The multi-ethnic makeup of the Malaysian population and all of their combined cooking practices and traditions, blended together, are what comprises Malaysian cuisine as we know it today.
The indigenous Malays, the Chinese, and the Indians are the three ethnic groups which comprise the majority of the peoples of Malaysia. But there are lots of other influences on Malaysian cuisine, too. Ethnic Bornean and Indonesian citizens, with light to heavy influences from British, Thai, Dutch and Portuguese cuisines – all play a part in the confluence of what is now Malaysian cuisine. This complex, multi-layered and diverse bouquet of textures and flavors is what makes Malaysian cuisine so exceptionally remarkable.
If you are familiar with the cuisines of Indonesia and Singapore, you will notice some similarities with theirs and Malaysian cuisine. Malaysia’s history shares many commonalities with Singapore, and so you will find some meals that are popular (Chicken and Laksa Rice is a standout example) in both countries.
Indonesia’s close proximity to Malaysia has also produced significant influences. Historic migrations and the cultural and ethnic kinships developed are evident in the foods of Malaysia. You will find dishes like Sambal, Rendang and Satay, varied only slightly for national preferences, in both countries.
A nationally popular dish in Malaysian cuisine, based on rice, is Nasi Lemak. Rice, steamed with pandan leaves and coconut milk imparts to it a rich fragrance. Nasi Lemak is traditionally served with sambal oelek chili paste, roasted peanuts (ikan bilis), sliced cucumber, and hard boiled eggs.
Originally in Malaysian cuisine tradition Nasi Lemak was a breakfast dish. But because of its versatility in the kinds of sides and condiments that can be served with it, Nasi Lemak can be served any time of the day. If served for the main meal of the day, a more substantial Nasi Lemak can included curries, fried chicken, and/or a spicy stewed meat dish known as Rendang.
Nasi Lemak will have the honor of being the first Malaysian Cuisine recipe published here on this new page at Ethnic Foods R Us, with Rendang to follow. But stop back soon and often, as we will be adding many more delicious meals, coming to you from the wonderful world of …
Note: For your convenience, you can click on any of the dish titles listed below, and be taken to a print-friendly page with just that one recipe of Malaysian Cuisine on it.
Laksa (Savory, rich, and spicy soup with noodles and prawns)
Mee Goreng (Spicy prawn noodles dish)
Penang Hokkien Mee (Shrimp and pork noodles dish)
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