Malaysia is one of the most exotic regions within South Asia. Many tourists visit this delightful country on a yearly basis- for honeymoons, vacations, and its beautiful scenery or to escape from their daily routines. Malaysia is also known for its exotic and delectable foods.
If you are a rice lover, you are in for a treat. The Malaysians are very good at diversifying rice. They cook rice in different ways that add to its flavor and leave you wanting more. Malaysian Nasi Dagang is one of the most popular foods of the country. The dish consists of rice steamed in coconut milk and fish curry. Extra ingredients are added to make the dish more sensational and to add to its taste. These ingredients include green and red chilies that are stuffed with mackerel (also known as solok lada), vegetable pickles and hard-boiled eggs. This is often eaten for breakfast.
Nasi Lemak is another popular Malaysian dish. This dish consists of white rice, soaked in coconut cream and after this it is steamed, leaving the rice with the aroma of coconut. The rice is, then, wrapped in banana leaf or it may be served without the leaf and eaten with a variety of side dishes. A stalk of lemon grass or pandan leaf may be used in order to add to the fragrance of the rice. A spicy sauce, hard-boiled egg, roasted peanuts, slices of cucumber and dried anchovies (called ikan bilis in their native language) are a part of this dish which makes it all the more delicious.
Nasi Kandar is a dish consistent of steamed or mildly flavored rice. This is served with a number of side dishes and curries. Side dishes usually involve cubed beef, fried chicken, fried prawns, fried squid and/or fish roe. Mixtures of curries are poured over the rice to give it an amazing, mouthwatering aroma and the mix usually consists of fish, chicken and dhal.
The Malaysians are also experts at offering a range of noodles which are made in different ways. The Hokkien Mee is a dish of thick yellow noodles that are braised in soy sauce, squid and cabbage and cubes of fried pork lard.
Another sort of noodles is the flat noodles known as Sang Har noodles. These noodles are added to a dish of fresh river water prawns, cooked in a broth of eggs and San Har noodles. The dish is known as Sang Har Kwey Teow.
In addition to rice, there are a number of other dishes that are offered which are just as delicious as the dishes mentioned above. One such dish is barbecued pork (Charsiew) which is a dish made of fatty strips of pork (usually the shoulder cut) placed in an oven, or over a fire, and skewered with a long fork. The pork strips are seasoned in honey, tofu (which is fermented), soy sauce and spice powder. Sometimes, sugar may be used instead of honey to give the pork a shiny glaze and a caramelized exterior. Once the dish is cooked the sugar and seasoning leave the outer layer with a beautiful, and dark red color.
Let’s not forget the desserts!
Pulut Hitam is one of Malaysia’s most well-known desserts. The name of the dessert means “black glutinous rice dessert” and this is cooked in porridge form. Milk, coconut cream or ice cream is added to the glutinous black rice- the rice may be served warm or cold. Another well-known (though not famous) dessert is the ice cream sandwich- the dessert is made of colored (yes, colored) bread and a scoop (or more) of ice cream which is literally wrapped between the bread.