gravy (Source)
Roti Canai is an Indian-origin flatbread that is extremely liked in Malaysia. In the Malay language, it means “flying bread”. It is usually eaten with dal curry, chicken or fish curry. Sometimes, it is served sweet with condensed milk, bananas and chocolate cream. This delectable Malaysian street food is similar to a croissant due to its flakiness of the layers of the oiled dough. The Roti is made with flour, butter and ghee. Roti Canai can be easily bought from hawkers and restaurants.
Where to try: Mansion Tea Stall, 123 corner, Raj’s Banana Leaf
10. Koay Chiap
Koay Chiap is a braised duck noodle soup. This dish is unique to Penang, with duck meat, duck eggs, intestine and blood. The soup is served with boiled eggs, rice noodles and soy sauce. Instead of a normal noodle, Koay Chaip uses “Koay”, a thicker version of the noodle. All the ingredients are immersed in a light herbal soup. Unlike most hawker dishes, Koay Chiap is filling.
Where to try: Kimberly Street
11. Chee Cheong FunThe dim-sum like Chee Cheong (Source)
This street food of Malaysia was brought to its shore by 19th century Chinese immigrants. It is a very popular street food among the Chinese groups in Malaysia. Chee Cheong Fun is similar to rice-noodle rolls and can be found in dim sum restaurants. In its initial form, it is served with soy sauce. Today, the dish has varied forms across the peninsula.
Where to try: Petaling Street, Taman Paramount
12. Teh TarikThe Ceylon milk tea or Teh Tarik (Source)
Teh tarik literally translates to “pulled tea”. It is a Malaysian Ceylon milk tea, often sold in “Mamak” restaurants of Malaysia. Preparing the tea is interesting as it involves the art of pouring tea from one glass to another by lifting the glass as high as possible. Pulling the tea high creates a layer of frothiness at the top, making it lip-smacking good. The tea is enjoyed with Dhal curry or Roti Canai. The origin of this drink is traced back to the arrival of Indian Muslims in Malaysia. Today, the drink is enjoyed by all and can be found in tea stalls.
Where to try: Wangsa Walk, Teh Tarik Place
13. Ice KachangA bowl of cool Ice Kachang (Source)
A very popular shaved ice in Malaysia, Ice Kachang is commonly sold by the street vendors and is a top favourite Malaysian street food. Toppings like red beans, sweet corn, palm nuts and grass jelly add to the taste. Fruits and raisins are also added to the dessert. Shaved ice is topped with pink syrup, giving it a bubble-gum type taste. Ice Kachang serves as an alternative to ice cream or yogurt in the summers.
Where to try: Stall No. 22 Ayer Panas Hawker Centre, Desa Parkcity, Jalan Kepong Baru
14. DurianThe famous but foul-smelling Durian fruit (Source)
Known as the smelliest fruit of the world, Durian is a fruit native to Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. It is a foot-long, slightly oval fruit with the outer shell covered with spikes. The fruit weighs between two to seven pounds. It is known for its long-lasting smell, that lingers around the shell even after the fruit is removed. Though its smell awful, the taste is heavenly.
Where to try: Johor Bahru, Selangor streets
15. Hokkien MeeA plate of Hokkien Mee noodles (Source)
Hokkien Mee is one of the most famous dishes within the Chinese community and a loved street food of Malaysia. The dish is popular in Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines and finds its origin in the Chinese province of Fujian. It replicates the “Wok Hei” technique, where noodles are braised in soy sauce for best flavours. Although there are three types of Hokkien Mee, the dark noodles from Kuala Lumpur is the most famous type. Some eateries toss the noodles over charcoal stove for the smoky flavour. Pork, fish cake, cabbage and squid are the main ingredients.
Where to try: Ming Hoe, Mun Wah, Aik Yuen, Hoopla
16. Wonton MeeA bowl of Wonton mee with green chillies, meat and vegetables (Source)
Wonton noodles or “Wonton Mee” are thin egg noodles served with Chinese barbequed-pork, pickled green chillies, vegetables and meat dumplings with soup. Green chillies are essential ingredient of the dish, which give it a balance.
Where to try: Layang-Layang, Yip Kee Café
17. Bak Kua Bread
Bak Kua Bread is a sandwich made using the famous Chinese meat jerky, which is in high demand during the Chinese New Year. The meat jerkies are sweet and fluffy, but adding sauces will jazz up the flavour. Sweet chilli sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup and BBQ sauces are other sauces that can be added to the dish.
Where to try: Presgrave Street, Penang
18. Otak OtakThe Otak Otak Fish Cake (Source)
Otak Otak (“brain brain”) is a fishcake wrapped in banana leaves. This street food in Malaysia is brightly flavoured with aromatic herbs and exotic spices, infused with rich coconut milk. Wild beetle leaves are the main ingredient of the dish, giving it an authentic taste. Street vendors mis it with dark Chinese sauce for taste.
