Malaysia cuisine is
extremely diverse. Each racial group has contributed to the great
Malaysia gastronomic heritage. You can have a different dish daily for
a year and still not have tried them all. Generally, Malay and Indian
cuisine are spicier while Chinese cuisine is milder in taste. There
are also cuisines of other ethnic groups, and a growing range of
international cuisines. To add to appeal, eating out in Malaysia is
The interesting potpourri
of local cuisine has been complemented with cosmopolitan influences
and European, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese fare is available at
specific restaurant. There is also plenty of entertainment to be found
in virtually all states with the capital of Kuala Lumpur taking the
lead for most number of entertainment venues, restaurants , pubs and
discotheques. Malaysia also has a great variety of refreshing tropical
fruits. Some are seasonal while others are available throughout the
year. Local fruits which are especially popular include papaya,
passion fruit, water melon and pineapple.
Natural, home-grown ingredients figure prominently in Malay food.
Coconut, chili, lemon grass, lime leaves, spices and turmeric are
basic ingredients cooked with fish, meat or vegetables. A
traditional accompaniment to meal is a hot sambal made of ground
chili, prawn paste and condiments. The famous dish of satay consists
of skewers of marinated beef or chicken barbecued over charcoal and
served with a sweet and spicy peanut sauce dip. It is accompanied
with cucumber, onions and ketupat (rice cubes boiled in palm leaf)
The Chinese enjoy rice as a staple served with a number of generally
non-spicy vegetables and meat dishes but noodles feature prominently
in great variety and combinations. The noodles are usually served in
a soup base or fried with sliver of meat, prawns and vegetables.
Curried noodles usually come with chicken and taufoo
are the heart and soul of Indian cooking. But the quantity and
proportions vary with the geographical boundaries. Spices are
freshly grounded and added in many different combinations. Spices
commonly used are coriander, turmeric, cumin, chilies, fennel, and
fenugreek. Other fragrant spices added are cardamom, clove, cinnamon
and star aniseed.
Nyonya food, also referred to as Straits Chinese food, is an
interesting amalgamation of Chinese and Malay dishes thought to have
originated from the Peranakan (Straits Chinese) of Malacca over 400
years ago. This was the result of inter-marriages between Chinese
immigrants and local Malays, which produced a unique culture. Here,
the ladies are called nyonyas and the men babas.
several kinds of bananas available and varieties grown can be
grouped into two categories: those eaten raw for the fine flavour,
Jamaican banana, pisang mas, pisang rastaii and those which are made
into goreng pisang or banana fritters.
known as the starfruit because of its shape when sliced, this
fruit's yellow flesh enclosed in a crisp skin is soft and juice. Its
flavour varies from sour to sweet. Starfruit is available all year
around. Although it is eaten fresh, starfruit juice is very popular
as it is believed to lower blood pressure.
jackfruit, this is a compound fruit. Each fruit contains dozens of
seeds covered with a sweet fragrant, rich yellow flesh. When eaten
raw, the seed is discarded. A popular way of eating cempedak is to
deep-fry it in batter. The cooked seed, which tastes like young
potato, can be eaten too.
kiwi fruit, ciku is granulated and yellowish to pinkish brown in
colour and has a soft and sweet flesh.
adventurous when trying this. The locals call it the 'king of
fruits'. Controversial for its smell, this thorny football-size
fruit fetches a very high price, especially the hybrid variety. Its
flesh defies all description. You'll just have to taste it. The
durian is a seasonal fruit although commercial cultivation has made
it available most times of the year.
The guava is
usually eaten fresh. it can also be processed into juice, jam,
nectar and canned fruit slices. It is estimated to contain two to
five times the Vitamin C content of fresh orange juice. If you are
heading to Perak, do try the famous guavas of Bidor.
Langsat and Duku
a thick, golden brown skin, both the langsat and the duku are
regarded as belonging to the same species. The flavour of both
fruits varies from sweet to sour, their juicy flesh 's Ciku white in
color. Do not bite into the bitter seeds.
varieties of mango are found in Malaysia including the apple mango,
the malgoa, harumanis and mahe.
fruit is loved for its sweet slightly acidic flavour. The fruit is
round, about the size of a tennis ball, with a firm smooth rind
which turns deep crimson when it ripens.
furry fruit, indigenous to Malaysia, is largely consumed fresh
although there are rambutans canned in syrup. It is available
seasonally from roadside stalls and in markets.
also known as the shaddock, is the biggest of all citrus fruits. The
size of a soccer 6all, the pomelo has a peak harvest which coincides
with Chinese festive seasons and it is often exchanged as a gift.