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home > Malaysia and Singapore > Malaysia and Singapore Food 




Food Type and Description

myMalaysiabooks share with you the assortment of food available in Malaysia and Singapore. Read the description of food - to select your choice food and sample all the delightful food of Asia in Malaysia. 

On this page

Rice Dishes  

Nyonya Cuisine

Malay Food  

Indian Food

Nasi Lemak Malaysia - Coconut rice with sambal ikan billis

Nasi Lemak with sambal ikan billis


Penang Char Kueh Teow / Char koay teow

Penang Char Kueh Teow


Rice Dishes

Nasi Kunyit - Yellow glutinous rice with curryRice is the staple food of the country. Some of the rice meals you can order or buy at eating places or restaurants are:

Nasi lemak (photo above)- rice cooked in coconut milk, served with ikan bilis (anchovies), egg, groundnuts and cooked sambal (chilies). Sold usually at roadside stalls. (most popular: Malay; Chinese)

Nasi ayam (chicken rice) - Chicken rice is white rice cooked with chicken stock and served with roasted, boiled chicken (Chinese stalls also server roasted duck and pork) or roasted and deep fried chicken. (usually Chinese or Malay)

Nasi biryrani  - is rice cooked with spices and prepared by placing layers of the spiced rice with pieces of spiced-cooked lamb, mutton or chicken, then garnished with almonds and raisins. (Indian-Muslim or Malay)

Nasi daun pisang (banana leaf rice) - an Indian rice meal served on a banana leave. White rice is served on leaf with an assortment of vegetables, curried meat, fish or vegetables and papadum (crispy cracker made from flour with spices).

Nasi kandar – an Indian-Muslim rice meal of white or spiced rice served with a selection of spicy curry, vegetables and side dishes. Rice is cooked without the meat, unlike nasi biryani. (Indian-Muslim)

Nasi kunyit - yellow rice, cooked from glutinous rice with coconut milk and turmeric; usualy served with chicken curry (Malay and Nyonya)

Nasi Ulam - rice mixed with vegetables, a variety of local aromatic herbs, grounded salted fish, desiccated coconut, etc. Popular in Kedah.

Pulut inti - glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk and served with grated coconut mixed wit palm sugar (brown sugar)

Chinese Rice Dumplings - glutinous rice with or without meat wrapped in lotus leaves to cook....recipe here

     Rice is also popularly mad into Malaysian kueh, especially in the rice growing states of  Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu

Malaysian food recipes here

Nyonya Food and Recipes here

Malaysian Kueh 


Nonya Food

Nyonya Acar Ikan - spicy pickled fish - nyonya styleNyonya Cuisine (Peranakan food) is a blend of Chinese and Malay cooking styles, that originates from the Peranakans or Baba & Nyonya (Nonya) of Malaysia and Singapore. Nyonya (or Nonya) food from Penang, Melaka (Malacca) and Singapore differ somewhat in tastes due to influences of other cultures.

Nyonya food Penang - influenced by Malay and Thai cooking.

Melaka Nonya food - influenced by European and Malay styles.

Singapore Nonya food - more Chinese then Malay influence, less spicy.  

Some Nyonya food and recipes

Acar Ikan

Pickled Fish - small fried fish soaked in sauce of oil, tamarind, garlic

Acar Awak

Pickled vegetables - carrots, long beans, cucumber, etc, cooked with ginger, turmeric, garlic and vinegar

Asam Pedas

Light, sour curry of fish and pineapple.

asam pedas, Malaysian curry

Bubur Cha Cha

A sweet dessert of yam, sweet potatoes, sago and bananas cooked in coconut milk

bubur cha-cha


chilli crab


Jui Hu Char - nyonya-hokkien fried vegetable dish

jui hu char


pulut inti, Nonya and Malay food

pulut inti


hokkien mee


Chilli Crab

Spicy stir-fried crab. Fresh crab is cooked with grounded chillies, lemon grass, turmeric, lengkuas, belacan, onions, garlic and tomatos.

.......our chilli crab recipe.

Jiu Hoo Char

Fried vegetables of shredded carrots and turnip with shredded cuttlefish

Sambal Kangkong

Fried kangkong in chillies and shrimp

........our recipe

Sambal belacan

Pounded chillies with prawn paste/cake

Other popular sambal is sambal udang which is of grounded dried shrimps cooked with sambal and spices.

Nasi Ulam


Rice with shredded herbs, vegetables and salted fish

...nasi ulam recipe

Nasi Kunyit

Glutinous rice spiced with turmeric, served with chicken curry

Pulut inti


glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk and served with grated coconut mixed with palm sugar (brown sugar)

Nonya Kueh

Malaysian cakes usually of rice, rice flour, other flour and is usually steamed.


