Malaysia’s cuisine is home to a plethora of cultures, making the Southeast Asian country known for its food. Various parts of the world influence Malaysian cuisine. Thus, Malaysian food is diverse and is one of the best globally. Dig deeper into what Malaysian cuisine is and why it is considered the best in the world below!
What is Malaysian cuisine?
Malaysian cuisine is heavily influenced by other cuisines from Southeast Asian countries, such as Indonesian, Indian, Thai, and Chinese. These influences resulted in the exotic flavours, with a unique combination of sweet, sour, and spicy tastes.
The typical Malaysian meal consists of rice with a generous amount of seafood and spices. What sets Malaysian food apart from other Asian dishes is that it does not contain pork since the food must be Halal. The dishes can, however, have other types of meat, such as mutton, chicken, and fish.
3 Reasons why Malaysian food is the best
For many years, Malaysia’s welcoming society has embraced multi-ethnic influences in culture and food. With vibrant, rich, and fresh dishes, it is no wonder why many people think the country’s cuisine is the best. Here are more reasons why you should list Malaysian food as one of the best dishes in the world.
1. Malay food is multicultural
Over the years, the people of Malaysia have combined Malay food with Chinese and Indian dishes. This led to the creation of new dishes called Mamak (Malay-Indian) and Peranakan (Chinese-Malay).
- Indian influences: Indian influences in Malaysian cooking are distinguished by how Malaysian food consists of curry sauces, fried spices, pickled vegetables, and a wide variety of bread to dip in curries and sauces.
- Chinese influences: You will see noodles, tofu, soy sauce, and bean sprouts in most Malaysian dishes. These ingredients mainly came from Cantonese and Fujian influences.
- Ethnic-Malay influences: Malay practices include consuming halal food that does not contain pork. Thus, the cooking traditions of the ethnic Malays include making dishes out of fish, rice, starch, and spices.
2. There is a plethora of street food options
Street food or “Jalan-Jalan” is everywhere in Malaysia, whether day or night. Food stalls can sell noodles, satay, and other regional dishes. This explains why Malaysians may enjoy up to six meals a day.
Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and other big cities in the country have a plethora of tasty street foods that can be served quickly for a fair price. Some stalls are open 24/7 and provide open-air dining to allow people to eat whenever, wherever they want. Some of the street food establishments you can find around Malaysia include:
- Hawker stalls: These are small and mobile stalls that often offer cheap and on-the-go street foods to locals and tourists.
- Hawker centres: These are a collection of Hawker stalls in a food court-like setup. Here, diners can sit and enjoy street food while listening to live bands and enjoying an ambient vibe. Hawker centres are a great choice for those who are eating with a group of people since you can create a food banquet by buying various dishes from multiple stands.
- Mamaks: These are found on the streets of big cities around Malaysia. They are open 24/7 and provide plastic tables and chairs. Here, diners can chat and socialise while eating and drinking Mamak-style street foods, snacks, and beverages.
- Night markets: These are popular around Malaysia, especially during the holy month of Ramamdan. These night food spaces are ideal for those who prefer going out after sunset.
3. It is easy to make homemade Malaysian food
We all want to try cooking our food ourselves to know what’s in it and ensure safety and hygiene. Fortunately, most stores and markets in Malaysia have complete ingredients to make typical Malaysian food.
Also, Malaysia is surrounded by sea and has a tropical climate. Thus, it is easy to get fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fish. Thus, making homemade and authentic Malaysian dishes is quick and cheap.
5 Popular Malaysian foods you should try
Rice meals topped with various viands are typical in Malaysia, but there are other dishes you should also try. Here is a short list of the best Malaysian dishes you should try:
Satay is Malaysia’s one of four national dishes, with the other three being roti canai, laksa, and nasi lemak. The dish consists of skewered seasoned meat with other ingredients like seafood, vegetables, and tofu. Grilled over charcoal and then served with a special satay sauce made with palm sugar, tamarind, roasted peanuts, and chilli, meat lovers will surely enjoy this dish.
2. Roti Canai
Roti Canai is a flaky, buttery, and crispy Indian flatbread made of ghee and flour. The best way to eat this national dish is to rip off small pieces of the bread and dip them into the curry sauce or plain sugar.