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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Must-try Malaysian Dishes – Delectable Local Favourites
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Must-try Malaysian Dishes – Delectable Local Favourites

When travelling to exotic Asian countries, sampling local dishes makes it to the top of everyone's MUST DO list. Here are some you can't miss out on when in Malaysia.


Nasi dagang

Stemming from the areas of Eastern regions of Malaysia such as Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu, Nasi dagang is made from steamed rice cooked in coconut milk and served with a delicious fish curry and accompanied by sides such as shaved coconut, hard boiled eggs, solok lada and pickled vegetables. Most commonly eaten as a breakfast meal, Nasi dagang is praised as being the best dish in the country, and will also be served during lunch or dinner. The fish curry is cooked with ikan tongkol , a type of tuna found off the coast of the country. The rice is usually of the red long grain variety, however this varies on the region, where comparitvely, Terengganu uses fragrant white rice as opposed to the red used in Kelantan. Nasi dagang is a popular dish served in many a Sepang restaurant and those found in hotels such as AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort have an entire restaurant dedicated to local cuisine.


Nasi Kandar

Originating from Penang in north Malaysia, Nasi Kandar consists of steamed rice; plain or flavoured, served with a range of curries and sides. Some of the meat items that are accompanied with this dish include cubed beef, fried prawns or squid, fish roe, mutton curry or fried chicken. The vegetables that are served with this dish include brinjals, okra or bitter gourd. To complete the meal, the sauces from the curries are mixed well and drizzled over the rice to ensure every mouthful of rice has a combination of exotic delectable flavours. For a new experience, try eating this dish with your hands!


Fresh River Prawns

There's nothing like a serving for fresh river prawns to indulge in when you're on a vacation in Malaysia. Locals from around the country make their way to Tanjung Tualang, Perak to sample the best serving of a fresh and delectable taste of crustacean dishes. Most restaurants in the area will serve the fresh prawns in various styles and flavours – be sure to at least try two different ones!



Being a tropical country, Malaysia is blessed with a variety of juicy fruits! Rojak actually stems from Indonesia, but has largely been adopted by Malaysians as part of their diet. The dish is a serving of sliced fruits and vegetables drizzled in a dressing of spicy palm sugar. This fruit salad is somewhat tangy and spicy and is popular with tourists. This dish can also be served with squid fritters!


Penang Satay

Penang Satay is a popular street food that is tasty and flavoursome. Penang satay consist of marinated strips of meat like pork, chicken, or beef, grilled on bamboo skewers and accompanied with a serving of cucumber and raw onions. Some street stalls serve the satay with a compressed rice cake that covered in a palm leaf.