Ask anybody what the one thing that cannot be missed in Malaysia is – and we bet the answer will be the food. It’s almost impossible to visit Malaysia and not be tempted to try the plethora of traditional dishes on offer. Much like the country itself, Malaysian cuisine is culturally rich and diverse, with Malay, Chinese and Indian flavours each colliding in the nation’s cooking. From famous street food to picture-perfect restaurant meals, natives are extremely proud of their local food heritage and have long regarded Malaysian fare as part of the nation’s identity. Just talk to any Malaysian who is abroad, and the one thing they’ll say that they miss most about Malaysia is the food. From famous street food to picture-perfect restaurant meals, natives are extremely proud of their local food heritage and have long regarded Malaysian fare as part of the nation’s identity As Malaysians at home and abroad celebrate Hari Merdeka, the official National day of Malaysia, we celebrate the 10 national dishes every foodie should try. How does Hong Kong’s wonton compare with Singapore’s or Malaysia’s? Nasi lemak View this post on Instagram Back in Malaysia, and the first thing I did was stuff my face with their national dish—the nasi lemak, with a side of ayam goreng. #pleinairpainting #travelsketch #atraveldiary #urbansketcher #urbansketch #urbansketching #urbansketchers #sketchwalker #watercolor #painting #sketch #traveldrawing #kualalumpur #malaysia #nasilemak #malaysiatrulyasia #visitmalaysia2020 A post shared by Vin (@vinquilop) on Jul 21, 2019 at 2:43am PDT Coconut milk-soaked rice, sambal (chilli paste) on the side with anchovies, roasted peanuts, cucumber slices and a boiled egg: meet Malaysia’s unofficial national dish, the nasi lemak. A simple everyday meal that Malaysians all across the country enjoy from sun up to sun down, this beloved dish has a history as humble as its ingredients. While it is now sold almost everywhere, from roadside shacks to five-star restaurants, the nasi lemak has its beginnings as a farmer’s meal – long hours in the field called for a filling dish ready for on-the-go eating. Wrapped in banana leaf packaging the rice, oils and fish provided a balanced diet in one packet. A recipe of Malay origin, it made use of two main seafront harvests – coconuts and fish. Nasi lemak may be plain, but the dish’s simplicity is exactly the reason it is so revered among the locals. This mainstay of Malaysian cuisine has since inspired contemporary twists such as nasi lemak burger, nasi lemak pizza, nasi lemak cheesecake and nasi lemak gelato. Roti canai View this post on Instagram One of the best Roti Canai spots in town #kl #klfood A post shared by KL Foodie (@kl.foodie) on Dec 23, 2018 at 8:35pm PST Another simple yet delicious dish, roti canai is an Indian-influenced flatbread served in Indian Muslim-operated mamak stalls found around the nation. Best eaten piping hot with dal (lentil curry) or other types of curry, this all-time Malaysian favourite also appears in a range of sweet and savoury renditions, and can be cooked with a variety of ingredients such as egg, banana, margarine and sugar, cheese, sardines and meat. Another popular version is the murtabak, a slightly thicker roti stuffed with warm ground beef or chicken and egg. 5 top spots in Kuala Lumpur for an immersive omakase meal Laksa View this post on Instagram A classic Peranakan dish, Nyonya Laksa or otherwise known as Laksa Lemak is a favourite among many. It originates from Melaka but can be found in almost any state in Malaysia. What are you waiting for? Just in time for dinner, go slurp down a bowl of this delicious curry noodle! #MalaysiaTrulyAsia #TourismMalaysia #streetfood #localfood #laksa #babanyonya #currynoodle #spicy #food #Melaka #peranakan A post shared by Tourism Malaysia (@malaysia.truly.asia) on Jul 5, 2016 at 2:01am PDT Of Peranakan origins, this mouth-watering bowl of noodles comes in a multitude of regional versions, but the general parameters include thick rice noodles or vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish, served