1. Bak Kut Teh
The root meaning for the dish, “Bak Kut” (Hokkien dialect) is the term for meaty ribs, at its simplest cooked with garlic, dark soy sauce and a specific combination of herbs and spices which have been boiled for many hours. Popularly regarded as a health tonic, this soup is historically eaten by hard working Chinese coolies working on the wharfs at Port Swettenham (now Port Klang) and clearing estates, accompaniment with strong tea (“Teh”) on the side. There are some differences in seasoning amongst other Chinese communities; the Teochew prefer a clear broth which is heavier on garlic and pepper, while the Cantonese may include additional varieties of medicinal herbs and spices. Variations include the so-called chik kut teh (made with chicken and a version that is gaining popularity with Muslim diners), seafood bak kut teh, and a “dry” (reduced gravy) version which originated from the town of Klang.
2. Chai tow kway
A common dish in Malaysia made of rice flour. It also known as fried radish cake, although no radish is included within the rice cakes, save perhaps the occasional addition of preserved radish (Chinese: 菜圃) during the cooking process. Seasonings and additives vary from region, and may include bean sprouts and eggs.
3. Char kway teow
Stir fried rice noodles with bean sprouts, prawns, eggs (duck or chicken), chives and thin slices of preserved Chinese sausages. Cockles and lardons were once standard offerings, but mostly relegated to optional additions these days due to changing taste preferences and growing health concerns. Penang-style char kway teow is the most highly regarded variant both in Malaysia as well as abroad.
4. Chee cheong fun
A square rice sheets made from a viscous mixture of rice flour and water. This liquid is poured onto a specially made flat pan in which it is steamed to produce the square rice sheets. The steamed rice sheets is rolled or folded for ease in serving. It is usually served with tofu stuffed with fish paste. The dish is eaten with accompaniment of semi sweet fermented bean paste sauce, chilli paste or light vegetable curry gravy. Up north in the city of Ipoh, certain stalls serve the dish with a red sweet sauce, thinly sliced pickled green chillies and fried shallots.
5. Chicken rice
Chicken rice is one of the most popular Chinese-inspired dishes in Malaysia. Hainanese chicken rice (Chinese : 海南雞飯) is the best known version: it is prepared with the same traditional method used for cooking Wenchang chicken, which involve steeping the entire chicken at sub-boiling temperatures within a master stock until cooked, to ensure the chicken meat becomes moist and tender. The chicken is then chopped up, and served with a bowl or plate of rice cooked in chicken fat and chicken stock, along with another bowl of clear chicken broth and a set of dips and condiments. Sometimes the chicken is dipped in ice to produce a jelly-like skin finishing upon the completion of the poaching process. In Malacca, the chicken rice is served shaped into balls.
6. Curry Mee or Laksa
A bowl of thin yellow noodles mixed with bihun in a spicy curry soup enriched with coconut milk, and topped with tofu puffs, prawns, cuttlefish, chicken, long beans, cockles and mint leaves, with sambal served on the side. It is often referred to as curry laksa.
7. Nasi Lemak
A popular dish based on rice in Malaysia is nasi lemak, rice steamed with coconut milk and pandan leaves to give it a rich fragrance. Of Malay origin, nasi lemak is frequently referred to as the national dish. It is customarily served with ikan bilis, peanuts, sliced cucumber, hard boiled eggs and sambal. Although it is often considered a breakfast dish, because of the versatility of nasi lemak in being able to be served in a variety of ways, it is commonly eaten at any time of the day. For a more substantial meal, nasi lemak may be served with fried chicken, curries, or a spicy meat stew called rendang.
Hokkien/Teochew-style crepe stuffed and rolled up with cooked shredded tofu and vegetables like turnip and carrots. The Peranakan version contains julienned bangkuang (jicama) and bamboo shoots, and the filling is seasoned with tauchu (fermented soybean paste) and meat stock. Another variation consists of popiah doused in a spicy sauce. Popiah can also be deep fried and served in a manner similar to the mainstream Chinese spring roll.
One of Malaysia’s most popular foods, Satay (written as sate in Malay) is made from marinated beef and chicken pieces skewered with wooden sticks and cooked on a charcoal grill. It is typically served with compressed rice cut onions, cucumber, and a spiced peanut gravy for dipping. The town of Kajang in Selangor is famous for its satay; Sate Kajang is a term for a style of sate where the meat chunks are bigger than that of a typical satay, and the sweet peanut sauce is served along with a portion of fried chilli paste
10. Sup Kambing
A hearty mutton soup slow simmered with aromatic herbs and spices, and garnished with fried shallots, fresh cilantro and a wedge of calamansi lime. Variants include substituting mutton with beef (Malay: daging), beef ribs (Malay: tulang), or oxtail (Malay: buntut) to make soup with the same herbs and spices. In Malaysia, sup Kambing is influenced by the Malay and Malaysian Indian ethnic groups, where the use of spices is quite notable.
11. Chilli crab
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