When you are planning on traveling to a country, one of the first things you will take note of is obviously the foods! Who does not like food? Almost everyone in the world likes eating. And of course, when we say food, Asia is filled with a tremendous amount of food from different countries. Some called Asia a food heaven. We have foods from every category; rice, bread, noodles, fruits, vegetables, dumplings, and many more! Malaysia, especially, has a number of local foods that are really delicious and should be tried by everyone! Therefore, here is a list of foods you should try in Malaysia.
1. Nasi Lemak
Presenting Malaysia’s national dish, Nasi Lemak! Nasi lemak is a dish that is made of rice that is cooked in coconut milk with pandan leaves. The rice is served with a sambal (a hot spicy savory sauce). The rice is also served with various side dishes such as; anchovies, cucumber, peanut, fried chicken, beef or chicken rendang, and/or egg. Nasi lemak is usually eaten during breakfast but it can also be eaten anytime because it can be paired with tons of other dishes.
Nasi lemak has the taste of creamy and rich rice. It can be spicy if the sambal is made spicy. Nasi lemak is best served while hot as it will enhance the spiciness of the dish. The dish is very popular in Malaysia as it is eaten by all the races in Malaysia and also loved by travelers.
2. Roti Canai
Roti canai, or Asian Flat Croissant (a famous joke or meme based on this), is a bread-based dish that is influenced by Indian’s paratha. You can find roti canai not only in Malaysia, but also Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei. However, roti canai is famously known as a Malaysian Indian dish. The origin of the dish is that it is brought to Malaysia by “Mamaks”, Indian Muslims, from India. It is mostly eaten during breakfast, but just like nasi lemak, Malaysian will still eat nasi lemak whenever they want.
Roti canai is served hot with dhal or other types of curries. Roti canai now has lots of variations such as roti telur (eggs are added into it), roti sardin (sardine is added into it), roti cheese, and many more. It is highly recommended for you to try, especially if you are not good with spicy foods!
3. Teh Tarik
Teh tarik, pulled tea if translated in English, is the national drink of Malaysia. It is a hot milk tea that is produced mixing condensed milk with brewed black tea. The name teh tarik actually comes from the action needed when preparing the drink. The tea is pulled (tarik) by an extreme pouring action. Teh tarik is drink anytime but famous during breakfast as it is always paired with roti canai and nasi lemak. The drink is very sweet and milky. It is best served hot as the creamy flavour is still fresh. If you like tea, especially if you are a British, then you might consider teh tarik in your wish list!
Cendol is a dessert that is made out of shaved ice and contains green-coloured rice jelly. It is very popular and can be found in many southeast Asia countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar and others. Cendol is served with gula melaka in Malaysia. The gula melaka is melted into dark syrup like substances. You can also add other ingredients in your cendol, but the most famous will be durian. Cendol durian is one of the most famous cendols in Malaysia. Since Malaysia has no seasons and is hot all the time, cendol is eaten and sold during the peak afternoon until evening. If you like sweet desserts, you can always try cendol!
5. Nasi Kerabu
Nasi Kerabu is a blue coloured rice dish that is eaten with fried chicken or dried dish. Nasi kerabu is also served with tons of salads, pickles and crackers (keropok). The rice gets its blue coloured from a flower called bunga telang or also known as butterfly-pea. The rice is cooked with the flower hence getting the natural blue colour from the flower petals. You can also order solok lada to eat with nasi kerabu. Solok lada is a pepper that is stuffed with fish meat. Nasi kerabu is famous throughout Malaysia, especially in Kelantan and Terengganu. You can also find this dish in Thailand. If you want a naturally coloured rice dish with different assortment, then you can have nasi kerabu for lunch or dinner!
Malaysia is indeed a food heaven that has tons of delicious foods. There are many more local dishes such as rendang, nasi dagang, nasi minyak, dodol and many more that you can try in Malaysia. We also have tons of healthy snacks in Malaysia and Malaysia-infused dishes that are derived from dishes from other countries. If you like food, then do come and visit Malaysia!
Written by: Muhammad Mustaqim Abdul Rahman