in a broth that’s either hot and zesty or fresh and creamy. Up in the northern states, a fish-based broth (usually mackerel) is used – Penang’s asam laksa (“asam” means sour in Malay) tantalises with additional prawn paste, galangal (spice), pineapple and mint – whereas the laksam eaten in Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah possesses a milder, creamier taste and is served with thicker chee cheong fun-like rice rolls, making it a popular breakfast option. Johor laksa’s condiments are similar to the Penang variant, but use spaghetti instead of rice or egg noodles. Curry laksa, also known as curry mee, can be found in almost every state in Malaysia. You’ll find rice noodles, egg noodles or a mix of both swimming in a creamy coconut-based curry broth, with slivers of chicken, tofu, shrimp, bean sprouts and occasionally fresh cockles added on top of the dish. There’s also Nyonya laksa, also known as laksa lemak, from the state of Melaka which features a rich coconut-based broth cooked with chicken bones and prawn shells. Squeeze in some calamansi for an extra touch of tanginess – or request more sambal if you like it spicier. Last but certainly not least is Sarawak laksa, the one that late Anthony Bourdain coined the “Breakfast of the Gods”. A comforting bowl of Sarawak laksa comprises a coconut milk-sambal belacan soup base and a mixture of fragranced ingredients, such as tamarind, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, coriander, clove and nutmeg, topped with omelette strips, chicken and prawn. Cendol View this post on Instagram A cup of cendol may look humble but certainly has its own irresistable charms. Definitely one of Malaysia's favourite! Share with us your favourite desserts! #malaysiatrulyasia #tourismmalaysia #cendol #foodie #foodporn #foodiegram #malaysiadessert #teochewcendol #penang #dekatje A post shared by Tourism Malaysia (@malaysia.truly.asia) on May 16, 2017 at 12:25am PDT A mound of shaved ice with a medley of palm sugar syrup, red beans, neon green rice-flour jelly and coconut milk: this exotic combination is what you’ll find in Malaysia’s famous cendol dessert. Allegedly spawned in the port cities of Penang and Melaka, cendol is commonly sold under the faded parasols of pushcart vendors and at the many unpretentious hawker centres, offering locals and tourists alike an icy respite from the tropical heat. The Nyonya version involves topping the shaved ice with red beans, green pandan jelly squiggles, creamy coconut milk and lashings of smoky dark brown palm sugar syrup. Meanwhile in the Malay and Indian versions the coconut milk tends to be richer and the palm sugar sweeter. Other unconventional toppings that are folded into the snow include creamed corn, glutinous rice, tapioca pearls and jackfruit – as well as the “King of Fruits”, durian. Char kway teow View this post on Instagram A trip to Malaysia wouldn't be complete without getting a taste of the infamous Char Koay Teow. It’s basically flat rice noodles stir-fried with shrimp, cockles, scrambled eggs, bean sprouts, and chives in a mix of soy sauce. This dish will definitely leave you begging for more! #charkueyteow #malaysiancuisine #malaysianfood #streetfood #ricenoodles #noodles #asianfood A post shared by Tourism Malaysia (@malaysia.truly.asia) on Nov 12, 2016 at 2:06am PST Big flavours and contrasting textures with a signature hint of charred smokiness – that is the best way to describe this long-standing mainstay of Malaysian cuisine. Originally conceived as a poor labourer’s food, char kway teow (which literally means ‘stir-fried flat noodles’) is essentially flat rice noodles stir-fried over very high heat, with light and dark soy sauce, chilli, belacan, prawns, deshelled cockles, chicken or duck egg, Chinese sausage, Chinese chives, bean sprouts, and fish cake. Like most local favourites, it is cooked in a variety of styles across the country. Char kway teow is traditionally cooked with crispy croutons of pork lard, but the halal version is prepared without the pork fat by the Muslim community in