Where to try: Otak Otak Cheng Boi, Little Yum Yum
19. Kuih KosuiThe saucer-shaped Kuih Kosui (Source)
Kuih Kosui a saucer-shaped rice cake flavoured with screw pine leaves’ juice. It is best eaten with freshly grated coconut. The Malaysian street food is sweet and is filled with stir-fried coconut. The dish can be found in the form of a rice dough wrapped in banana leaves.
Where to try: tasty Kuih Nyonya, Own creation bakeries
20. Roast Chicken RiceA plate of tender roast chicken rice (Source)
This scrumptious street food of Malaysia is a favourite among the locals. The delicious roasted chicken is served with flavoured rice cooked in chicken oil. Aromatics like ginger add to the flavour of the dish. In spite of being rice, it can be enjoyed for both breakfast and dinner. The meat is juicy and the skin is tender with a hint of sweetness.
Where to try: Ipoh, Jelutong, Petaling Jaya
If you want to get a taste of Malaysian culture, explore the mouth-watering Malaysian street food, for it is on the streets that you can get a feel of the place you are visiting.90,000 5 dishes worth trying in Malaysia Food in Malaysia is interesting. No one really knows what traditional Malaysian cuisine is, because it was heavily influenced by the culinary traditions of immigrants from China, India, the Middle East and colonialists from Europe. In the capital you can find, perhaps, anything you want. I will tell you how not to get lost in this variety and what you should definitely try so that you have good memories of Malaysia.
Malaysians are very proud of their cuisine and are willing to talk about food for hours. I have always loved Asian cuisine, especially Indian, Thai and Chinese, but when I first came to Malaysia, I was a little confused. The food here looks familiar, but it tastes completely different. All national characteristics are slightly adapted to local tastes, and they like here fatty and sweet, spicy and fried. Maybe because of the heat, or maybe for other reasons, fresh vegetables are rarely eaten, most dishes are deep-fried or just cook for a very long time.
I want to warn you right away that there are a million variations of each dish, so it would be ideal if local friends tell you where and what to eat, because each cafe cooks differently. And don’t be afraid to try new things, because the food here really is like nothing else.
Here are five dishes that I recommend to everyone who happens to be in Malaysia.
Traditional local breakfast: rice in coconut milk with peanuts, cucumber, boiled egg and anchovies with spicy sambal sauce.The most important thing in this dish is the sauce. It determines the success of a dish and should be the perfect combination of sour, sweet, pungent and salty flavors. Locals specifically hunt for the correct nasi lemak and are happy to share their recommendations. This is an inexpensive food that is eaten here for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Crushed ice with condensed milk, corn, peanuts and colorful syrups. It sounds scary, looks unusual, but it’s worth a try once.
Tandoori chicken and roti canai
This is an Indian dish that has taken root in Malaysia and is sold on every corner. Baked chicken, pre-marinated in a special sauce, and a flatbread. It is simple and tasty, one of the most popular dishes in Malaysia.
Kuey Teow Noodles
This dish is best prepared in Penang, but Koi Tiao noodles can also be found in Kuala Lumpur.These are very fatty rice noodles that are fried in a hot wok with egg, soy sprouts, seafood, soy sauce and garlic sprouts. Each portion is prepared individually, right in front of you, and it is very interesting to watch this. The taste is unusual, for those who are not afraid of gastronomic experiments.
Fish noodle soup. A simple fisherman’s food, especially popular in the fishing states. It is prepared differently in each state.Try Laksa Penang and Laksa Johor, they are very different, but both dishes are interesting in their own way. Main ingredients: noodles, thick herb fish broth, vegetables, mint, basil, chili and lime juice.
In general, the list of course can be continued for a long time, because the culinary traditions in Malaysia are really rich, but these are the 5 most characteristic and authentic dishes that you should definitely try here.
Malaysian cuisine: names, photos, descriptions
What to try in Malaysia, what delicacies to look for on the city streets and in restaurants? What kind of food will cause a storm of emotions and will dream on long winter nights after arriving home? Today everything is about Malay national cuisine, about where to eat deliciously in Kuala Lumpur and stay alive and healthy.
There are not so many original Malay dishes. I personally don’t like them very much, and some can cause severe indigestion. But what is valuable in Malaysia is that you can taste dishes from different Asian cuisines without leaving one block. Malaysia is a multinational country. Immigrants from China, India, Thailand and Indonesia have been living here for almost a century. Each nation has put a piece of its own into Malay cuisine. Sometimes you don’t even understand how the Malay curry with galangan, kafir lime and chili paste differs from the Thai one, and the Malay Laxa soup from the Chinese version.
Outdoor BBQ Satay
Satei are pieces of vegetables, mushrooms, seafood, meat or frog legs strung on wooden skewers. Satay is sold on large stalls in street cafes or restaurants.
