Food Culture in Malaysia

How much do you know about food culture in Malaysia? Traveling to Malaysia, in addition to visiting some famous attractions, you will also eat Malaysian cuisine. Malaysia's diverse society is also fully expressed in terms of food. Here is a collection of Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, and Western food, which can satisfy a variety of flavors.


Malaysian Cuisine

Malaysia is mainly composed of Malays, Chinese and Indians. The three major ethnic groups have their own unique eating habits, so they have formed their own distinctive cuisines. Let's introduce Malaysian cuisine to you.


Malay Cuisine

Malay food is characterized by its fragrant, spicy and sweet. Malaysian cuisine is generally seasoned with four major spices. Mostly use beef, sheep, chicken, duck, fish, and shrimp as the main ingredients, and use less or no pork. Coconut milk is commonly used in their food. The famous foods include nasi lemak, fragrant satay (chicken, beef and lamb skewers), Malay pastries, bamboo rice, turmeric rice, etc.


Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak


Malay cuisine was developed under the continuous influence of Indians, Chinese and Middle Easterners who went to Malaysia. The main ingredients, especially spices, such as chili, lemongrass, ginger, curry leaves and cumin, were originally introduced by Indians and Arabs. In Malaysia, the cooking methods are mainly steamed, boiled and fried.


Chinese Cuisine

The characteristics of Chinese cuisine are diversified. The Chinese in Malaysia are very particular about food. There are Cantonese cuisine, Hakka cuisine, Hainanese cuisine, Hokkien cuisine, Hong Kong-style roasted meat, and various dim sums. However, most of the Chinese food here is Cantonese cuisine, because many Chinese are descendants of immigrants from Guangdong and Fujian. The taste is relatively light, tender and smooth, which is closer to the food of Hong Kong, Guangdong and Fujian.


Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice


Recommended snacks include stuffed tofu, prawn noodles, fried kway teow, curry noodles, clear soup noodles, pancakes, Hainanese chicken rice, claypot chicken rice, wonton noodles, Hong Kong dim sum, Bak Kut Teh, Penang spicy sand, etc.


Indian Cuisine

The Indians in Malaysia are similar to the Malays in their diet, so the Indian food here tends to be spicy. The well-known Indian foods include capati, tapai, and tosei. Indian banana rice is also famous. Teh tarik is a sweet milk tea loved by Indians and Malays. Whether young, middle-aged or elderly, they all like to drink teh tarik.


Teh Tarik

Teh Tarik


Many Indian restaurants marked "Banana Leaf Restaurant" on their signs. In these restaurants, clean banana leaves are used to serve food to their customers. This has become their business feature.


Nyonya Cuisine

Nyonya cuisine combines the cooking techniques of traditional Chinese cuisine with the distinctive spices of Southeast Asia. In terms of ingredients, in addition to general chicken, duck, beef and sheep, seafood, and vegetables, Nyonya cuisine also uses many local specialty ingredients, such as pineapple, coconut milk, lemongrass, southern ginger, turmeric, assam, and coconut sugar.





In terms of flavor, Niangya cuisine has a strong taste, emphasizes sauce, and has distinct layers. The sauce used is made up of at least ten kinds of spices. The flavor of the dish is mainly sour and hot. The recommended dishes are Laksa, Nyonya kuih, Nyonya Dumpling, Rendang, Kangkung Belacan, Bubur Cha Cha.


Western Cuisine

In addition, there are also many western restaurants and fast-food restaurants in Malaysia. The favorite fast-food restaurants among young people include KFC, Hometown Chicken, McDonald's, Pizza House and so on.





Characteristic of Malaysian Cuisine

Malaysians have the following characteristics in eating habits:

1. People pay attention to the small quantity and the high quality of meals, and the cleanliness of the food and tableware.


2. The taste is generally not too salty, but spicy.


3. The staple food is mainly rice. They also like to eat steamed twisted roll, bean paste buns, fried noodles, mixed rice, pot roast, wonton and other foods.


4. Malaysians like to eat beef, lamb, chicken, duck, fish, etc. They also like cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes, green peppers, spinach, beans, etc. among vegetables; they like to use curry powder, peppers, etc.


5. Preference for dishes made by cooking methods such as fried, braised, stewed, etc.


6. The favorite Chinese food are Cantonese cuisine and Sichuan cuisine.


7. Malays admire the flavored dishes such as sweet and sour pork, crispy chicken, spicy chicken, dried mandarin fish, tomato tenderloin, fried meat and green pepper, fresh mushroom cauliflower, and fried fish fillet.


8. Wine is forbidden, but they like black tea, coffee and some soft drinks, especially coconut water.


9. Areca nut, pineapples, peaches, mangoes, coconuts, papaya, bananas, are the fruit they like most.


5 Best Malaysian Sauces

There are about five commonly used Malaysian sauces:


Malaysian Sauces

Malaysian Sauce


1. Assam sauce: It is made with 15 kinds of spices, including sour seed peel, southern ginger, lemongrass, and Malay chili. Malays like to eat spicy food. It is mostly used for meat dishes.


2. Nyonya sauce: It is made with 20 kinds of spices such as ginger flower and lemon, and is mostly used for seafood dishes.


3. Sambal sauce: Dried dried shrimps, ginger flowers, etc. It is fragrant and fresh. It is mostly used for shellfish and fish dishes.


4. Malazan: The shrimps are fried in an iron wok over a low fire for two hours, and they are made by adding other spices until they are dry. It is mostly used as a staple food.


5. Mint sauce: ingredients cover mint leaves, sour seed peel water, ginger blossoms, etc. It serves with seafood, tofu and other dishes.

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