the country. In Penang, it is commonly served on a piece of banana leaf on a plate to enhance the dish’s aroma. Satay View this post on Instagram Give our local satay a try! It comes with variety of different meats ranging from chicken, beef & lamb! Don't forget to dip the satay into the accompanying peanut sauce to up the taste factor! Share with us your favourite satay! #malaysiatrulyasia #tourismmalaysia #satay #dekatje A post shared by Tourism Malaysia (@malaysia.truly.asia) on Mar 10, 2017 at 1:34am PST Satay may have its origins over in Indonesia, but this grilled skewered meat dish has long been given a local twist by Malaysians. Often served with a peanut dipping sauce and ketupat (Malay glutinous rice cooked in a woven palm leaf pouch), popular kinds of satay are usually made of beef, chicken and mutton – but exotic meats such as rabbit, fish, venison and offal are also available, while pork satay can be found in the pockets of the Chinese diaspora dotted throughout the archipelago. Satay Kajang, which hails from the Selangor city of the same name and dubbed the country’s “Satay City”, is a style of satay where the meat is bigger and chunkier, and the peanut sauce is served with a portion of fried sambal. Other renditions are satay lok-lok from Penang and satay celup from Melaka. A common sight in pasar malam (night markets) and unfussy restaurants, these Malaysian-Chinese fusions of hotpot and satay feature raw meat slices, tofu, century eggs, quail eggs, fish cakes, offal and vegetables that are skewered on bamboo sticks and cooked by being dipped into boiling stock (lok-lok) or peanut sauce (celup). Is nasi lemak from Malaysia or Singapore? Nasi kerabu View this post on Instagram Nasi kerabu Pokdi Kelate, best Nasi Kerabu in town. A post shared by Sabah Eats (@sabaheats) on Apr 6, 2019 at 11:20pm PDT With its vivid colours and an assortment of aromatic herbs, nasi kerabu is arguably Malaysia’s most visually mesmerising creation. Originally from Kelantan, in recent years nasi kerabu has gone from a simple grub for folks along the east coast to a resplendent dish well-loved by urbanites throughout the country. Butterfly pea flower petals are used to give the rice its bright bluish shade, while accompaniments of this dish include fried fish or chicken, salted duck egg, deep fried crackers, stuffed green chilli, pickles, sambal and herb salad. Thanks to its high fibre content and the abundance of raw herbs and vegetables, nasi kerabu is a perennial favourite among Muslims during the fasting month, as it helps promote good digestive health. Rojak View this post on Instagram The must tapao rojak whenever dropby petaling street. They are so generous with the yam bean or sengkuang and the fritters are full of aromatic coconut with shallots stuffed in flour. Peanut sauce was quite spicy though. Tofu was super fresh could taste the soy! On a side note realised Indonesian do eat lotsa tofu too. . . .. . . . . . . #foodblogger #foodgasm #foodie #photography #photo #Foto #rojak #malaysianeat #eatdrinkkl #eatdrinkmy #asianeat #travelasia #travelgram #travel #kualalumpur #petalingstreet #urbanscape #摄影 #吃货 #吉隆坡 #路边摊 #随拍 A post shared by Jess (@jessyin) on Aug 20, 2019 at 2:23am PDT With a mix of flavours and textures unlike any other, rojak arguably embodies the essence of being Malaysian. Like the country’s melting pot of races and cultures, rojak is a mishmash of spicy, sweet, salty, tangy, soft and crunchy. Thanks to the use of shrimp paste, the pungent dish – originally made with mostly fruits – is said to be an acquired taste, much like durian. Consisting typically of cucumber, pineapple, bean sprouts, jicama (Mexican turnip), deep-fried tofu and cut-up Chinese fried dough (yao tiew), and tossed with a dressing that’s made up of water, belacan, sugar, chilli, lime juice, shrimp paste (har ko) and tamarind, it was a highly popular dish back in the 1970s and ’80s. Popiah View this post on Instagram Popiah - savory braised jicama crepes Happy Saturday, friends. I am sharing my last few dishes from Malaysia before heading