Malaysia’s history as a trading hub for spices and its rich natural resources, which attracted migrants from around the region, has left an indelible mark on not just its society, but its cuisine. Cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, pepper, turmeric, and many more spices were frequently traded during the port of Malacca’s heyday as a trading hub, which in turn gave its people access to a wide variety flavours and extensive regional influences to create Malaysia’s rich cuisine which the country is known for today.
Like its society, which is a melting pot of cultures and ethnic groups, Malaysian cuisine includes food from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Southern Thailand. It has a variety to offer to foodies from across the world and is known to have the most intricate and complex flavours in the world.
As the population of Malaysia is mostly of the Islamic faith, most of its dishes are comprised of beef, lamb, and seafood. The light sauces and tangy flavours infused with seafood compliments the lightness of the meat and is a perfectly balanced creation of herbs and spices.
That being said, the Chinese communities are also known for their pork dishes, while its use of soy sauce and noodles have been adopted by all ethnicities in Malaysia. Malaysian cuisine has also assimilated ingredients and cooking techniques from the Thais and Indians, creating a wide variety of spicy dishes and curries not found anywhere else in its native cuisines.
It isn’t just for meat lovers, as there are plenty of Buddhists and Hindus, Malaysia has a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, often found at restaurants and eateries that are within the vicinities of Buddhist and Hindu temples. What’s more, Malaysia has a huge variety of delectable fruits, such as mangoes, mangosteens, rambutans, cempedaks, lychees, and not forgetting, the king of all fruits, the durian, to top off a hearty meal.
As part of their culture, meals are often served at social events where the food is served together, rather than in courses. The array of mouth-watering dishes with its vibrant colours and rustic presentation that will make anybody drool.
Whether it is the culture or the cuisine, Malaysia is a land of diversity, and rest assured that neither will be a disappointment on your next visit.
Find your nearest Asian Store