One of the things I liked most about Malaysia was the food. Not only is the food there very tasty, but it's quite cheap and varied. Having a mix of several different cultures, their cuisine is very rich and diverse. I talk more about this mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures in the article on 30 curiosities about Malaysia, I invite you to read it and be surprised.
If you are going to visit this country in Asia soon or if you are just curious about what they eat over there, here is a list of things I could try or notice .
Typical Malaysian food and drink:
- Milo: In Malaysia, most children do not drink Colacao or Nesquik, but Milo. Milo is a milk-soluble powder made by Nestlé.
- Kaya: I found kaya cream very tasty and many people eat it for breakfast there together in a sandwich. It is a coconut cream, eggs and pandan leaves.
- Pandan: Speaking of pandan, what is pandan? It is a tropical plant that is widely used in this area and so you can find pandan biscuits, muffins, cakes, etc. I also liked it a lot.
- Teh tarik: Another important part of the typical Malaysian breakfast. Teh tarik is a tea with milk that in some areas of Malaysia is served in a very peculiar way. If you ask for a teh tarik at some street stalls in Malaysia, they will serve it to you pouring it from quite a distance. Quite a sight! It's usually part of a Malaysian breakfast and can be accompanied by a kaya sandwich, as mentioned above.
- Nasi Goreng: Nasi means rice and goreng means fried, so you can imagine what this dish is all about. A fried rice with vegetables that you can try to make at home and add all the ingredients you want.
- Nasi Lemak: Another rice dish, but this time cooked and with boiled egg and anchoas among other ingredients.
- Mantis shrimp: It is a kind of shrimp named after its resemblance to a praying mantis. Battered and fried, I found it very tasty.
- Durian and mangosteen: Malaysia's most problematic fruits but also one of the most loved. Durian, which some also call the king of fruits, is the stinkiest fruit in the world but you can find it in many Malaysian desserts. The mangosteen is another typical fruit of the area, famous for leaving a strong pink trail on the hands of those who eat it. Because of the peculiarities of these two fruits, they are banned in some shopping centres and hotels.
- Other fruits such as papaya, mango, rambutan, etc..
- Chili Crab: Spicy crab or chilli crab is the speciality of several Malaysian restaurants. If you like seafood and spicy, get ready for this dish to become your favourite. If I had to recommend a restaurant to eat this dish, I have two favourites, both in the Langkawi archipelago: Kapal Layar (see photos, this one is very nice, by the sea) and Putumayo.
- Meat: Pig, chicken or duck meat is widely used in their gastronomy and is usually accompanied by rice, noodles and/or vegetables, nuts and sauces, on skewers (satay), grilled, etc..
- Other typical dishes: Fish, soups and noodles are also very common in Malaysian cuisine.
- Ice kachang (or ais kacang): One of the few things I'd recommend not trying. It's shaved ice with beans and herbs (the pandan I mentioned earlier).
- 100 plus: A carbonated drink very similar to 7up or Sprite, very similar to Aquarius and also associated with the sports world.
- Different sweets and jelly beans: One plan I really enjoyed was to visit sweet shops and discover the curious variety they have in Malaysia. Durian buns, yoghurts with boba balls, and my favourite discovery: avocado-flavoured Lays chips!
I'm sure your mouth is watering! However, as a final note, I would like to point out that most of the dishes there are spicy or too spicy for my taste. Also keep in mind that if you order water in a restaurant they will probably bring it hot, so if you want cold water, let the waiter know beforehand. .
Another detail that might surprise you is that when you go to a restaurant they present you with cutlery and a bowl of hot water. This is so you can clean your cutlery yourself before using it (this is one of the things that surprised me and I'll tell you more about my experiences in my post about the trip in general). What do you think of Malaysian cuisine, do you have a favourite dish yet, and share your opinion by commenting below!