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Popular Malaysian Dishes

Malaysia is a country that many people love to visit for a number of reasons- some like to escape their daily routines and take a break while others come here for their honeymoons. Still others come to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and have a good time with their family. Along with these, Malaysia is also very well-known for its exotic foods. Malaysian cuisine is diverse and the region offers a number of delectable, mouthwatering dishes influenced by other cuisines as well.

The Malays are very good at making rice in different ways – their aroma and tastes would leave awaken all your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Below is a list of dishes with rice as the main ingredient:

Nasi Lemak - white rice is soaked is soaked in coconut cream and steamed, after, leaving the rice with a beautiful coconut aroma and adding to the taste of the rice. The rice is wrapped in a banana leaf (which, it is believed, helps in the digestion of the rice) and is served with a number of side dishes. Sometimes the rice may be served without the leaf and can be eaten with a number of other foods. Usually a stalk of lemon grass (or pandan leaf) may be thrown in to add to the fragrance of the rice. Nasi lemak is served with a spicy sauce, a hard-boiled egg, roasted peanuts and dried anchovies, making it even more delicious than it sounds!

Biryani - this dish is quite popular and has been modified by the Malaysians though it is actually an Indian dish. The dish is spicy as a number of sensational spices are thrown in to make it that way. It is served with meat, eggs, and vegetables (usually potatoes). A vegetarian version of the dish is available, too.

Hainanese chicken rice – this dish has its origins in China. The rice is rolled into balls (the size of golf balls) and served with chopped chicken bits which are steamed and then, fried. Since the Malaysians love spicy food, chili condiments are thrown in to make the dish even spicier!

Ngiong Tew FooHakka cuisine is very popular in Malaysia and this dish is a part of this cuisine.  The bones of a duck are removed and the duck is then stuffed with sticky rice while still maintaining its shape.

Rice is not the only thing Malaysians are good at. Since Malaysian cuisine is influenced by other regions in Asia, its noodles are just as delicious and diverse as the rice:

Hokkien Mee – this is a dish consisting of thick, yellow noodles that are boiled and then, fried. The noodles are then, braised in squid, cabbage, and dark soy sauce and topped off with fried cubes of pork lard.

Sang Har Noodles – the noodles are actually flat and is the main ingredient of the dish actually known as Sang Har Kwey Teow. The dish is served with fresh river water prawns which are cooked in a broth of eggs and San Har noodles. The dish is one of the most popular dishes amongst foreigners and locals, alike.


Pan mee – the name of this dish, translated into English, means ‘flat flour noodle’. Machines are used to knead the dough into flat strips of noodles which are served with dried anchovies, mushrooms, leafy vegetables and meat (pork, mutton or chicken).

Malaysia also offers a number of creative desserts:

Ice cream sandwiches - a scoop (or two) of ice cream is sandwiched between colored bread!

Pulut Hitam- glutinous black rice is used in this dessert. It may be served hot or cold with ice cream or coconut cream.