back & one of my favorite must eat food when I visit Malaysia is Popiah. Unlike the fried spring roll skin version, this thin crepe like wrapper is soft & delicious when paired with the savory filling below. Best to consume after they are freshly wrapped Recipe (yields 15-20 rolls) Ingredients: ~ Lumpia/Popiah wrapper (frozen or fresh) ~ 1 medium jicama, shredded (yields about 6-7 cups) ~ 1 teaspoon minced garlic ~ 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce & 2 tablespoon stir fry sauce ~ 1 teaspoon salt and dash of white pepper ~ oil & water/veggie stock Other filling ingredients: hoisin sauce, chili sauce, lettuce of your choice, shredded cucumber & carrots, fried onions (used Trader Joe's brand) & crushed peanuts (bought fresh ones & dry roast it) ️In a heated non-stick pan (preferably with lid) with 2 teaspoons oil, sauté garlic until fragrant. Add in jicama, sauces, salt, white pepper & stir continuously until well combined. Add enough water to cover jicama (about 2-3 cups depending on your pan's size) & turn heat to high. Cover lid, let boil & then simmer until jicama is tender (check with fork), about 30 minutes. Season accordingly if needed. Set aside to cool, and drain all liquid. How to assemble ( video): Lay a sheet of Popiah wrapper on a chopping board, brush with hoisin & chili sauce (in the middle). Then, start piling with lettuce, cucumber, carrots, fried onions, peanuts & about 1-2 tablespoon braised jicama. Wrap like a burrito and enjoy. *Frozen wrapper how to: Let package thaw at room temperature, cover with slightly damp paper towel while working☺️ Hope everyone likes my favorite childhood dish. . . . . . . #popiah #southeastasia #malaysianfood #malaysia #asianfood #lumpia #bestofvegan #letscookvegan #recipeoftheday #kitchn #plantbased #buzzfeedfood #yahoofood #veganfoodshare #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #woonheng #hawkerfood #streetfood #veganrecipes #makesmewhole #f52grams #foodandwine #foodgawker #gloobyfood A post shared by WoonHeng ️ (@woon.heng) on Aug 3, 2019 at 6:27am PDT Historically introduced by the Fujianese and Teochew diaspora, this fresh spring roll dish has become a popular Malaysian snack sold by street peddlers and dine-in restaurants alike. It typically has three layers of flavours and textures inside, made up of the vegetable filling, sauces and garnishes. The vegetable filling mainly includes finely grated turnip, jicama, bean sprouts, French beans and lettuce leaves, balanced with a blend of hoisin sauce and chilli sauce, as well as crushed roasted peanuts and fried shallots as garnishes. Fried pork lard can be found in the version whipped up by the Nyonya population in Melaka. The fried popiah is another popular variant, commonly found in local street food stalls. Is bak kut teh from Malaysia or Singapore? Bak kut teh View this post on Instagram One thing that Malaysians know best is food. There is no better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than through its meals. To share or not to share, that is the question. Photo by @inijie #TourismMalaysia #CutiCutiMalaysia #MalaysiaTrulyAsia #ExploreMalaysia A post shared by Tourism Malaysia (@malaysia.truly.asia) on Sep 28, 2016 at 2:10am PDT Fragrant and delicious, this simple bowl of tender meat, crispy lettuce and fried bean curd skin – swimming in flavourful pork broth and eaten with plain white rice – is undeniably a popular comfort food among locals. Said to have brought over by early Chinese settlers from China’s Fujian province, bak kut teh (which literally translates to “meat bone tea”) is famously found in Klang, a town that’s often credited as the birthplace of the dish. A complex and gratifying broth of herbs, spices and meat, bak kut teh has since inspired a handful of modern alter egos such as dry bak kut teh – where the soup is reduced to a thicker gravy with dried chilli, okra and dates are added – as well as chikuteh and duckuteh (with chicken and duck respectively), seafood bak kut teh and even foie gras bak kut teh. 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