If you’re visiting Malaysia, you’re in for a treat. The diversity in culture and ethnicities makes Malaysia a food paradise! There are literally thousands of dishes to eat whilst you’re here but if you only have limited time and stomach space, make sure you don’t miss out on these favourites. Here are our Top 10 Things to Eat in Malaysia…
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You’ll spot satay vendors by the delicious, billowy wafts of smoke that surround their charcoal grills. These marinated, skewered sticks of meat are addictive. Most commonly available as beef, lamb and chicken skewers, satay is often served with raw onion and cucumber and a pot of creamy peanut sauce. A must eat!
Cendol is a refreshing snack or dessert that you’ll find all over Malaysia. In its simplest form it comes with rice flour pandan noodles, shaved ice, coconut milk and gula melaka or palm sugar syrup. Vendors often add red beans, kidney beans or corn as well. Cendol is a surefire way to beat the Malaysian heat!
3. Nasi lemak
Malaysia’s national dish nasi lemak is traditionally eaten for breakfast but in reality it’s consumed all day long. Nasi lemak bungkus is the dish in its simplest form: rice cooked in coconut milk, roasted peanuts, sambal (chilli sauce) and a boiled egg all wrapped up in a banana leaf. For a heartier meal of nasi lemak restaurants will pile all the base ingredients on your plate and then you can add delicious side dishes like fried chicken, rendang and sambal squid. A true classic and one not to miss when visiting Malaysia.
4. Roti bom
Head to a mamak an Indian Muslim eatery to eat a crowd favourite- roti bom. Roti is an Indian flat bread made up of ghee, flour and water and what makes a roti bom is the bread is stuffed with margarine and sugar. It’s decadent, crispy and completely addictive! See video under Number 5 for more detail.
5. Mee goreng
Mee goreng is another must try dish when you’re dining at a mamak. Essentially a fried noodles dish, mamak bee goreng is made up of yellow wheat noodles, vegetables, egg and is cooked with kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and sambal. A hearty, tasty dish!
6. Ramly Burger
The Ramly Burger is a cult classic and loved by most Malaysians. This is a street burger at its finest- saucy, messy and delicious! The Ramly Burger was created by its founder who wanted to plug a gap in the halal Western food market so burger patties are beef, chicken or lamb.
The thing to order is a ‘special’ where an egg is cracked onto the hotplate, spread out and the burger patty wrapped up in the egg together with loads of sauce. A genius way to prevent the sauce from spewing out! Ramly Burger vendors usually set up in the evenings and are open until the early hours of the morning- they operate out of the back of trucks or have standalone stalls. Don’t miss out on eating this favourite!
Another refreshing snack or dessert to sample is the ABC which stands for Air Batu Campur or mixed ice. Comprised of shaved ice, flavoured syrups and a multitude of treasures like corn, kidney beans and grass jelly noodles- this is a nostalgic Malaysian snack which is sure to go down a treat
Don’t let the smell of durian put you off from trying this delectable fruit. The smell is often described as akin to sewerage or smelly socks but we reckon they smell beautiful! Malaysian durians are famous and much sought after round the world. Pungent, fragrant and creamy, the king of fruits is a love or hate kinda food. It’s sweet, slightly bitter and can sometimes contain an alcoholic twang. Give it a go when you’re in Malaysia!
9. Roti canai
Often eaten for breakfast roti canai is an Indian flat bread which is served with dal, sambal and curry sauce. It can be found at mamak (Indian Muslim eateries) and is a crowd favourite- a must eat! See video under Number 5 for more detail.
10. Teh tarik
Teh tarik translates to ‘pulled tea’. Tea sweetened with condensed milk is pulled by being poured from one jug to another creating a stretchy, frothy drink that is completely addictive. You will be able to order teh tarik at every eatery in Malaysia. Dive in and try it! See video under Number 5 for more detail.
No matter where you’re travelling to we always recommend you have travel insurance. We use and love World Nomads. The great thing about them is that you can purchase travel insurance while you’re already travelling!
We hope this Malaysia food guide has helped you eat and explore like a traveller, not a tourist!
Spending more time in Malaysia? Check out our Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide and Penang Travel Guide
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