5 famous Malaysian dishes to try Travel

One of the many things I loved about Malaysia was the food.

From: Emily Andrews

Due to the spread of Islam and Hinduism, beef and especially pork are rare in many Malaysian foods. Instead, chicken, fish and vegetables make up most of the meals.

Affordable and varied street food is also commonplace and of a high standard.

But it is Malaysia's multiculturalism that makes its food so special. Kuala Lumpur serves traditional Pad Thai alongside a chicken burger stand and a cart with Chinese dim sum. There are plenty of different foods to try in Malaysia, but I've reduced it to just five:

These 5 famous Malaysian dishes you must try

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak is a delicious selection of textures and taste sensations. It has some of the spicy and sour aromas that are popular in many Southeast Asian dishes, and combines tough, salty, dried fish with crispy peanuts, soft coconut rice, spicy samba sauce, and mild eggs and cucumbers. Mix it to your liking and order it with chicken if you are hungry.

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Nasi Lemak

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It's a dish that's popular around the world, but Malaysians do it best. The chicken skewers are usually served with a lumpy peanut sauce that has only a small kick, as well as cucumber pieces and raw onions. You can order as many or as few as you like – the main meal may contain sticky rice – and enjoy it directly from the grill. The meat is usually tender and full of flavor.

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Malaysian satay

Roti Canai

Roti Canai is eaten as a snack or a meal and is even more delicious than it looks. Inner stretchy and doughy with a flaky, roasted outer layer. The Roti Canai is a dish with Indian influence traditionally served with dahl.

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Roti Canai

Roti Canai can also be served sweet. I tasted it with banana and chocolate and filled it with boiled apple. In both cases it was incredible.

Doing Roti Canai is a difficult skill that requires practice. The women who serve it stretch the dough thinly and layer it with a skillful hand movement before frying, giving it the flaky texture.


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Popiah (spring rolls)

These are similar to summer rolls, but instead of rice paper, the crunchy, minced vegetables and stuffing are rolled up in a thin crêpe, which is then cut into bite sized portions. These healthy appetizers are delicious and are served with a sweet chilli dip.

The Beng

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Beach side with a teh Beng

Ice tea, shakes and juices are great for cooling off in the shade. The Beng is a favorite with the locals; Ice tea with condensed milk. Ice tea without milk is sweetened to varying degrees, but remember, Malaysians tend to lean on the sweeter side! Affordable, fresh juice is also available everywhere. Try watermelon, mango or pineapple – or whatever is in season.

These are just some of the culinary delights that I have enjoyed in Malaysia. Let me know more famous Malaysian dishes in the comments.

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