Malaysia has inherited a vast array of cuisines from its melting pot of cultures. It’s a melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Thai, Indian, and many more mixed into one yummy country to discover. In this article, we will talk about Malaysian cuisine: Popular dishes to try for visitors.
Popular dishes to try in Malaysia
1. Nasi Lemak
When talking to Malaysian cuisine, Nasi lemak is a must-try food. It 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.
2. Beef rendang
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 flavor of its sauce come from slow-cooking it over the course of several days.
3. Fried Hokkien mee
Special food in Malaysian cuisine. Fried Hokkien mee (Chinese style- fried yellow noodles) has a cult following in Kuala Lumpur. It is a dish of thick yellow noodles braised in thick dark soy sauce with pork, squid, fish-cake, and cabbage as the main ingredients and cubes of crispy fried pork lard as garnishing (that would be the square cubes that you see on top of the noodle).
4. Sang Har noodles
Next up is the Sang Har Kwey Teow (flat noodles). This is fresh river prawns cooked Cantonese style in a thick eggy broth and finished off with either flat or egg noodles. The orange roe in the head of the prawn just seeps and infuses into the eggy liquid sauce of the noodles and makes the taste phenomenal.
The amazing way that the tautness of the prawn flesh blends into the springiness of the flat noodles is like these two components were just made for each other.
Characterized by its rich and spicy broth, this comforting noodle soup is one of the classic dishes found in many Southeast Asian countries. It was developed under the influence of different culinary traditions, which has led to the creation of numerous regional varieties that differ in flavors and ingredients.
Two of the most famous versions are the sour, tamarind-based asam laksa and the creamy curry laksa. Especially favored in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, laksa is usually prepared and enjoyed at hawker centers as a hearty main course.
6. Char kway teow
Char kway teow is one of the most popular street dishes in Malaysia cuisine. Despite numerous regional varieties, it is usually made with flat rice noodles, shrimps, eggs, cockles, bean sprouts, chives, and Chinese sausage. All the ingredients are usually fried and coated in soy sauce, while some versions also incorporate shrimp paste, garlic, fried pork lard, and sometimes even yellow wheat noodles.
Among the numerous theories about the origin of the dish, the most popular claims that it was invented in the Singaporean Teochew community by Chinese immigrants, while the name stems from Hokkien, char meaning fried and kway teow denoting flat rice noodles.
Usually consumed during the Chinese New Year celebrations, yusheng is a tasty salad made with slices of raw fish and shredded vegetables which are seasoned with spices and various toppings such as peanuts and sesame seeds. The dish is additionally flavored with yusheng sauce, most commonly consisting of plum sauce and sesame oil.
The origins of the dish can be traced to south China, but nowadays, especially since the dish was repopularized in the 1960s in Singapore, the dish is eaten predominantly by the Chinese living in Singapore and Malaysia.
Yusheng is typically presented as an appetizer in a multi-course dinner and is served in a very peculiar way – in a ceremony known as lo hei, as each ingredient is added to the plate, people gathered around the table will say auspicious greetings related to that ingredient.