Last updated on March 8th, 2019 at 11:54 am
When we talk about our favorite food and cuisine from all the countries we’ve ever been, we never forget about the dishes of Southeast Asia. Some of our favorites come from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia! In this blog post, we are going to talk about the best Malaysian Food and our favorite Malaysian Dishes.
Malaysian food with influences from Malaysia, China and India. Most of the Malaysian dishes are shared with rice. Some of the dishes are similar to Indonesian cuisine. Hope it’s helpful this list for your next trip!
Read here our favorite Filipino food!
Best Malaysian Food: Our favorite Malaysian Dishes
1. Roti Canai
Photography: eryabysuria | Flickr
Flat bread served with different sauces. The best ones that I tried was in Little India in Kuala Lumpur. This meal is great if you are going in a low budget on your Malaysian Trip.
2. Apam balik (Malaysian Pancake)
Photography: Khairuddin Samsudin | Flickr
Also called the turnover Pancake. It is a traditional Malaysian crispy pancake with roasted peanuts and sugar inside. You can find this in street food stalls as well as restaurants for a very cheap price.
3. Banana Leaf
It’s usually served for lunch, like Indian style. You will find it for affordable prices, as low as $2-3 USD. It’s served with curry and vegetables.
4. Nasi Dagang
Photography: Fadzly Mubin| Flickr
Similar to Nasi Lemak but for lunch. It’s steamed rice in coconut milk with fish curry. It can be served with boil or fried egg and vegetable pickles.
5. Roti jala
Photography: Ann & Ming | Flickr
Roti Jala is also called the “Net Bread” or “Net Crepe” because of the holes in this very thin snack. It’s a famous Malaysian snack served with curry and paired with tea.
Photography: Sham Hardy| Flickr
It is a type of dumpling made of rice that’s wrapped in a diamond-shaped woven palm leaf pouch. It is usually served with curry, rendang, and sambal goreng, etc.
7. Kaya (Coconut Jam)
Photography: Cooking SoftwareOz| Flickr
This is not just popular in Malaysia but also in other Southeast Asian countries. It’s served with bread and it’s a popular spread that tastes very sweet and has a unique coconut flavor.
8. Wonton Mee
Photography: moniquz | Flickr
Wonton Mee is a noodle dish popular in Malaysia and neighbor countries. It’s commonly served in a hot broth, with leafy vegetables, and wonton dumplings. Some Wonton Mee even have ingredients such as meat, spring onions, black fungus, and a lot more.
9. Iban Bakar
Photography: Farid Iqbal Ibrahim | Flickr
This is grilled fish served with sambal sauce. It’s usually served on a banana leaf, which is a popular way of eating in Malaysia.
10. Nasi Kerabu
This dish surprised us since it was our first time we tried blue rice. The blue coloring comes from the petals of the flower used as an ingredient for this popular and must-try Malay dish. It’s usually served with dried fish or fried chicken, crackers, pickles and other salad.
Photography: Melosh | Flickr
It’s sold in Malaysian bakeries as dessert and it’s so sweet. You can also find in street markets for a very cheap price.
You can find this fruit in Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and other neighbor countries in the Southeast. It’s the fruit of the Durio tree. To eat it, cut the fruit, get the durian flesh and don’t eat the seed. It’s smelly but very tasty. It is kinda messy eating this fruit.
13. Chicken curry
Photography: Ian Lee | Flickr
This is one of the most famous Malay dish that you should try. It’s a tasty dish with lots of spices and herbs, meat, and some vegetables. Be aware that some curry may be spicy.
You can find this dish in Malaysia and Indonesia. Satay consists of sliced chicken, or goat, beef, pork grilled at barbecue. My favorite satay is served with peanut sauce.
15. Kolo Mee
You can find this street food in Southeast Asia such as Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Noodles are cooked and served with fried mixed garlic, white vinegar minced pork and onions.
You can find Bakso in Indonesia and Malaysia. The meatballs are made from beef and it’s usually served in a bowl of beef broth with noodles. egg, tofu and vegetables.
You can find soto in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia street markets. It’s one of the most famous Malay dishes. It’s a soup composed of broth, meat and vegetables.
18. Nasi Lemak
You can find this dish in Malaysia that’s usually served for breakfast. You can find it wrapped in a banana leaf whenever vendors sell them. It’s rice cooked with coconut milk. They add sambal (spicy sauce), anchovies and boiled or fried egg.
More Malaysian Food and Malaysian Dishes
19. Kai See Hor Fun
This is a delicious chicken soup made with rice noodles. It’s made up of the tasty prawn broth with chicken slices cooked with fresh prawns and onions.
Photography: Cheryl Chan | Flickr
Just like the wet spring rolls, it is made of ground meat (usually pork), beansprouts, carrots, and other vegetables, wrapped in a thin wrapper, then fried.
21. Hainanese chicken rice
Photography: tang_kt | Flickr
This dish is known to be a Chinese cuisine but Malays also have their version of it. But it’s usually made with chicken and seasoned rice, served with chili sauce and garnished with vegetables and herbs.
