One reason we went to Malaysia was because of the food. Malaysia is known for its fantastic street food. The best place to find street food is at food courts and hawker stalls. You can get food in Malaysia whenever you want, wherever you want. Hawker stalls are set up so that on both sides there are different food stalls. In the middle there are tables and chairs. You can sit wherever you want and the food you ordered will be brought to you. Food courts can be open or covered. There is always one drink stall for the entire food court selling all sorts of drinks.
Here are some of my favourite Malaysian foods:
Roti is a thin, chewy, and flaky flatbread. Roti canai is the most common roti. It is mostly eaten for breakfast with a dahl (lentil) sauce for dipping. It can also be eaten as a side dish for meals. You can also get it with other ingredients such as onions, chicken, eggs, or one of my favourites, sweetened condensed milk. If you get it with sweetened condensed milk, it is then called roti susu. Whenever we had roti for breakfast, I always had one roti canai, one roti susu along with a teh tarik (more on teh tarik later).. .not the most healthy meal for breakfast, but it sure was tasty!
There are two main types of laksa in Malaysia: Sarawak laksa and Penang laksa. Let’s start with the Sarawak laksa. It has a spicy broth with coconut milk and lime. It has thin rice vermicelli noodles topped with either chicken, prawns, or fish. Now the Penang laksa. The Penang laksa has a spicy tamarind fish broth with thick rice noodles and lime. The flavours are sour, sweet, spicy, salty, and fishy. I found laksa a bit too spicy for my tastes. My parents though loved it, and preferred the Sarawak laksa over the Penang laksa.
Chicken rice.......the name says it all! Chicken rice is a piece of chicken cut up and then put on a portion of rice cooked in chicken broth. The chicken can be steamed or roasted. The best chicken rice, in my opinion, was at the Old City foodcourt in Penang.
Wantan mee comes in two different ways, wet (in a soup) or dry. In a soup, the noodles are at the bottom and there are steamed wantans floating on the surface. If you get it dry (which I did), then it will have a soy sauce base with deep fried wantans.
Char kway teow
Char kway teow is a dish of flat, wide rice noodles fried with egg, bean sprouts, and chicken or tofu. It is very popular among food courts.
One of my favourite desserts of all time is the mango snowflake. The mango snowflake is very fine shaved ice with a sweet, yellow and white sauce poured onto it. The toppings are mango, hard jelly, and small balls that pop when they are touched.
Teh tarik is the national drink of Malaysia. Teh in Malay translates to “tea” and tarik means “pull” in English. So teh tarik is “pulled tea”. Sweetened condensed milk disolved in hot tea and thick cream is also added. This is all mixed and then poured into another glass. It is poured back and forth a few times between the two glasses to mix it up properly.
Overall, the food in Malaysia was probably my favourite on this trip because it was so good and so cheap. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
P.S. How could I forget about the satay! Satay is barbecued meat on a stick, usually done over coals. You can get chicken, pork, or beef. It comes with a delicious sweet peanut dipping sauce.