If you are “foodie” or a self-proclaimed “gastronome”, Malaysian food is something you wouldn’t want to miss. Malaysian cuisine is not only a mix of some of the fierce spices, but also is a result of people who are passionate about their food. The Malaysian food culture is characterized by all sorts of Malay, Indian, Thai and Chinese food that one can possibly comprehend and all of these are interesting in their own unique ways.
Traditional food in Malaysia has inherited a vast range of cuisines from its melting pot of cultures that it houses today. So, no matter what you try, be it Malaysian street food, Indian food in Malaysia, Malaysian snacks, Malaysian Takeaway or the fast food chains in Malaysia – it is bound to be unlike any other. Some dishes might not have originated in Malaysia, but people love them so much that now they have certainly found a home there.
In this article, we are going to talk about the best Malaysian food, and some international cuisine which have now become popular Malaysian food.
15 Malaysian Dishes you should not miss by
Malaysian Street Food
The Assam Laksa is a bowl of rice noodles in a fishy soup and soured with tamarind. It also has the bird’s eye chilies which makes this Malaysian street food hot and spicy. It is a delight for those who devour spicy food.
After a hearty spicy soup, you have the Rojak which is a fruit and vegetable salad. This Malaysian street food has cut fruits, sometimes squid and with some brown sweet and savory sauce over it. It also has some shrimp paste in it. This dish is very popular and is delicious.
Koay Teow Th’ng
A Sweet Noodle Soup with Meat and Fish Balls, the Koay Teow Th’ng is a bowl of sweet thin noodles in pork-bone broth, topped fish balls, ground pork, and an egg yolk that you can either stir into the soup or scoop straight into your mouth.
Lok Lok means “dip dip”, and is one omni-present street food in Malayia. This is one Malaysian street food which offers a range of flavors in one single dish. The main idea behind this food is to choose different kinds of skewers like prawns, cockles, meatballs; and dip them in a steaming hot broth. Traditionally, a part of community eating where people used to surround a clay hotpot, Lok Lok is now widely available on the streets of Malaysia as a one of the most popular Malaysian food in food trucks and around the cities.
Although this Malaysian street food is now available across the world in Asian restaurants and café, nothing beats the traditional Nasi Lemak which is had on the banana leaf along the streets of Malaysia. It is primarily a coconut rice breakfast dish served with cucumbers, boiled eggs and fried anchovies in a shrimp paste and chili sauce. This is also known as the National dish of Malaysia. This is usually a Halal food and you can ask the restaurant, if you are looking for it.
Chendol is a creamy and delectable Malaysian dessert made with coconut milk, ice shavings, palm sugar syrup – and is served in a tall glass or a bowl. What gives this dish its unique taste is the the green jelly-like noodles made from mung-bean flour and some food coloring.
The most popular Malaysian Dishes
Bak Kut The
Bak kut the literally translates to “meat bone tea”, and is a pork rib stew simmered in a rather salty broth of herbs and spices for hours at length; and is ideal for dipping the savoury yau char kwai in. It is served in a large pot, and you can enjoy it with bowls of rice as accompaniment. This is originally a Chinese delicacy which over the years have been adopted by the Malay as a part of their cuisine.
Char kway teow
Char koay teow is another popular Chinese Malaysian food that you wouldn’t want to miss when you visit Malaysia. It is roughly translated into “fried rice noodle strips”, and is made in a steaming hot wok. This dish is claimed to be a national favorite in Malaysia.
The Roti in this dish is similar to the ‘Paratha’, a type of fluffy Indian bread. You can typically eat this roti with a curry, and it barely costs more than a few ringgits. Other types include roti susu and roti telur. While the former one is a sweet one cooked with condensed milk, the latter is fried with egg. Roti Canai is also one of the must-try Halal food in Malaysia.
Roasted Chicken Rice
The roasted chicken in this mouth-watering dish is chopped into chunks of meat and bone. The rice is usually boiled in a chicken broth. A thick soy sauce and slices of cucumber comes as sides with the chopped chicken.
Nasi dagang is a fantastic and unique, with rice steamed in coconut milk, along with a fish curry and some extra ingredients such as fried shaved coconut, hard-boiled eggs, solok lada and vegetable pickles.
Sang Har Noodles
This is a dish with fresh river prawns cooked in Cantonese style in a thick eggy broth and topped with either flat or egg noodles. The tautness of the prawn flesh blends amazingly into the springiness of the flat noodles and makes the taste really one of its kind.
Nasi Kandar is a popular northern Malaysian food, originally from Penang. This meal comprises of steamed rice (either plain or mildly flavored), and served with different curries and side dishes – which may include gizzards, fried chicken, curried mutton, fish roe, cubed beef, fried prawns or squid. The vegetarian version would typically include okra,/bendi brinjal (aubergine), or bitter gourd.
Hainanese Chicken Rice
This is one of the signature Malaysian dishes and has chicken boiled in stock and served cool with rice, which also has been cooked in chicken stock and a dipping sauce on the side.
Mee Goreng is stir-fried noodles, which could be of different forms, ‘woked up’ with soy, garlic, shallots, and chilies; accompanied with either beef, chicken or sometimes shrimp or vegetables.