The visitor selects the skewers, the contents of which he would like to eat, and goes to his table. There is already a large pot of boiling broth prepared. The gas burner that heats the container is directly under the table. Visitors cook their own satay in broth and eat it hot right there.
If you wish, you can ask the cook to grill the satay over coals. As for me, this option is tastier. Usually, several sauces are served with satay. I prefer sweet and sour nutty.
Rice pyramids Nasi Lemak
Mysterious green banana leaf pyramids are sold everywhere in Malaysia. There are several ingredients inside at once: rice soaked and boiled in coconut milk, half a boiled egg, peanuts and dried anchovies.Sometimes meat or seafood is put in this dish instead of fish. Malays usually eat Nasi Lemak for breakfast and consider it almost a symbol of their country.
Nothing special for my taste. You can try it once, but this is not a dish that you will later remember with pleasure.
Fried noodles or Goreng rice
Goreng means fried in Malay. There are gorengi made from different types of noodles (Mee Goreng – yellow noodles, Koey Teow Goreng, Bihun Goreng) and rice (Nasi Goreng).Gorenghi is also served in expensive restaurants, for example, seasoning fried noodles with seafood. This dish is also prepared in street markets. There, noodles and rice are fried in the open air in huge wok pans. And they sell it – straight from the fire, wrapped in edible paper.
Gorengi somewhat vaguely reminds me of Thai Pad Thai and stir-fry rice. This is a delicious dish, but very fatty and high in calories. For those who are not afraid to get better.
Lax Soup is the pride of the Malays.Fishy spicy sour broth with ginger, tamarind and shrimp paste. It is filled with shrimp, vegetables and rice noodles. A very satisfying lunch.
There are a lot of varieties of Lax soup, each state has its own recipe, which may differ in taste from others like borscht, cabbage soup and pickle. Laksa is made not only from seafood, but also from meat or chicken.
Dessert Apam balik
An excellent dessert that no night market in Malaysia can do without.A thick dough pancake is fried in small pans, stuffed with ground sweet corn, peanuts, and sprinkled with sugar. After the pancake is completely ready, it is folded into a crescent moon and placed on a banana leaf or paper. Pancake tender, crispy edges – delicious! Ideal for a Malay breakfast.
Dessert Ais Kac hang
Ice, crushed in a blender, is flavored with a large number of ingredients. It can be red sweet beans, corn, colored jelly cubes.All this is poured over with condensed milk or sweet fruit syrup. The Malays adore this dish, but tourists are often not delighted not only by the appearance of the melted Ice Kachang, but also by its taste.
Rice in bamboo Lemang
This is my favorite treat in Malaysia. Salted rice soaked in coconut milk. Bamboo shoots are lined with a banana leaf from the inside, then prepared rice is laid in the cavity of the stick and baked over a fire for several hours.This dish can be either a stand-alone meal or a side dish for meat, fish or seafood. Before eating, the remnants of the banana leaf should be carefully removed from the rice.
In the video, a merchant pulls a Lemang out of a bamboo.
Stuffed Tofu Sumbat
This is street food, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. Fried tofu stuffed with carrots, cucumber, sprouted beans. This dish comes with a bag of homemade chili sauce.This portion costs only 2 ringgit ($ 0.7), is sold everywhere, a great option for a snack on the road.
This is perhaps the most delicious dish one can taste in a regular night market. And although it has Thai roots, murtabak is cooked all over Malaysia. A large pancake stuffed with minced meat, onions, many spices and a savory sweet and sour sauce. Murtabak costs a little, it is a large and very satisfying dish.
Buah berangan chestnut
Roasted chestnuts are sold throughout Kuala Lumpur in these huge vats.Chestnuts taste sweet, which is why the Malays themselves call these nuts fruits. Chestnuts contain a lot of vitamin C, and one hundred grams of the edible portion contains 180 kilocalories. This is less than other nuts.
Lan Soya (Tau Fu fa)
Delicate soy milk soufflé. I first tasted it in Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur. There was a long queue at the tray with two vats. This dish was offered in a hot liquid version – like sweet soy jelly, as well as frozen, with syrup or condensed milk.Later I ate such a souffle on the island of Langkawi.
Great dish, not very sweet – perfect all-round meal for a child in Malaysia. Soy contains a lot of healthy protein, and the consistency of this dessert allows it to feed even babies.
Pancakes Roti – street food with Indian roots. Super thin pancake, quickly fried in oil, with various sweet or meat fillings. Roti Canai – a pancake with condensed milk.
And a few more dishes with short descriptions that were not included in the main list.Perhaps this list will help you when you go to one of the restaurants in Malaysia.
