Malaysian cuisine is a cocktail of different tastes and ethnic groups. The Malaysia food culture has heavy influences from the Malays, Indians, Indonesians and Chinese. With the use and combination of aromatic ingredients such as cumin, coriander and chilies, Malaysian food has a very full flavored taste.
Nasi dagang – fish curry is a tasty dish, consisting of rice steamed in coconut milk, fish curry and extra ingredients such as fried shaved coconut, hard-boiled eggs and vegetable pickles. Normally tuna is the fish used in Nasi Dagang, but salmon and prawns are also sometimes added. It is a well-known breakfast food in the provinces on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, such as Terengganu and Kelantan.
Nasi Lemak – The national dish of Malaysia, Nasi Lemak is a must eat meal. The rice in this dish is soaked in coconut milk and cooked with pandan leaves. This gives the rice a very fragrant taste. There are many different variations of Nasi Lemak. Most Malaysian restaurants serve the traditional Nasi Lamak with a fried or boiled egg, and a choice of sambal cockles, squid, fish, or chicken. It is not uncommon to eat this dish in lunch or dinner also.
Roti Canai – A very popular dish in the Malaysia restaurant and street food stalls. It bears a lot of Indian influences. Roti Canai is a type of flatbread that is fluffy at times and sweet variations. The sweet variation is usually eaten with a banana filling and condensed milk. However, people usually prefer to eat the savory version with daal (lentil curry), or other types of curries. Many locals eat Roti Canai for breakfast, but people also eat it as a snack throughout the day.
Rojak – In Malay language, Rojak means a mixture of something. Rojak is a spicy salad consisting of mixed tropical fruits and vegetables. Typical ingredients in Rojak are cucumbers, pineapple, rose apple and bean curds. Other variations may include cuttlefish, fried tofu and crispy fritters. They add Sambal Belacan, a spicy sauce consisting of shrimp paste and chilis. Sambal Belacan is a common ingredient that you can find in many Malaysia food dishes.
Satay – A very popular snack to eat throughout Southeast Asia is Satay. Satay are prepared mostly over charcoal fire. Meats typically used is chicken or beef. Before grilling, the meat will marinate in a paste that consists of shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and turmeric. The best part of eating Satay is the dipping sauce. A creamy and sweet peanut sauce is normally served with Satay, with a side of chili paste. As of my personal experience, we used to serve this separately on Wednesdays and Fridays in the country club restaurant I worked in Singapore. As mentioned above, people like the peanut sauce or gravy and they would ask for more of it. The people loved the dipping and it provided an extra taste to their satays.
Satay, usually served as half dozen or 1 dozens
Bak Kuh Teh – The name means “meat bone tea”, and consists of pork ribs simmered in a broth of herbs and spices for a considerable amount of time. However, additional ingredients may include varieties of mushroom, choy sum (vegetables), and pieces of tofu.
Helpful Malay phrases !!
- Hello (formal): Hello
- Hello (informal): Hai (Hi)
- Thank you: Terima kasih
- Yes: Ya (YUH)
- No: Tidak (tee-DAH)
- Goodbye: Selamat tinggal (SLAH-maht tin-GAHL) [“Safe stay!”] or Selamat jalan (SLAH-maht JAH-lahn) [“Safe trip!”]
- Excuse me / I’m sorry: Maaf (mah’AHF) or Maafkan saya (mah’AHF-kahn SAH-yuh)
- Is there someone here who speaks English?: Adakah orang yang cakap Bahasa Inggeris di sini? (AH-duh-kah OH-rahng yahng CHAH-kahp bah-HAH-suh ING-grees dee SEE-nee)
- Help!: Tolong! (TOH-lohng)
- Cheers!: Sorakan!
Food & photo source: internsinasia