When you think of Malaysia thoughts of lush landscapes, tropical fruits and the Petronas Towers probably spring to mind. If you close your eyes and try very hard, you might just be able to smell the exotic mix of spices such as lime, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, coriander and lemongrass. Or maybe you can taste the vibrancy and diversity of the different cultures which make Malay cuisine so rich and distinct.
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur
The exotic blend of cultures, ethnic groups, spices and cooking techniques are what makes Malaysia, and in particular Penang, one of the food capitals of the world. This is where food enthusiasts go to sample some of the most interesting and complex flavours in the world.
Hindu Temple with The Statue of Lord Morgan (Son of Shiva), Batu Caves
Thanks to the spice trade, Malaysia has been receiving traders since the 15th Century; each trader bringing with them a multitude of new foods and ideas many of which have remained in Malaysia for thousands of years giving birth to the eclectic mix of herbs, spices, seasonings, exotic fruits and vegetables that you find.
Family and food are at the heart of Malaysian culture with both being the focus of daily life. Don’t be surprised if you see the older generation passing their secret recipes onto the young whilst eating and celebrating together!
Street food is an enormous part of the food culture of Malaysia, and many visitors to the country spend little or no time eating in large restaurants, preferring the mouth-watering, traditional and flavoursome food of street hawkers.
Street Food in Malaysia
Street Food in Malaysia
So if you ever find yourself wandering around the Jalan Alor food market in Kuala Lumpur, what are some of the classic dishes worth sampling?
Jalan Alor food market
Nasi lemak is generally considered to be Malaysia’s national dish and is rice boiled in coconut milk and then wrapped in a pandan leaf. The Malaysians love this dish so much that they eat it for both breakfast and dinner!
Beef Rendang is a spicy beef curry dish (usually dry) and whilst originally from Indonesia, is now famous throughout Malaysia and is often consumed during times of celebration.
Laksa is probably one of the best known dishes across the globe and is a spice-based noodle dish with either a curry or fish base. Our interpretation of this dish uses coconut milk and we love the dish so much that we created a Mega Nom Nom version and a Mini Nom Nom version so all the family can enjoy! – http://nomnomsworldfood.com/products/chicken-laksa/
Whatever dish you opt for at the street market, make sure you wash it down with a cool, tall glass of kopi beng (iced white coffee).
With so many dishes to consume, Malaysia offers a tour of culinary delights, serving up new and intriguing flavors, so what are you waiting for; bring the taste of Malaysia home to your family!