7 Malay Food You Should Try

Banana Leaf Rice

We all know that Asia’s staple food is rice, but have you tasted one that’s served on a banana leaf? Banana leaf rice – is what you’ve guessed it, rice, served on a banana leaf. With it are assortment of vegetables, curried fish or meat, cucumbers, and papadum (round and  flat crisps).  This is actually an indian cuisine influence. It’s supposed to be served with only curry sauce because it was meant to be a vegetarian dish. However, for those who are not vegetarian, they prefer theirs with meat. Eating this can get a bit messy as it is traditionally eaten using your bare hands. But with a little practice, you’ll soon get the hang of it!

Nasi Dagang

Nasi Dagang is a Malaysian food usually served during lunch time. Of course, this does not only limit to that time of meal. It is a tasty dish consisting of steamed rice in coconut milk with added ingredients like shaved coconut, fish curry, hard boiled eggs, solok lada and vegetable pickles. The best Nasi Dagang comes from the East Coast of Malaysia. It is known that Kampung Ladang, in Kuala Terengganu district, makes the best Nasi Dagang. This place is actually very famous for this dish.


This might be the most scrumptious thing you’ll ever taste. Bakuteh literally means “tea from meat bones”. It simply is made from simmered fatty pork ribs. The broth from it is then spiced using cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel seeds, dong guai and garlic. Some people prefer them with other ingredients like choy sum, tofu and mushrooms. This dish is very popular all over Malaysia and you can find this in every restaurants out there. One of the most famous bakuteh is served in Yik See Ho Restaurant located in Pudu Wet Market. Many people from Kuala Lumpur will attest to how good their bakuteh is.

Hokkien mee

This is also another Chinese-inspired dish. Hokkien mee is a dish of thick noodles. These yellow noodles are then braised in dark sauce made out of squid, pork and soy sauce. The main ingredients used in this dish is fish cakes and cabbage. If you want an extra special serve, you can have yours topped off with crispy fried pork lard. Hokkien mee is a popular dish eaten before a night out with friends. It is believed that you’ll have a longer tolerance for alcohol is you eat this ahead of time.

Sang Har Noodles

Next on the list is Sang Har noodles. This flat noodle dish is cooked with prawns freshly caught from the river. It is cooked using a thick eggy broth – Cantonese style! The prawn’s head roe just seeps and infuses with the broth. Using fresh ingredients, this noodles is definitely to die for.


What is Asian food without any meat on sticks? Satay is a very popular dish, not just ins Malaysia, but in other Asian countries as well. Each country has their own versions of it. In this case, the meats in this satay is pretty much basic. You know what they say, less is more! Malay Satay is usually yellow in color. This is due to the infused spice called turmeric – a spice also used in many curry dishes. Satay is served with hot peanut sauce or peanut gravy and rice cakes. This dish may be simple, but it’s delightfully sinful.

Nasi Kandar

Originated from Penang, Nasi Kandar is something all rice lovers will splurge on. It is a meal of steamed rice. It can be served plainly or mildly flavored by a variety of dishes. This dish is often seen at weddings, and Malay weddings are something not to miss if you are visiting.

It can be accompanied by curries, fried chicken, braised pork, okra, bitter gourd, brinjal, etc. A mixture of a thick broth or curry sauce is poured on steamed rice. The rice is then soaked just enough for the flavor to infuse on each of the grains.