Experiences - Asia

5 Malaysian Street Foods

If you want to experience the best of Asian gourmet food in Malaysia then it’s not the swanky restaurants that offer you with such a feast but the street lanes dotted with food hawkers who make some out-of-the world dishes that appeal to your taste buds.

In fact, dining in Malaysia should not be a challenge for food lovers (vegetarians are an exception) as it has some amazing delicacies to offer. In the Malay language Jalan means to take a stroll or walk and the famous Jalan Alor street in Kuala Lumpur is a unique food destination that proffers an array of street food to choose from.

The state of Penang in Malaysia is especially famous for these street foods that are bustling with a variety that you will be spoilt for choice. The kind of food sold in Penang may have a different name in Kuala Lumpur depending on the variations, ingredients and techniques used in that dish. In fact the state of Penang has some of the best culinary delights to offer like specific to Penang including Hokkien mee which is popularly known as Prawn Mee in Kuala Lumpur.

So let us look at the 5 best Malaysian street foods you must savour while you’re there:

Nasi Lemak ( rice cooked in coconut milk)


Image Courtesy: Katherine Lim used under the Creative Commons Licence

Nasi Lemak is also considered as the national food of Malaysia. It made of fragrant jasmine rice and cooked with pandan leaves and coconut milk. Wrapped in banana leaves and served with peanuts, sambal paste and anchovies this is a popular breakfast option and can be found in most of the street food carts in Malaysia.

Hokkien Mee (Egg and Rice Noodles in Spicy Soup)


Image Courtesy: Stephen Bugno used under the Creative Commons Licence

Hokkien Mee is a signature dish in Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine which has its origin from China. It is more specific to the region of Penang and is made with egg and rice noodles, stir-fried with pork, eggs, prawns and squid which is garnished with vegetables along with sambal sauce. There are two kinds of Hokkien; the one served in Penang is called Hokkien har mee (Hokkien prawn noodles) and Hokkien mee (Hokkien fried noodles) is served in Kuala Lumpur has dark/black gravy on it.

Char Kuey Teow ( Flat rice noodles in spicy sauce)


Image Courtesy: Charles Haynes used under the Creative Commons Licence

Char kuey teow, in Malay means ‘stir-fried rice cake strips’, which is considered a favourite dish in Malaysia is made from flat rice noodles, stir-fried with light and dark soy sauce, chilli, a small quantity of belacan, prawns, cockles,bean sprouts and chopped Chinese chives. It tops the list of amazing street foods in Malaysia.

Otak Otak (Fish Cakes)


Image Courtesy: insatiablemunch used under the Creative Commons Licence

A grilled/ steamed fish cake wrapped in banana leaves , otak-otak is made from ground fish meat sans the bones mixed with spices like chili, turmeric, and curry powder. Soy sauce and flour are added to the fish meat to get a thicker consistency. This popular street food is quite difficult to make but the mélange of flavours that bursts forth is something you just can’t miss. Check out the recipe of Otak Otak.

Koay Teow Th’ng ( Fish soup with rice noodles)


Image Courtesy: Nicholas Chan used under the Creative Commons Licence

A popular Penang road-side dish cooked in chicken, duck or pork broth with meat, fish balls tossed in oyster sauce and an additional sambal ( if required) and garnished with chillies. You can additionally add pork or chicken strips and green onions if you want. Click here for a similar recipe.

Also read about 5 must try dishes from Penang

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