Malaysian cuisine has been developed from the cultures found across the country which include Malays, Chinese and Indians with a splash of Thai and Arabian influences. These combinations result in distinct and exotic flavours and a variety of specialty dishes.
One of the staples is of course rice with a dish often referred to as the national dish being nasi lemak which is rice steamed with coconut milk giving it a rich fragrance.
Often served with anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, hard boiled eggs and sambal, a spicy chilli paste, nasi lemak is often considered a breakfast dish but can be served in a variety of ways at any time of the day.
Other staples include noodles with a wide variety of different types and bread, usually an Indian style such as roti canai.
Poultry is handled according to Halal standards to conform with the country’s dominant religion of Islam and some factions of the community, in particular Hindus and some Buddists do not eat beef.
Goat is a popular ingredient particularly in curries, soups and stews. Seafood and fish are enjoyed by most and usually fresh and tasty.
Vegetables are available year round as there are little distinction between seasons in Malaysia and there are some delicious and exotic fruits such as lychees, durian, mangosteen, rambutan, guava and longan.
Some traditional dishes of Malaysia include –
A grilled stingray wings served with air asam which is a dip made from shrimp paste, onions, chillis and lime or tamarind juice.
A sour fish stew including tamarind, chilli, tomatoes, okra and Vietnamese coriander
Deep fried chicken marinated in turmeric and other seasonings
Steamed dry rice pudding. Glutinous rice and coconut milk wrapped in banana leaves folded into a pyramid shape. Topped with grated coconut and sweetened with palm sugar.
This is a great way to try Malaysian cuisine as this dish consists of a plate of plain rice with a range of other traditional dishes placed around. You eat what you choose and the cost of your meal is determined on what and how much you eat.