Malaysia a country located in the south east Asian region is known for its many tourists attractions from its pristine beaches in Terengganu , to the tropical paradise of Langkawi, Malaysia is a choice destination for tourists all around the world.  However, that’s not our main focus today; we will rather be looking at a much more relishing topic like food.

Now as we know Malaysia is made of three races namely; Indian, Chinese, and Malay. So with three different races comes a variety of food that would leave your taste buds in awe of its exquisite flavours. Here are my top must try Malaysian foods.


1.Nasi Kandar

If you are visiting Malaysia for the first, you’ll hear the word nasi a lot whenever you stop by a restaurant to eat; this is because the Malay word for rice is ‘Nasi’. Nasi kandar is a local Malay dish that originated in Penang; it consists of steamed rice served with different kinds of curry such as beef, mutton, chicken, fish, and prawns. The curries are usually poured on the rice which can be eaten with side dishes such as vegetables, chicken, lady finger etc. it is advisable to eat with your hands like the locals do but if you choose not to, then dig in with those spoons. The aroma and taste of this meal is very appealing to the tongue

2.Nasi Lemak

This is another rice dish. It is interesting to know that rice is the staple food of most Asians. If you are visiting Malaysia Nasi Lemak is a must try for you. This dish is rice cooked in coconut milk, some people add Pandan (a kind of fragrant leaf) to give it a distinct kind of flavor. Considered to be the national dish of Malaysia, nasi lemak consists of a spicy sambal sauce, boiled eggs, dried anchovies (ikan bilis), fried peanut and cucumber. One may choose to add other sides to this meal such as pickled vegetable, chicken or beef. It is then wrapped in a banana leaf in the shape of a triangle. Nasi lemak is a simple and  delicious ready to eat meal which is very pocket friendly, as one wrap of it goes for about  RM3 to RM 5.

3. Satay

Satay is made of marinated chicken, beef or mutton. The meat after being marinated with spices is skewered and grilled. It is a mouth watery delicacy which can be eaten alone or dipped into the spicy nut sauce that comes with it. It is grilled in a juicy and tasty way that leaves you reaching for more.

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4. Bakuteh (BKT)

This dish consist of pork ribs cooked in broth of spices and herbs which includes garlic, mushrooms, tofu, cloves, don quay and cinnamon. BKT as it is fondly called is translated as “meat bone tea”  I don’t know why, but am guessing it’s because of the herbal and warming up feeling it gives when eating it. This aromatic soup popular among the Chinese race can also be made with chicken, or beef and eaten with either rice or noodles.

5. Roti Canai

Roti canai is flat bread that is grilled and served with curry and dhal (lentil) for dipping. This meal can be eaten at any time of the day; it can be prepared in many ways that leaves you with  varieties to choose from. You can order roti pisang (with banana) or roti telur(with egg) whatever your choice is, this meal is tasty.

6. Rendang

Redang I will say is one of my favorite dish in Malaysia. As someone who loves spicy food, rendang never disappoints. Rendang is rich in spices and very popular among the Malays. It is usually served during festive seasons like the Eid. There are many ways to prepare and eat this dish either with mutton, beef or chicken, but beef rendang still remains the al time favorite of all. It is interesting to note that rendang was recently voted by CNN International as the number dish in the world’s 50 most delicious food. So if you find yourself visiting Malaysia during the festive season I suggest you try this amazing dish.

7. Banana Leaf Rice

If you like eating with plates and spoons then this next food is not for you. Banana leaf is rice served with varieties of curry, vegetable pickles and papadom (a thin crisp flatbread) served on a banana leaf. You can also enjoy this meal with sides such as fried chicken, beef and mutton. This food is not only delicious; it is also leaves a great experience.

8. Apam Balik

Apam balik is the Malay version of pancake. This is not your regular pancake as you know it, it is  fluffy and crispy at the same time. This pancake is served with assorted toppings such as peanuts, coconut flakes,butter and even chocolate. The surface is thick with a crispy side. Apam balik can be bought from pastry vendors in street corners or at Pasar malams (night market) in and around KL.


Felicity currently heads the editorial department at Passports Beyond Borders. She has worked as a teacher for 6 years and is currently studying for her PhD in History. She enjoys reading, listening to music and counseling.




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