Malaysian cuisine excites the imagination by combining various flavours from the surrounding Asian regions. This style of cooking has a long tradition, and the dishes were developed over hundreds of years. Influences and seasoning from China, India and Malay can be found in many dishes. This reflects the diversity of the region, and the most popular delicacies are often served at fine hotels in Malaysia.
The Culinary Options of Malaysia
Deciding on a dish can be difficult for people who are not used to enjoying Malaysian food. The names are often unfamiliar to travellers. This is a common dilemma, for the combination of seasoning, spices and sauces gives rise to a large number of options, yet time is always limited. Subtle combinations of seasoning are often layered, which produces a large variety of culinary offerings. The signature taste within Malaysian food is produced by special preparation methods as well as the ingredients.
Here are just a few of the intriguing dishes that travellers can expect to find in Malaysia:
1. Nasi Kerabu: This amazing Kelantan dish features blue rice, crushed telang flowers, bean sprouts, budu spices, fish sauce and fried coconut. Enjoy eating this dish with the hands.
2. Nasi Lemak: This is a breakfast item that combines hard-boiled eggs with vegetables, meat or seafood, and peanuts. The chili sauce accentuates the rice, which is cooked in coconut milk. Nasi Lemak is widely recognised as a national favourite.
3. Laksa: This is an extremely popular staple dish in Malaysia, and this spicy soup features noodles, curry spices and prawns. Variations may include fish, and the tamarind seasoning gives it a signature flavour.
4. Kuih: These tiny Malaysian pastries are sweet and satisfying. There are many different varieties, and this includes cakes, dumplings, biscuits and pastries. These textured treats are usually made from steamed rice, and they are brightly coloured. Many regional influence are represented in this recipe.
5. Roti Canai: This is a flat bread that is heavily influenced by Indian culinary traditions. The roti is a combination of flour, water and ghee. The bread is cooked on a skillet, which gives it a crispy outside. This bread is used to pick out delicious pieces of food from a combination platter.
All of these dishes reflect the long history of the region, and the ingredients are often found in the surrounding areas. For example, many Malaysian dishes feature seafood, which reflects a long tradition of fishing in the local tropical rivers. Coconut milk is found in many of the dishes offered at hotels in Malaysia, and chili peppers are used as a garnish or a main seasoning. It is common to use the hands to eat Malaysian food, and there are a variety of sauces served with dishes to use as dips.
Non-Vegetarian Malaysian Cuisine
Although the vegetarian dishes are potent and satisfying, meat and seafood lovers will find a variety of dishes to enjoy as well. Influences from Arab countries introduced onions, kebabs and almonds into dishes similar to the original satays. Indian travellers brought curry seasoning, rice pilaus and ghee. Malaysian chefs also use the Chines wok, noodles and bean sprouts. In addition to these exterior influences, Malaysian cuisine features unique methods in the northern and southern regions of the country.
The variety of dishes is truly staggering, so anyone with an interest in Malaysian cuisine is sure to find something that will satisfy the palate and excite the taste buds. Choose from a variety of curry dishes, soups, noodles, dips, spring rolls and pastries. From India to China, the entire Asian region is represented somewhere in these culinary variations.