Char kuey teow – one of the best dishes in Malaysia. Flat rice noodles are fried with lard, dark and light soy sauce, bean sprouts, shellfish, shrimp, egg and shallots. Malay chefs recommend trying it first.
Nasi kerabu – blue rice colored with chopped Telanga flowers, with soy sprouts, refried with coconut flakes and chicken in fish sauce.
Ayam Percik – chicken in garlic-ginger sauce with the addition of coconut milk.
Rendang – It is made from chicken, beef or lamb. It is sometimes compared to Indian curry. Redang is meat stewed over low heat in milk and spices.
Kuih – translated from Malay – cake or cake. A multi-colored dessert originally from China. If you see small squares painted in layers in different colors – this is Kuih.
Popia basah – spring rolls, but not as oily as in Vietnamese . Inside the rice paper there are usually vegetables: bean sprouts, fried onions, lettuce and turnips.
Sambal udang – shrimp according to the recipe of baba nonya cuisine (cuisine of immigrants from China). Large shrimps are fried in chili, tamarind, onion and garlic sauce, with lemongrass stalk and shrimp paste.
Asam Pedas – fish with curry. It is considered one of the best fish dishes in Malaysia.The sauce contains tamarind, ginger, garlic, shrimp paste and herbs.
Ikan bakar is another fish dish that is baked on the barbecue. The fish is coated with sauce, wrapped in a banana leaf and fried over an open fire.
Pisang Goreng – bananas fried in batter. In this dish, a special variety of small bananas is used, which are absolutely tasteless when raw, but when cooked they become sweet and somewhat resemble our cheese cakes.
Gulai ayam kampung – chicken and potatoes in sweet and sour sauce with a subtle citrus aroma.It is prepared with the addition of lemongrass, bergamot leaves (kafir lime), lime juice, palm sugar, various herbs and spices.
Lor bak – bean curd stuffed with pickled pork. These “patties” are deep-fried and served complete with chili sauce and Lor egg-corn sauce.
In Malaysia they drink tea with condensed milk and spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc.).
Tincture of brewed pearl barley: drink warm or with ice, sometimes flavored with lemon juice.
Chinchao is a drink made from mesona extract (similar to mint), with jelly wedges from the same plant. Sometimes soy milk is added to the glass.
An exotic treat can be coconut water, which is drunk through a straw straight from a nut, or sugarcane juice, which is sold on street stalls.
Where to eat normal non-spicy and non-spicy food in Kuala Lumpur?
If Malay cuisine is not your thing or if you are coming to Kuala Lumpur with a child, then the best lunch and dinner is in Chinatown.In Chinatown, food is prepared not only from the Middle Kingdom, but also Indian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Thai dishes.
I will share the coordinates of a secret place a hundred meters from Chinatown, which is very much loved by the inhabitants of Kuala Lumpur. Palm Café is very clean, not a street establishment with plastic chairs, but a modern restaurant with comfortable furniture, air conditioning, power outlets and WiFi.
They prepare dishes from several Asian cuisines at once. Huge portions cost from 5 to 9 ringgit ($ 1.7 to $ 3).
At Palm Café you can feed your baby and eat yourself. We went to this place many times, everything was always very tasty and fast.
Palm Café Address: Kuala Lumpur, 63, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Below is a map with a mark.
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Where to buy food on the island of Langkawi: shops, supermarkets, markets90,000 Traditional Malaysian cuisine – a list of national dishes with descriptions and photos that are worth trying.
10 popular Malaysian dishes to try
Those who call themselves gourmets should definitely try (and maybe even love) Malaysian cuisine.It is impossible to forget the aromas of local dishes not so much because of the spices present in them, but because of the passion of people that they cook national dishes for you with such delight.
The Malaysians are really lucky. Thanks to the multinational society, in their cuisine, the influence of almost all cuisines of the world can be traced: Chinese, Indian … You can just name any nationality and there will definitely be a dish, one way or another, related to it. Some of the cooking methods may seem a little rough, some of the dishes should have been less spiced, but each is wonderful in its own way.It was incredibly difficult to select only 10 dishes, Malaysian cuisine is so diverse that 20 items would not be enough. However, here is a list of 10 Malaysian dishes that will definitely not leave you indifferent.
Chettinad, one of the largest South Indian cuisines, originated in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. If you love rice, then this rice wrapped in banana leaves will definitely please you.
Serve on a banana leaf with vegetables, meat or fish curries, pickled cucumbers or instantly addictive papadam (looks like giant flat chips).But in most cases, only curry sauce is served without meat, as this dish is considered vegetarian. If you are not a vegetarian, then you can try rendang lamb and dried chicken curry with rice.
Eating this dish can be somewhat difficult as it is eaten by hand, but most tourists take it just as part of the tradition.
No traditional Malaysian meal is complete without this dish.
