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Food :: An Introduction to Malaysian Food
Malaysia is a country with rich culture.
The population is made of mainly
Malay, Chinese and Indians while the
Borneo sub origins made out the most
of west Malaysian population.
Malaysian food, of course is very much
reflective of the diversity of the people
staying here. Located at the Southeast
Asia, Malaysia is in between Thailand
and Singapore while West Malaysia is
next to the Sulawesi and Philippines.
It doesn't take an adventurous traveler
or food enthusiast to appreciate
Malaysian food. There are just so much
to choose from, whether traditional or modern cuisines, deem to satisfy the choosiest tastes buds.
The staple food in Malaysia is rice, just like the other Asian countries. Due to its sunny weather all
year round, fruits and vegetables are in abundance while meat, poultry and seafood is inexpensive
and readily available. Malaysian food, just like its people, is divided into Malay, Chinese and Indian
and is still prepared by their own unique ways.
Malay food, in general is rich with herbs like lemongrass, tamarind, dried and fresh chilies, ginger
and garlic. Malay dishes can be distinguished into a few methods of cooking namely masak merah
(tomato sauce), masak lemak (coconut milk), masak asam (sourish tamarind) and masak pedas
(spicy). Popular dishes that cannot be missed are such as nasi lemak (coconut milk steamed rice),
sambal belacan (shrimp paste with pounded chilies), beef rending (dried curry) and serunding (beef
floss). Satay, or barbequs meat on a stick, is originated from Malay cuisine has presence in
restaurants all over the world today.
Indian food, on the other hand, has very much integrated northern Indian and southern Indian
cuisines when they reach Malaysian shores. Popular for their curries, banana leaf rice and breads
such as chapati, naan and roti (prata in some countries). Indian food has also been assimilated with
Malay food through their mix marriages of Indian Malay. The resultant is Mamak food, which cannot
be found in India, itself. Examples are like teh tarik (tea with milk), murtabak and rojak (mixture of
fruits with peanut sauce).
Chinese food, like Indian food, has been assimilated with local cuisines. In China itself, Chinese are
divided into so many provinces namely the Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien, Hainan, Teochew and so
forth. In Malaysian, Cantonese food makes the most presence with its stir fry and steaming method.
Chinese dishes such as dim sum, sweet and sour dishes, char siew (sweet barbecued pork),bak kut
teh (herbal soup) are a few popular dishes. Steamboat or fondue is also widely available and can be
a great experience.
There is no denial, Malaysia is a food heaven. Restaurants open very early through wee hours in the
morning. There is food for every budget. Sometimes a hearty meal come with a small price, yet does
not compromised on varieties. Head down to street stalls in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the country
and you will know what I mean.