Malaysian Food is not one particular distinction of food but a culinary diversity originating from it’s multi-ethnic population of Malay, Indian, Eurasian, Chinese, Nyonya and the Indigenous peoples of Borneo. A brief look into the past and how our multi-ethnic country came to be, is essential in order to comprehend how such a cosmic array of food, has now come to be known all over the world as ‘Malaysian Food’.
Tourists and visitors cannot help but notice Malaysia’s favorite pastime, that is, eating! Gourmet restaurants serving International haute cuisine compete with street food vendors or hawkers selling various local food.
Aside of the most popular food delights such as Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai, Teh Tarik, Satay and etc. I would like to introduce some of the local traditional cuisines in specific states:
Penang is well known as a ‘Hawkers Paradise’. City dwellers from KL and Singapore drive for hours on weekend getaways to feast and gorge themselves silly on Penang’s hawker food! Reputed as having the best local food, there are many hawker centers, restaurants, kopitiams [Chinese coffee-shops], Mamak [Indian-Muslim] stalls offering satay, assam laksa, roti canai, char kway teow and etc.
Melaka is another food paradise too. Popular with the Nyonya cuisine. It is generally referred to as the result of inter-marriages between the Chinese immigrants and the local Malays, which produced a unique cuisine where local ingredients such as chilies, belacan (Malaysian shrimp paste) lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, etc. are used. To assimilate to the local culture, these early days Chinese immigrants also adopted local Malay traditions–the men were called Babas and the women were called Nyonyas…
Nasi Dagang and Nasi Kerabu are among the most famous cuisine in Kelantan. The Kelantanese cuisine, heavily influenced by Thai cuisine, is quite popular among Malaysians. In fact, many visitors come to Kelantan just to taste the special delicacies that cannot be found elsewhere. The use of sugar is a must in every Kelantanese kitchen, and thus most Kelantanese dishes are sweet. Kelantanese food makes more use of coconut milk than anywhere else in the country. Curries are richer, creamier, and more influenced by the tastes of nearby Thailand.
Sarawak Laksa is Sarawak’s signature dish is freshly made vermicelli submerged in a concoction of deliciously thick soup rich in ‘santan’ (coconut milk) and spices, topped with tasty chunks of seafood, chicken and slice omelette. This mouth-watering delight is a Sarawak original and best-taken piping hot. You have not savoured Sarawak until you have tasted Sarawak Laksa. A gastronomical delight that is easily available and served in most coffee shops and hotels.
Kolok Mee is a type of noodle dish commonly found in Sarawak. It is served throughout the day – for breakfast, lunch or even supper. It is made of egg noodle, blanched in water that looks like instant noodle and served in a light sauce with some condiments like shredded beef. The difference with Kolok Mee and the Wantan Mee, that is popular in Peninsular, is that Kolok Mee is not drenched in dark soy sauce and water is not added to the noodles when served. But the taste is still pretty amazing.
There are too-many-to-mention local culinary delights!
Basically, Malaysia has everything! Especially FOOD!
Happy Malaysia Day!