Nasi Dagang is a fantastically delicious dish consisting of rice steamed in coconut milk, fish curry and other ingredients such as peeled roasted coconut, lada salt, hard boiled eggs and pickled cucumbers.
On the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, in states such as Terengganu and Kelatan, this dish is served for breakfast. The most famous Nasu Dagang originated in a place called Kampung Ladang, which is located in the Kuala Terengganu region. Everyone who has tasted it in this particular place says that it is really the most delicious of all.
The name literally translates as “tea brewed on meat bones”. For its preparation, pork ribs, covered with fat, are simmered in a broth of herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves, angelica, dill seeds and garlic). Cook bakutte as long as possible, if possible, then for days. In addition to the main components, giblets, various types of mushrooms, Chinese cabbage and tofu can also be added.
Great bakutte is made at Yik See Ho restaurant.It is located near the Pudu Vet market and is very popular with the local elite.
Where else can you see a butcher chopping a pig at the corner for tomorrow’s menu, a meter and a half away from you, eating local delicacies? Well, this is Pudu’s lifestyle.
Fried Hokkien Mi (akin to Chinese fried yellow noodles) is wildly popular in Kuala Lumpur. The dish is wide yellow noodles stewed in thick soy sauce with pork, squid, fishcake and cabbage as the main ingredients and finely diced crispy fried lard as a side dish.Rumor has it that lard is the main ingredient.
This dish is eaten before a party all night long, after a night party, for lunch, for dinner … in general, it is eaten at any time of the day. Want to experience the real Malaysia? Then be sure to try hokkien mi.
Sang Har Noodles
Fresh Cantonese-style river shrimp in thick egg broth served with thin or egg noodles. Shrimp caviar goes into the egg broth and gives the noodles a phenomenal flavor.It’s amazing how well the firm shrimp pairs well with the stretchy thin noodles to create an incredibly tasting dish. It was as if they were made for each other.
After San Har mi, you should definitely try Sentul Sate. The counterparts of this dish are Japanese yakitori, Turkish kebab, South African soseti, or Chinese chuan.
Barbecue meat is easy, but the process is still mesmerizing. There is a childish sense of delight, because you eat meat cooked with your own hands.The must-have ingredient that gives the dish a yellow color is turmeric.
Serve saté with spicy peanut gravy or peanut sauce, chopped onions and cucumbers, and ketupat (a briquette of rice cooked in a tight braid of palm or, less commonly, banana leaves). And here in front of you the dish is as tasty as fast food, but unlike it, satay has an excellent composition and a balanced combination of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
If you love rice then don’t miss this local dish.
Nasi kandar is a popular dish in northern Malaysia, originally from Penang. It is steamed rice, sometimes slightly flavored, served with a variety of curries and side dishes. Rice is served with fried chicken, stomachs, lamb curry, diced beef, fish caviar, fried shrimp or fried squid. Eggplant, okra or bitter gourd are usually served as vegetables.
Pour the curry mixture over the rice. When ordering your meal, be sure to ask to sprinkle the rice with a mixture of curry sauces: fish + chicken + dal.Wait a little, let the sauce soak the rice. It will give the rice an indescribable aroma and taste. This type of nasi is called “banjir”, that is, “flooded” rice. Many people eat this dish with their hands and the flavor of the sauce remains even after washing them. And this is considered one of the advantages of this dish.
Rice char Sioux
Char Sioux (BBQ pork) is another dish worth trying while in Malaysia. Long, fatty pieces of boneless pork are strung on skewers and fried either in a closed oven or over a fire.The meat is usually chosen on the shoulder area, seasoned with honey, a mixture of 5 spices, fermented (also called smelly) tofu, poured over with dark soy sauce, sometimes with the addition of chili, vinegar, garlic. Melted sugar and seasoning give the meat a reddish color.
Instead of honey, only sugar can be used, then the meat acquires its characteristic shine. Char Sioux in Kuala Lumpur is prepared in an amazing way. The meat turns out to be so juicy and soft, and the caramel crust is so sweet that even an adult man will not resist and let out a mean man’s tear, admiring the taste of this dish.
Fresh River Shrimp from Tanjung Tualang
Lung Seng Tajung Tualang, Perak State, North Malaysia. For once in a lifetime, everyone should make a pilgrimage to the Mecca of fresh river shrimp and all kinds of crustaceans. Many from Kuala Lumpur often make the two-hour drive to Tajung Tualang in Perak just to sample some fresh freshwater shrimp.
The shrimps are the freshest here (they just float in the tanks outside). The chef tosses them in ice water for five minutes to numb them before cooking.Thanks to this, the meat retains its elastic structure and flavor.
River shrimp in oil … delicious!
This dish you should definitely not miss. The name translates as “rice in cream”. During the cooking process, the rice is soaked in coconut cream and then steamed. When cooked this way, the rice retains the delicious flavor of coconut cream. It is then wrapped in a banana leaf and served alongside one of the aforementioned dishes.Rice is sometimes wrapped in a pandanus leaf, ginger leaf, or lemongrass stem to add flavor.
