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Discover Malaysia Foods – Part 1

Malaysia Day is fast approaching, but how well do you know the country? Malaysia is a country rich in racial variety, rich culture, natural marvels, famous buildings, and who could forget the to-die-for native delicacies? In this post, let’s learn about the national dishes for every state in Malaysia! who knows one day you might want to try it while you’re traveling. Don’t forget to fill up your tummy as you read this because trust me, all of these foods are mouth-watering!

1. Selangor – Satay & Hokkien Mee

Satay is an Asian dish of seasoned, skewered, and grilled meat served with a sauce – Credit:

Satay is grilled meat on skewers served with a spicy peanut sauce. The meat is diverse, ranging from traditional poultry such as chicken, beef, and lamb to more gamey choices such as deer and rabbit. While it is widely accessible across Malaysia, I must admit that the greatest satay can be found in Kajang, Selangor, a remark that most Malaysians will undoubtedly agree with.

Satay is grilled on top of the fire to enhance the flavour – Credit:

Where in Selangor can you get the finest satay? Willy Satay, Sate Kajang HJ Samuri, Zaini Satay, and Satay Hut would be the recommended places for your taste buds to explore the diversity and uniqueness of each stall.

Hokkien mee is a Southeast Asian dish with roots in the Fujian province of China’s food culture. In Malaysia and Singapore, there are three unique varieties of Hokkien mee. – Credit:

The first time I had ‘Hokkien Mee’ in the Selangor/Kuala Lumpur area was an unforgettable experience for me as a traveler. Hokkien Mee is a Penang specialty consisting of springy egg noodles in a shrimp broth. It’s a slurpy, stir-fried meal with veggies and beef in Selangor. While it was not what I had intended, it was a magnificent dinner, which is why it receives my special mention for Selangor.

Selangor Hokkien Mee is slightly different compare to the Penang version. – Credit:

The dark, aromatic sauce in which the noodles are cooked is famed in the Selangor variant (also known as Char Mee). It’s the first dish I went out of my way to find as soon as I arrived! There are many awesome places in Selangor that you can get your Hokkien Mee.

2. Negeri Sembilan – Siew Pau & Masak Lemak Cili Padi

The flaky and buttery exterior of baked BBQ buns, also known as Siew Pau or Siu Bao, is ideal for an afternoon snack. – Credit:

This renowned pastry from Seremban, Negeri Sembilan’s capital, may appear modest, but it delivers a punch. You’ll bite into the most delicious and flavorful beef filling with a flaky crust. Traditionally prepared with pork, peas, and other components, alternative fillings like chicken and mushroom are also available. It’s simple to eat a dozen of these light yet savory Siew pao in one sitting!

Some Malaysians might have issues eating Siew pau due to its halal status. – Credit:

While Seremban’s legendary Siew pau is not suitable for all Malaysians due to its non-Halal status, no other dish is more associated with Negeri Sembilan. One of the primary reasons foodies come to the state is the flaky pastry, which is typically stuffed with delicious meat fillings like pig or chicken.

Where to find the best siew pao in Negeri Sembilan? Seremban Kee Mei Siew Pow, Siew Pow Master, and Empayar Seremban Siew Pow would be the most recommended places for you to try your Siew pau!

This image shows the chicken version of Masak Lemak Cili Padi. – Credit: brainstudy. info

Negeri Sembilan is most known for its Masak Lemak Cili Padi dish, which is made with coconut milk and spicy cuisine. This rich and spicy meal perfectly demonstrates the Minang cooking style. The creamy gravy is typically served with meat and vegetables and is made with coconut milk, turmeric, and sufficient quantities of chili.

Daging Salai Masak Lemak Cili Padi is also well-known in Negeri Sembilan. – Credit:

As is known, Negeri Sembilan is very famous for its spicy cuisine and coconut milk. For the people of Negeri Sembilan and fans of spicy cuisine, just hearing Masak Lemak Cili Padi will definitely remind you of the spicy and fatty taste of the gravy. The fun fact is, you can try to cook this by yourself at home! Hey Google! Get me the recipe for Masak Lemak Cili Padi.

