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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 10 Amazing Dishes from Malaysia – A Taste of Malaysia
Joanna James Joanna James
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10 Amazing Dishes from Malaysia – A Taste of Malaysia

Malaysia is a food lovers' paradise with its plethora of flavours borrowed from many cultures. Here are some of the top picks.


Mee goreng mamak

Mee goring mamak is comfort food at its best. You get yellow noodles, tender pieces of beef, vegetables, crunchy shrimp and eggs laced with soy sauce and sprinkled with chilli flakes. The dish is of Indian Muslim origin, but you can get it anywhere from street food stalls in Jakarta to any Sepang restaurant.


Apam balik

Whether you get it for breakfast from a hotel such as Avani Sepang Gold Coast Resort or simply watch a hawker stall vendor whip one up, Apam balik is a sensational dish. It is a pancake style snack loaded with sugar, peanuts and sometimes even a sprinkle of corn. Each chef seems to reinvent Apam balik to suit his or her style.


Nasi kerabu

This Kelantanese dish is actually blue in colour. The blue hues are the result of telang flowers (butterfly pea flower) being crushed and mixed into flour. It is, in fact, a herb rice dish presented with a choice of protein. Loaded with herbs, vegetables and enticing condiments as well as fish and meat, Nasi Kerabu comes in slightly different varieties. Most Nasi Kerabu dishes, however, are infused with the essence of telang flowers and presented with bean sprouts, fried coconut and spicy 'budu' (fermented fish sauce).


Nasi Lemak

Another rice dish, Nasi Lemak is sometimes even called Malaysia's unofficial national dish. It is prepared with rice cooked in coconut milk and presented with a number of other accompaniments. You'll get to bite into hard boiled eggs, crunchy peanuts, various fresh vegetables and chicken or beef curry and seafood with your Nasi lemak. Don't forget to add a good amount of sambal (chilli sauce) to your dish.


Roti john

Roti john is a delectable grilled sandwich enclosing meat, egg and a large amount of various condiments. This Malaysian sandwich pays tribute to the country's strong love affair with flavours. You can choose from mayonnaise, ketchup, barbeque sauce or chilli sauce or else drown your sandwich in a bath of sauces.



Rendang is made with chicken, beef or lamb slowly simmered over a fire. The cauldron of spices, coconut cream and meat are allowed to absorb all the best flavours over a long time. The broth while it is being cooked looks rosy but by the time the dish is declared ready the juices all disappear, leaving behind all of its succulent goodness. Rendang is a favourite festive food. It is basically a spicy meat dish served at ceremonial occasions to honour guests.


Nasi kandar

Nasi kandar as the name indicates is another rice dish. It is served with your choice of toppings which include curry, an egg, fish and okra. You can find this dish across Malaysia at shops run by ethnic Indian Muslims.



A spicy noodle dish made with wheat noodles or rice vermicelli, Laksa dishes contain chicken, fish or prawn bathing in a fiery broth made of either coconut milk or sour asam (tamarind or gelugur). Laksa is a staple in Malaysia.


Popia basah

Popia basah are basically enormous spring rolls. Malaysian Popia basah are stuffed with fried onions, turnips and bean sprouts.



You'll spot burbur vendors with their steel pots and matching labels taking centre stage at the stall. Burbur is a porridge made with coconut milk, a delicious medley of vegetables, meat and flour balls (dyed).