For the preparation of Malaysian nasi lemak, hot spicy sauce (sambal), hard-boiled eggs, cucumber slices, small dried anchovies (ikan bilis) and roasted peanuts are used. To all this, you can add cuttlefish in sambal sauce, shellfish, fried water spinach (kangkong), pickled vegetables (achar) or rendang beef (beef stewed in coconut milk and spices).
Malaysian cuisine is delicious to the point of insanity, but slightly unhealthy. However, at least once in your life, you should try it.
National cuisine of Malaysia for gourmetsThe rich culture of Malaysia has determined the diversity of the local cuisine. It is a mixture of Chinese, Malay, European and Indian culinary traditions brought in by migrants from different countries. Various spices are widely used, the national food, as a rule, is spicy and always fragrant.Popular are coriander and cumin (the base of many Malay sauces), lemongrass, kaffir leaves, cardamom, anise and fenugreek. At present, the so-called eco-tourism is flourishing in Malaysia: excursions to protected areas are held for vacationers, there is an opportunity to do …
Open As in many Asian countries, rice is one of the staples of the local cuisine, with Thai rice being the most common, but basmati is also used, for example, to make biryani (spicy pilaf).Malaysia’s national dish is nasi lemak, rice cooked with cream and nuts. Served with dried anchovies, bananas, hard-boiled eggs, seaweed and sambal sauce. One of the most popular variations is with curry. The local population eats naxi at any time of the day. Another common rice dish is Lemang, which is cooked for several hours inside bamboo shoots. Rendang is a spicy meat stew usually made with beef.The meat is stewed in coconut oil and shavings until extremely soft and sweet-spicy. Also added are sweet soy sauce, palm sugar and a special pesamak paste, consisting of spices and spices (ginger, garlic, chili pepper). Rendang is mainly prepared for the holidays. Copyright www.orangesmile.com Malays inhabit the Malay Peninsula, the southern coast of Burma, the island of Singapore, West Kalimantan, as well as smaller islands located between …
Open Malaysians love noodles in all their forms, there are many varieties of pasta.Many dishes are prepared on their basis. One of the most famous is a noodle soup called laksa. Assam laksa, which is prepared in the culinary capital of the country, Penang, is considered the standard and most delicious. It is made from royal mackerel or herring with the addition of laksa paste, which consists of chili peppers, garlic, shallots and shrimp. Boil the noodles separately, pouring them with ready-made fish broth when serving. The dish is served with slices of pineapple, cucumber, onion, herbs. Roti Indian bread / tortilla has become a typical Malaysian breakfast over time, although it is also often consumed with lunch or afternoon tea.Usually it is eaten in a bite with sauces. Very popular as a street food.
The most famous Malaysian dessert called Ais Kacang (ABC) is quite unusual for a European. It is a mixture of crushed ice, covered with syrup and condensed milk, served with various fillings: peanuts, corn, ice cream. The dessert is not only tasty, but also perfectly quenches your thirst.Malaysia is one of the best destinations for people looking for a vibrant and exotic vacation.Here you can see how historical …
Open Another common dessert, Apam balik, is often used as a complete breakfast. It is a thick pancake with different fillings. Dessert Kuih – originally from China. Looks like little multi-colored cakes.
Roti Jala, or “pure bread”, derives its name from the lines created by the batter in a large skillet. The final product is folded like a sandwich and is usually served with sauces.Another dish from Penang – “Char Kvey Telu” – fried strips of rice cake and flat rice noodles with shrimp, dried shellfish.Tandoori chicken, a dish of Indian cuisine, is cooked in the oven of the same name. The carcass is pre-marinated in yogurt with the addition of spices (a mixture of peppers) for at least 8 hours. The chicken is cooked in the oven for only 12-15 minutes, acquiring a characteristic red color. Served with naan wheat cakes, onions, rice.The dish is extremely spicy, but many tourist places are adapting the recipe for untrained foreigners. Rafting, descending a waterfall, hiking in the rainforest, cycling on country roads, diving in coastal waters, night shopping -…
Open Fried noodles (Mee Goreng) brought to Malaysia by Chinese migrants. For cooking, thin yellow egg noodles are used, as well as onions, garlic, shallots.There are variations with shrimp, beef, zucchini, tomatoes, eggs, chicken. This dish is so popular that it is sold as street food everywhere.
