Guest Post: What Malaysia Offers For Food Lovers
Today’s guest post about the wonders of Malaysian cuisine is by Sai Karthik Reddy. Karthik is the author of India’s number 1 luxury travel blog Romancing The Planet. His frequent trips to Malaysia exposed him to the different kinds of food this country has on offer. He is also the co-founder of a startup called Coupofy.
Food lovers will rejoice upon arriving to Malaysia as there are countless dishes that are served within the country that are not served anywhere else. Some of the names can be complicated to say and they often sound alike to someone who is not familiar with the language, so it’s important to know not only what food should be explored, but also what they actually are.
- Mee Goreng
Mee Goreng is similar to lettuce wraps in the United States. They are soft noodles service with lettuce. The noodles are wok-fried with ginger, garlic, and tomato and then cooked with a spicy chili along with eggs, potatoes, and bean sprouts. There is usually a banana leaf that the mee goreng is served on, making it easier to pick up and eat.
- Satay Ayam
Satay Ayam is very popular within the street vendors because it is easy to prepare. It is chicken on a stick and is usually cooked out on an open fire pit. The chicken is infused with such flavors as garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Once it has been cooked, it may be served with a curry sauce for dipping and may even include some Nasi Lemak as a side dish to accompany the satays.
- Nasi Lemak
Nasi Lemak is a creamy kind of rice because it is cooked in coconut milk. Many things can be added on top of it and served for breakfast, such as anchovies and a hard-boiled egg. It has been likened to look a lot like risotto or oatmeal, but the flavor is very different than any of these other dishes because of the presence of the coconut milk. It is served hot.
- Asam Laksa
This is one of the top street foods that are available. It is a fishy soup filled with rice noodles. There are also pink ginger flowers on the top, as well as chilies and cucumbers in the top as well. It is very colorful and that is why so many people will flock to it. The flavors can vary from vendor to vendor because everyone puts their own spin on the broth.
- Wonton Mee
Noodle soup with dumplings is what to expect when ordering Wonton Mee. There is usually more bok choy and dumplings than there is broth. The wontons will often have roast pork inside, though some may also have shrimp, so it can be helpful to ask exactly what the wontons consist of, though many people will order and then be surprised when they take a bite, which is part of the adventure with eating street food.
This is a stuffed pancake that will have minced meat inside of it as well as garlic, onions, and an egg. It is almost always served with a curry over top of it and then may also have pickled onions or cucumber on top of it. Often in Malaysia, the vendor will also have Roti Canai alongside of the Murtabak as a way of helping to soak up all of the flavors.
- Roti Canai
Roti Canai is a type of flaky flatbread. It’s one of the simpler things that can be eaten while in Malaysia and many people choose to dip it into curry for breakfast. Wen in Malaysia, it is prepared on a large flat griddle out in the open. The dough can be worked over with ghee or cooked in a wok. Everyone has their own style of cooking it, but the outcome is usually the same.
Rojak can vary depending on the vendor who is serving it up. Traditionally, it is a fruit and vegetable salad, but it may also contain fried pieces of dough and even squid. There’s a savory sauce poured on top of it all and has a strong flavor of shrimp to it. This sauce can vary in color, ranging from light brown to a brownish black. Since it can contain all sorts of miscellany, food lovers may never be 100% sure of all of what they are eating when they order and may never find out unless they can speak the language fluently.
- Hokkien Mee
This dish is better known as egg and rice noodles in a spicy soup. There are prawn halves, pork bones, chili, and many other items within the stock. There’s usually a spoon of house made chili served on top of the soup as well.
- Char Koay Teow
This entrée is stir-fried noodles, though it is often served with prawns, egg, cockles, and bean sprouts. The cost for a plate is usually around $1 USD.
The street foods aren’t focused entirely on lunches and dinners. You can have cold dessert soup and that’s what cendol is, though you may also see it as chendul. It looks a lot like melted ice-cream and has condensed goat milk on top of it.
- Ice Kachang
When dessert is on the brain, there is also Ice Kachang, which has been compared to a banana split. However, the ice cream is shaved ice and the bananas are kidney beans, corn, and some jellies. There is also a pink syrup that is not synthetic but still manages to taste like bubble gum.
- Teh Tarik
For a beverage, you can find pulled tea. It’s unique because it is black tea with condensed milk added to it. The pulling is done by moving the tea from one container to another to cool it down and make it frothy on the top.