22. Mee Goreng
Photography: Anthony Leow | Flickr
Mee Goreng or Mi Goreng, is a spicy fried noodles dish with vegetables and chicken. As a Chinese influence, you can find this food in Malaysia very often. It’s actually one of my favorite food in Malaysia.
23. Nasi Goreng
Photography: Yulhana ‘NoRulez’ Yusoff | Flickr
This is Malaysia’s version of fried rice. There are many ways you can have Nasi Goreng. There can be versions with meat like chicken, pork, and beef, and of course, vegetables which cannot be removed from the ingredients. The one with vegetables is my favorite.
24. Char Kuey Teow
Photography: Malaysia Kitchen NYC | Flickr
Char kuey teow, or “stir-fried ricecake strips“, is made from flat rice noodles stir-fried with whole prawns, deshelled bean sprouts, chives, egg slices, and even fish cake.
25. Ikan bakar
Photography: vkeong | Flickr
Ikan Bakar is a famous dish in Malaysia and Indonesia. It literally means charcoal-grilled fish or other forms of seafood.
26. Oyster omelette
Photography: Ben | Flickr
Oyster omelette is a dish that’s also all around Malaysia so you must try it. It’s a simple omelette dish but bursting with flavors! It doesn’t cost that much too and you can buy some for an affordable price.
Photography: muhamad aidil kalid | Flickr
This is a Malaysian salad made of potatoes, cucumber, beancurd, bean sprouts, turnips, prawn fritters, spicy fried crab, fried octopus or other seafood. It’s usually served with a sweet and spicy nut sauce.
28. Sang Har Noodles
Photography: j2kfm | Flickr
This one is Chinese style and one of Rachel’s favorite Malaysian food. It’s a dish with noodles with the heads of the prawns served with delicious broth.
Photography: nonrev | Flickr
When visiting Malaysia, you shouldn’t miss to taste Laksa. It is a spicy noodle soup which has thick wheat noodles, chicken, prawn or fish, served in spicy soup made of either spicy curry coconut milk or sour asam.
30. Bak kut teh
Photography: wormy lau | Flickr
It is a pork rib soup. It’s popular especially South Malaysia and also in Singapore. The ribs are simmered in broth with herbs and spices as garlic and cloves for hours.
31. Hokkien mee
Photography: Tam Chiak | Flickr
This is Chinese style noodles with soy sauce and pork as main ingredient . Also it’s added fish, squid and cabbage, and usually served for dinner.
32. Chili Crab and Black Pepper Crab
Photography: iwong | Flickr
Giant mud crabs are usually the main ingredient for this dish. It’s not just only famous in Malaysia but also in neighbor countries Indonesia and Singapore. It’s made with a lot of spices that you will enjoy!
Photography: Hari Priyadi | Flickr
It’s a spicy meat dish that could be chicken, duck and beef. It’s popular at Ramadan time and you will be able to try it for sure if you are visiting Malaysia at that time. It’s also served in other countries like Indonesia during Ramadan.
34. Charsiew Rice
Photography: Kenneth Kiffer | Flickr
It’s Pork Barbecue and a Chinese style dish served with rice. You can find this dish in Pasar Malang (night market). It’s so tasty so you should try it!
35. Freshwater Prawns
Photography: Tummy Rumble | Flickr
Malaysia is abundant with seafood and their freshwater prawns are a must-try. There are dishes like curry and soups that you should try which have freshwater prawns in them.
36. Nasi Kandar
This dish is popular for lunch or dinner. It’s steamed rice with fried chicken, beef, lamb and fish with fried prawns or squid. There are also vegetables like eggplant added to the dish – full meal and local.
37. Mee Rebus
Photography: Yulhana ‘NoRulez’ Yusoff | Flickr
Another noodle dish that you should try in Malaysia is Mee Rebus. It is made with yellow noodles served with a thick spicy potato-based gravy. To make it more tasty, there’s also a hard-boiled egg, spring onions, bean sprouts, fried shallots, tofu, and lime juice in Mee Rebus.
38. Sambal Udang
Photography: Helen (Grab Your Fork) | Flickr
Sambal Udang, or prawn sambal, is a spicy Malay dish that you will also love. It’s made with sambal sauce and Malaysian Shrimp Paste, that make Sambal Udang’s flavor really rich and strong.
39. Asam Pedas
Photography: droolworthy | Flickr
Asam Pedas is a popular dish in Malaysia as well as in Indonesia. It is a sour and spicy fish stew dish, usually served with rice.
40. Ayam Goreng
Photography: Ziyan Syahida | Flickr
Ayam Goreng is the Fried Chicken of Malaysia. There are many ways to cook this but the most common is by adding a special breading and deep frying it in hot oil. Malays love it and price of this popular dish starts at 1 or 2 USD in the streets but more expensive if you’ll buy from restaurants.
There you have it! Our favorite Malaysian dishes that you should try on your next Malaysian visit. Which one is your favorite dish? Let us know in the comments! 🙂