In the country, travelers everywhere come across piles of skewers with small kebabs. This is satay or satay, a popular street food dish. It is grilled from any type of meat, as well as fish and seafood. Sate is believed to have come to Malaysia from India or Arab countries. The dish differs from ordinary kebabs in tiny pieces, wooden skewers and marinade, which can contain many unusual ingredients, ranging from lime juice to fruit pulp.Blue rice called nasi kerabu is an exotic delicacy. The rice is dyed with telang flowers and cooked with soy sprouts, coconut flakes, chicken in soy sauce. Blue rice is eaten by hand. Fried bananas (Pisang Goreng) are also very exotic. Small bananas are used to prepare the dish, which acquire a delicious sweet taste during cooking. This article about national cuisine of Malaysia is protected by the copyright law.Its use is encouraged, but only on condition that the source is indicated with a direct link to www.orangesmile.com. 90,000 What do they eat in Malaysia? – Page of Virtual Travelers – LJ
Each country has one attraction, for which you do not need to go to the capital and crowd with a bunch of tourists. It does not require the conquest of peaks or some unthinkable feats. And most importantly, it is available to everyone. This is the national cuisine. Today we will see what they eat in Malaysia.
So here’s our delicious dinner: chicken curry, fish curry, eggplant curry, curry omelet, chicken curry broth. If you love this seasoning, a real gastronomic ecstasy awaits you in Malaysia. If not, you, like me, will have fasting days and farewell to extra pounds. Which, in general, is not bad either …
Food court at the night market. There are shops selling all kinds of food in a circle, you pick up what you like and sit at tables in the open air.Each merchant has his own tables, and God forbid the net for strangers – the protection of the territory will immediately follow:
In mobile shops there is no kitchen as such, they sell everything ready-made:
There are a lot of fish, it is fresh and tasty:
Thermonuclear soup. I did not try it, because even by eye it seemed super-sharp:
There is a clock at the checkout-kitchen, it is half past nine. During the day, while the heat is on, no one eats, everyone grows up an appetite only for the night:
Kebabs from everything that can be strung on a stick. There is something strange in the right corner: apparently, before getting on the skewer, it lived its own life somewhere nearby:
I did not dare to try a lot, but our friends devoured everything that fell on the eye … Well, it seems like they went through their culinary experience normally:
So as not to be accused of pathos, I started with simple places, but, of course, there are cool restaurants in Malaysia. Here is one of them.Before going into the hall and sitting down at the table, the waiters will present the applicants for your plate:
After you choose your favorite copy, he will be invited to the kitchen and prepared for a meeting at the table. Unfortunately, cost and pathos do not guarantee a decent result. We were served completely tasteless lobsters and langoustines, which were stupidly digested in water without salt:
Elsewhere there were no long preludes, but I really liked the result.Note: Pineapple is used as a rice plate with chicken and nuts. I liked it:
Curry, curry, curry. Thank you, I just have water:
At Monkey Beach we tasted vegetables, fish and chicken. Actually, chicken is the most popular meat here, there is almost no lamb. The beach meal provides a small playful element called “Protect your plate from the monkey”, I already talked about this:
Sweet corn heated in butter.Perfect for a quick and hearty snack. Do not be confused by the look: in a second our hero will put the first spoon in his mouth and his face will be transformed:
Chicken in red spice. I don’t know how it tastes, I haven’t tried it:
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Something strange – either fruits, or vegetables, or semi-finished products of both – we still haven’t figured it out:
Let’s move to shopping centers:
Cafes with distribution are very popular. You take a tray and go around all the shelves and counters, putting snacks on yourself:
Kitchen where they cook hot here:
There is no menu with pictures, but you can see all the dishes live:
They are hidden under a film so that they do not touch them:
You probably noticed that in such places there is definitely a restaurant, around which there is no one except bored sellers:
This is some kind of noodles that, when immersed in boiling water, forms a soup. Malaysian version of Doshirak:
Some people don’t steam at all: they buy sausages, fry in sauce and it’s ready:
I took myself spinach (turned out to be terribly spicy, did not eat) and chicken in sweet and sour sauce (will go):
Due to the proximity of China, there are a lot of Chinese restaurants in Malaysia …We could not pass by and went into one. Snacks on the table – shark fin soup, cucumbers and mushrooms in batter:
Of course, they ordered Peking duck. Serving the dish turned out to be a whole ritual. First, they put a tray under the duck:
Then they bring in a black box for the hero of the occasion:
Then a cute girl cuts the skin off the chicken:
The waiter rolls rolls from the chicken “shavings”, it remains just dip them in plum sauce:
Then they brought us sliced chicken and a large plate of pasta and chicken. By that time, I had already eaten so much that I only had enough strength for a light tasting. The pasta was incredible. Until now, when I’m hungry, I remember this plate (we couldn’t even really eat):
In general, Malay cuisine is quite specific, but you cannot die of hunger. Which cuisine do you like the most? Tell us.
= Malaysia 2015 =
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Malaysian cuisine, national dishes of Malaysia
The culinary traditions of Malaysia were formed under the influence of local traditions, as well as culinary schools of various countries of East Asia.All provinces have special unique cooking methods as well as special ingredients.
