Malaysian food is often creamy, spicy, and flavorful – a testament to the diversity of this strong nation.
Malaysia is a multi-ethnic nation, and it caters not just to different communities with different beliefs, but it has also become a melting pot in terms of its cuisine.
To ask “what is Malaysian cuisine?” will produce more questions and off-branching routes than direct answers, and there is really no way to answer this question than to sit down, and dig in.
Here are three of the most well-known and most enchanting dishes from Malaysia that you should definitely order the next time you fly into the country. With the country’s cultural and culinary diversity, you cannot go wrong with planning your next stop here.
1. Mee goreng mamak
Mee goreng mamak is a stir-fried noodle dish made with seafood or beef, and is flavored with soy sauce, chilies, green leafy veggies, and eggs.
Commonly sold by industrious street hawkers that can be found throughout the country, mee goreng mamak is a great heavy snack or a meal on its own, depending on your appetite.
Mee Goreng Mamak | Alpha CC
The yellow noodles will definitely pull you in because it looks so appetizing. The mee goreng mamak of Penang is well-known, and if you don’t like buying from street hawkers, you can easily buy from eateries and cafeterias, too.
2. Nasi lemak
Nasi lemak is one of the most pervasive and popular dishes in Malaysia, and many consider it the “unofficially official dish” of the country.
Singapore also has a nasi lemak, but the Malaysian version definitely holds its own in terms of pervasiveness and flavor.
The key ingredient that holds everything together and makes all the other ingredients pop is the sambal, or the hot sauce. Take note that there are many versions of sambal, and you will likely find commercial sambal sauces made in India and Indonesia.
Nasi_lemak CC Wiki
There are many versions of this dish, but what is constant is the rice cooked with coconut milk, and the flavorful sides combined with the fragrant rice, like seafood, beef and chicken.
The dish is so ingrained in Malaysian culture that one restaurant, Sabahan, opened a store in Seoul, South Korea and London just to serve the dish to homesick Malaysians.
The rendang dish originated in Indonesia and found its way to Malaysia, and developed its own deeply-rooted following there. Singapore also has its version of this dish.
Beef Rendang | Dion Hinchcliffe
Made with a diverse number of proteins, including beef and lamb, rendang is a creamy and spicy dish that is commonly prepared at home as a hearty viand for the whole family.
The most popular version of this dish is beef rendang, which is made with toasted coconut – the secret flavor trove that gives the rendang its unique taste. While it is made with red curry paste, rendang is rendang, and is distinct from a straight curry.