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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Five Must-Try Malaysian Dishes – Make Your Tastebuds Waltz!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Five Must-Try Malaysian Dishes – Make Your Tastebuds Waltz!

The present-day Malaysian cuisine speaks of a manifold of influences from its ancient settlers, colonisation and geographical position. It has led to a symphony of flavours that primarily depend on the various culinary traditions of the multi-ethnic groups in the country.


Nasi Lemak

A traditional delight and a staple food in almost every household in Malaysia, Nasi Lemak is a dish that is loved by young and old alike. It consists of fragrant rice that is cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves. There are variations to this dish, but the traditional Malaysian delicacy a red chillisambol, anchovies, boiled eggs and roasted peanuts. Since this dish is served on banana leaves, it emanates an inviting aroma that would make your mouth water! Nasi Lemak is quite popular and available at any place that offers food in Malaysia. Vegetarians can make this tasty dish a part of their meal by specifically requesting for a vegetarian version of Nasi Lemak.



A meaty pork rib dish, BakKutTeh is highly popular not only in Malaysia but in Singapore as well. The pork ribs are simmered for a couple of hours in a herbal broth that is infused with garlic, white peppercorn, and several other aromatic herbs and flavoursome spices. The soup is said to have properties that can dissolve the fat in the pork, which makes this dish ideal for people who love pork-based dishes to enjoy a delicious meal without the worry of getting fat. Even though the word “Teh” is presented in the name, which means “Tea” in the native language, it is not associated with the ingredients of this succulent dish. It actually refers to a variety of Chinese tea that is served alongside this dish in some of the Chinese shops.



HokkienMee is a noodle meal that is rather popular in Malaysia and even Singapore. It has its roots lying in China and was popularised in Malaysia in 1905 by a Chinese settler by the name of Wong Kian Lee. The dish was traditionally cooked using charcoal which helped the noodles to lock the oil inside them. This way the dish looks more appetising and will be delicious, and would shower anyone in the vicinity with blasts of its spicy aroma, which kind of lacks in the HokkienMee variety that are cooked using gas, nowadays. The vibrant, brownish colour of the noodles is obtained by a blend of light and dark soya sauce. The ingredients of the dish such as egg, prawns, thin slices of pork, and vegetables are usually stir-fried before the noodles are added. You can revel in the tasty nuances of this dish while you’re enjoying a fabulous vacation, possibly in one of the pool villas in Malaysia.



A much-loved street food among people from near and far, Satay is skewered meat, usually, chicken or beef, that are seasoned and grilled on a charcoal fire. Before being grilled, the meat is marinated using a mélange of spices which include turmeric and lemongrass. Satay is made more flavoursome by a tasty and chunky peanut sauce that makes your tastebuds dance.



Cendol is a delicious dessert made out of rice flour along with several other ingredients. It is mixed with palm sugar and coconut milk to obtain its distinctive flavour. Spirals of green, rice-flour jelly are used to garnish this dessert. You can try out this tantalisingly delicious dessert and many more at the in-house restaurant of properties such as Anantara Desaru Coast Residences when in Malaysia.