3. Melaka – Chicken Rice Balls & Asam Pedas

Why don’t you try these fascinating chicken rice balls next time you arrive in Melaka? – Credit:

In most chicken rice dishes, the chicken is the star, but this is not the case with Melaka! The rice balls, rather than the usual plate of rice, are what makes this meal so famous in Melaka. It’s no wonder that booths selling them can be found throughout Melaka because these chicken rice balls are not only entertaining to eat but also delicious. A typical dinner includes the standard condiments you’d expect with chicken rice, such as chili and soy sauce.

Chicken rice balls might seem cute and small, but you should count the calories for each ball! – Credit:

Malacca’s chicken rice balls are a local favorite. Clearly, because you can eat your chicken with adorable tiny rice balls. Just keep an eye on how many of those balls you put in your mouth! They’re still composed of rice, as cute as they are, and the more you consume, the more calories you gain. The nightmare… Anyway, you can try this fascinating chicken rice ball at Kedai Kopi Chung Wah, Hoe Kee Chicken Rice
and Ee Ji Ban Chicken Rice Balls once you touched down at Melaka!

Asam Pedas is actually tasted just exactly like its name, savourly and spicy. – Credit:

Shout out to their Asam Pedas! This sour and spicy dish is popular among Melaka’s Peranakan ethnicity. Asam Pedas is a dish prepared with tamarind juice and a variety of spices that is usually served with freshwater fish. Though it’s most commonly served with fish, it may also be served with other seafood. A variety of vegetables, including lady’s finger, brinjal, and long beans, are also included in the meal.

People usually match Asam Pedas with a plate of warm cooked rice and a little bit of sambal to enhance the flavor. – Credit:

If you go to Melaka, don’t you feel something off when you don’t get to taste their signature Asam Pedas, right? There must be many who are looking for spicy sour with inherited recipes. In fact, many places to eat in Melaka serve spicy sour cream as it is a special and unique menu in Melaka. Make sure to get your Asam Pedas at the local stall, okay?

4. Johor – Laksa Johor & Biryani Gam

Malaysia and Laksa it unseparatable, right? However, Laksa Johor is on a whole new level! – Credit:

Laksa Johor, unlike other Malaysian laksa recipes, utilizes spaghetti instead of rice noodles. That’s right, spaghetti, like in spaghetti bolognese. Despite the dish’s westernization, traditional laksa toppings like shredded cucumber, bean sprouts, and herbs remain. That’s what I call fusion cuisine!

Locals have said that it is more delicious to eat with hands compare to utensils. – Credit:

Also, due to the thick soup, this is the only laksa meal that you will be asked to enjoy with your hands, and truthfully, doing so will enrich the whole delicious taste. Pakai tangan nanti lagi sedap tau! So, the next time you’re in Johor, don’t forget to get your hands messy with a scrumptious portion of this delicious noodle dish, complete with cucumber, bean sprouts, long beans, Daun kesum, and Daun selasih. You’ll be requesting more!

Biryani Gam is slightly different compared to other Biryani due to the way it’s been cooked. – Credit:

Despite its popularity across Malaysia, biryani appears to be especially popular in Johor. Turmeric-coated rice (delicious!) and juicy meat chunks in the sauce make up this classic meal. It’s as simple as that. Isn’t it simple guys? However, the aromatic scent of biryani and the savory side dishes never fail to satisfy.

Biryani Gam is commonly being served with beef or chicken, and also papadom! – Credit:

Beriani Gam is an adapted variation of this famous rice meal that originated in Johor, primarily Muar and Batu Pahat. In the Gam variation, the Beriani rice is layered with marinated meat and cooked in the same pot. Because it’s naturally imbued with spice and natural meat flavors, this results in a more fragrant pot of Beriani rice.

Gosh! I’m drooling while writing this! Malaysia is more than meets the eye, and all it takes is a little exploration and curiosity on your side. Regardless, I hope that these food-related posts make you proud of our beautiful country and encourage you to enjoy the unity and peaceful social environment that Malaysia has to offers.

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