The main part of the local diet is rice, which is called here “nasi”. Usually rice is made completely bland and is used only as a side dish, which emphasizes and sets off the taste of the dish itself.
Rice often stains during cooking. Naxi is used almost everywhere. It is steamed and in broth, fried with vegetables and spices, stewed with coconut milk or water. To prepare desserts, rice boiled in coconut milk is mixed with various fruits.Nasi is used to make noodles, pastries and even puddings.
The following dishes are very popular:
- Chinese rice with noodles and chicken,
- lemang – sticky rice cooked in coconut milk,
- cha quai tyu – flat noodles made from rice flour, in which add eggs, soy sauce, herbs, shellfish, shrimp and more,
- nasi goreng – fried rice,
- roti canai – rice flour pancakes,
- ketupat – rice cakes,
- nasi dagang – rice with fish curry, boiled in coconut milk,
- nasi lemak – also boiled in coconut milk rice with nuts, cucumber, eggs and other additives.
In addition to rice, vegetables, bamboo shoots, coconut milk, soybeans and fruits occupy an important place in Malaysian cuisine. Most of the types of fruits that grow here are completely unknown to Europeans. Some of them have a slightly specific smell, look and taste.
National dishes of Malaysia are gado gado – vegetable salad with peanut sauce, hot peppers and coconut milk, cancer – pickled vegetables and rojak – pineapple salad with cucumber and shrimp pancakes. rojak is served, usually with peanut sauce.
Meat during cooking is used very rarely, mainly during holidays and ceremonies. You should definitely try such dishes as:
- rendang – meat with spices, stewed in coconut milk,
- hainaniz – rice with chicken pieces,
- curry laksa – noodles with boiled chicken in curry sauce,
- sati ayam – chicken skewers with peanut sauce,
- soto ayam – chicken soup,
- murtabak – pancakes with meat.
Many seafood and seafood dishes are popular: shark fin soup, fried scallops, cuttlefish salad, fish curries, anchovies, and various types of cured, smoked, fried and salted fish.
Of the non-alcoholic drinks , various fruit juices are the most popular.
Since Islam dominates in Malaysia, 90,039 alcoholic beverages are not welcome and are almost never produced. The wine is mainly imported, the most popular are Australian wines, which are brought to the country from the countries of Southeast Asia.But Malaysia also produces its own types of beer, and not only rice, but also traditional ones.
If you’ve never had rice, noodles, or fried pancakes for breakfast, it’s time you ventured out of your comfort zone – and Malaysia has better options.
Favorite breakfast in Malaysia wrapped in a palm leaf pocket. Rice is steamed with coconut cream or milk and served with fried anchovies, sambal (spicy shrimp paste), boiled or fried egg, and sometimes peanuts.Go to the local market and get it for RM2 ($ 0.50), or go to a boutique cafe and get it for RM15 ($ 3.75).
If there is only one roti you try in Malaysia, it should be. This fried pancake of Indian origin is usually served with dal (lentil soup) or kari ikan (fish curry) and is best eaten with bare hands. This food is sometimes known as roti prata, especially in the south of Peninsula Malaysia. If you want, you can ask him to cook with an egg, in which case it will be called “roti telur”.
Whether you prefer breakfast snacks or breakfast snacks, this culinary bite style suits your taste and your gastronomic style. Fresh, flavorful and steamy, food is usually served in bamboo baskets. If your preference is halal, Malaysia has a variety of halal dingy restaurants to choose from.
Ask for soft or half-dead eggs at any kopitiam (coffee shop) and the eggs will arrive in their shells, soy sauce and white pepper powder on the side.Crack them open in a bowl or cup (provided), pour in the soy sauce and beat on the pepper – your (cheap and healthy) breakfast is served.
This snack is often doubled as breakfast, especially for those on the go. These are small toasted cookies, side-woven and stuffed with curry potatoes and / or chicken. It’s like fried dumplings, textured like pie and tastes like curry – and you thought MasterChef was innovative with food.
Pancakes aren’t just served with maple syrup, cream or blueberries.A Malaysian breakfast biscuit known as apam balik is stuffed with nuts, corn, or chocolate sauce and then rolled over for good measure. After that, you will not go back to the silver dollar.
It’s yellow, it’s sticky, and it’s delicious. This glutinous rice dish is flavored and colored with turmeric and is commonly eaten with chicken curry. Traditionally reserved for special occasions and holidays, you can now find it in the Ramadan bazaars and sometimes in the morning markets.
If you are visiting Penang, we recommend the nasi kunyit at Li Er Nyonya. It’s only available on Fridays but well worth the trip.
This long, strong food may seem overwhelming when served, but you will soon see that it occupies a small room in your stomach. This is usually served with yogurt or curry on the side.