This is a slow-cooked dry beef curry, made very spicy with ginger and turmeric, chilis and kaffir lime. You can find variations with chicken, vegetable, and seafood as well instead of beef. True to the Malaysian cuisine, it beautifully blends sweet, sour, and savory elements, with the curry picking up a creamy richness from the use of two forms of coconut used in the dish, and a tang from asam keping, a sour sun-dried fruit.
Indian Food In Malaysia
Owing to the migration of Tamil Muslims to Malaysia from the South of Indian back in the 10th century, Malaysian food culture has adopted a lot of Indian techniques and spices in their cooking over the centuries. The generous use of different fragrant spices and curries along with some healthy vegetarian options make Indian food in Malaysia worth a try, especially in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
Murtabak is a small but delicious sandwich made of curried meat or vegetables between two pieces of chewy roti canai. It is served with rich lentil and dhall dipping sauces.
A pricier version of the white rice, nasi biryani is a yellow rice packed with some complex flavors like ginger, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, and some other rather pungent spices which create a unique taste in your palette in the first bite.
Chapati is a thin wrap made from whole wheat flour and dry roasted on a flat pan on high heat. Chapati in Malaysia is usually made to order and is stuffed with your choice of meat or vegetables in curry sauce. It is a rather delicious and healthy choice for vegetarians.
Sometimes spelled as “thosai”, dosa is a South Indian delicacy dating back to over 900 years. It’s a thin crepe made from pounded rice and lentils, and is fried golden-brown on one side only, and folded with meat or vegetables on the other. It is a good Malaysian Indian food choice for people who want to eat simple.
Mutton Kurma or “Korma” as it is called in India is a popular dish of lamb or mutton cooked in a medley of strong and flavorful spices like aniseed, coriander, turmeric, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, nutmegs and cardamoms. The cumin gives the dish its rich yellow complexion. The different spices gives the Kurma a delightful blend of spiciness that’s neither too overpowering nor too bland.
Best Thai Food in Malaysia
This is a classic Thai offering, and is a regular feature of any Thai food joint. Available in variations of beef or seafood, this favorite has a signature sweet and sour taste, but the star of this dish is undoubtedly the heat. Some restaurants also offer a milder version that tastes just as good.
This is a traditional Thai dish comprising of dried shrimp, toasted peanuts, coconut flakes, ginger and lime cubes, chilli padi, shallots, a sweet sauce and betel leaves to wrap them all in. The sweet sauce is really what makes of breaks the taste of the Mieng Kham.
Chilli, Lime and Garlic Steamed Fish
One Thai dish that’s a delight for fish lovers is this steamed fish dish, although some might want their fish fried. The use of garlic, lime, fish sauce, and chili padi brings a range of bursts of flavor to the steamed version also gives this dish a sweet, soft flesh shine.
A quintessential Thai dish, the green curry is known for its creamy and aromatic taste, and this coconut milk-based curry is a perfect blend of robust flavors, fragrant hints of basil, and other herbs and spices, tender chunks of meat with just the right consistency.
Food for International students in Malaysia
Over the years, Malaysia has emerged as one of the best educational hubs in the world, with students from across the world coming to study here. The state-of-the-art infrastructure of the universities, low cost of living and the Malaysian Government’s focus on making the country as one of the foremost in education has attracted students to come here and pursue their higher education.
Most of these students get to enjoy the diverse blend of food in Malaysia, that has been talked about in this article and are almost everywhere in Malaysia. Apart from that, there are a ton of restaurants in every city offering a range of other world cuisines such as Mediterranean, Indonesian, Irish and European cuisine as a part of food for tourists. A lot of these restaurants also offer delicious vegetarian and vegan options in order to cater to the huge chunk of tourist population in the country.
Food Online, Malaysia / Food Delivery, Malaysia
For those who don’t want to head out to eat after a hard day at work or study, Malaysia gives you food delivery to your door step. Food Panda is perhaps the must popular and trusted operator or food delivery in Malaysia, having partnered with 800 restaurants in the country. Food Panda gives you a wide range of food to choose from.
Dah Makan is another company which offers a selection of 3-4 healthy options of food each day, and you will need to order at least one day in advance for lunch.
Mammam food deliveries has a great selection of food to people in the Klang Valley area. You have the option to choose from Indian, Malay, Chinese, Thai, Vegetarian, and Malaysian favorites.
So no matter which part of the world you are from – whether you are a student, on a business trip or simply a traveler, you get a wide range of food to choose from depending on your taste buds. Food in Malaysia is diverse, just like its culture and you can taste the warmth of the people in it. So, which is your favorite Malaysian Food.
Study2malaysia.com also known as Malaysian Universities information center (MUIC) was set up with the sole intention of providing valuable information to those students and aspirants who want to pursue their higher education in Malaysia. We are one of the leading and specialized teams who have been associated with assisting students from across the world to move to Malaysia for higher education for more than a decade now. We have, till now, successfully sent around 5000 students (including medical students) to Malaysia, most of who are now successfully placed in different professional careers.