Steamed spicy fish cake

Perut Ikan

Spicy and sour herb and vegetable curry cook with some fish intestines

Malaysian Nyonya recipes here

Malaysian Kueh 

Chinese New Year Recipes


Note: Nyonya Food or Peranakan Cuisine originates from the Peranakans or Baba and Nonyas. Baba and Nyonya refer to early Chinese migrants who came to the Malay peninsular from the 18th century to 19th century. Some married Malays or are decendents of 'old' Chinese families who assimilated many cultural practices of the Malays into their Chinese culture. Though their cultural practices and spoken dialect differ from that of Chinese, they are administratively not classified as a cultural group and are classified as Chinese. (Nyonya is spelt Nonya in Singapore)

Malay Food

Malay Cuisine is typically spicy and as varied as the spices used. The origin of Malay food is linked to the history of Indian and Middle eastern migration to the country. Curried dishes and kueh (Malaysian cakes) are the main and popular favourite of Malaysians. Each state in Malaysia has its native specialty.         

Some local favourite are:


a traditional Malay sweet cake made from mainly glutinous rice flour, rice flour and coconut milk


kerabu is a type of salad of Malaysian or Thailand origins. It is usually made from fruits (such as pineapple or mango), vegetables, chillies and fresh herbs (such as ginger flower, mint, etc. and sometime with rice.

- e.g. nasi kerabu (of rice and vegetables), kerabu taugeh (of bean sprout), kerabu timbun (of cucumber), etc.


Laksa KedahRice noodles garnish with vegetables and served in a spicy, sour fish flake light gravy. (photo)


Fruit salad topped with a spicy sauce of shrimp paste and toasted nuts.

Nasi goreng

(fried rice)

Fried rice is not only favoured by the Malays but also Chinese, usually fried with eggs. Nasi goreng kampong, Malaya-style is usually slightly hot and spicy and a variety of nasi goreng cooked Chinese style

Nasi Lemak

Rice cooked in coconut milk served usually with chilli paste of anchovies (sambal ikan billis), egg and cucumber. Nasi Lemak is usually served wrapped in banana leaves. (photo top)

Nasi Tomato

Rice cooked in tomato sauce and spices - usually taken with some other dishes

Pulut Udang

Glutinous rice flavoured with coconut, with spicy prawn fillings; wrapped in banana leaf and grilled 


sambal ikan (sambal fish) MalaysiaSambals are condiments made of chillies, onions, dry shrimp paste and other spices. Most popular type of sambals in Malaysia are:

sambal belacan: the most common sambal (hot condiment in Malaysia especially in the state of Kedah. Made from chillies, onions, dry shrimp paste and seasoned with salt, sugar and lime.

sambal ikan billis: Anchovies (ikan billis) cooked in a hot mix of chillies, onions, belacan (shrimp paste), etc. This is usually served with nasi lemak.

sambal udang: Shrimps are cooked with sambal belacan and other spices. The Nyonya style is of grounded dried shrimps cooked with sambal and spices.


Malaysian food recipes here

Malaysian Kueh

Malaysian Nyonya recipes here


Chinese food

Chinese cuisine in Malaysia is mainly Hokkien, Cantonese, Hainanese and Hakka (of different dialect group). Chinese food is generally less spicier than Malay or Indian food. However due to the influence of other cultures, Chinese cuisine in Malaysia and Singapore is unique, and often different from dishes found in China or Taiwan. However, you can certainly find internationally common Chinese food such as tim sum, Peking duck, Chicken rice, noodle soup, etc.

  Chinese in the northern part of West Malaysia (Penang and Kedah) cook mainly Nyonya Style food, whereas those in and around KL and Ipoh stick to Hakka or Cantonese cooking. Some of the many Chinese food are:

Bak kut teh (pork rib tea)

 a popular aromatic herbal soup or ‘tea’ made of pork (usually pork ribs) cooked in Chinese herbs. Served for breakfast or lunch meal with rice. Packets of read-made ‘bak kut teh’ containing the herbal ingredients are available at supermarkets.  In a Muslim country like Malaysia, you will find Chinese shops serving 'Chik Kut Teh' - chicken replacing pork as the main ingredients, to cater to the Muslims as well.

chicken rice

broiled or roasted chicken served with rice. (Hainanese, best place to eat is in KL or Ipoh)

Sweet & Sour Fish

Fish such as Grouper is deep fried whole till crispy and served with a cooked sweet and sour sauce of pineapple, chillis and onions and tomatoes.

Yong Tau Foo

Tofu stuffed with Fish Mousse, served with chilli sauce.

clay pot rice

rice cooked with pork sausage, salted fish and chicken in a clay pot

Chinese noodles

Hokkien Mee, popular in Penang, MalaysiaChinese noodles are common Malaysian Hawker food or street food and are fabulous. Typical local Chinese noodle dish differ significantly from those you get in China. Try Penang hawker food such as char kueh teow, hokkien mee, chee cheong fun, jawa mee (details in My Penang). In Ipoh, try wan tan mee or Ipoh kueh teow soup.

More in Penang Hawker food

Nyonya Food

Food common in Penang, Kedah, Melaka (see top of page)


Malaysian Chinese and Nyonya food recipes here

Malaysian Kueh

Penang Char Kway Teow, Nasi Lemak, peanut cookies


Indian Food

Indian cuisine found in most places in Malaysia is usually of Indian-Muslim or South Indian origin. The most popular Indian Muslims food is the pasembur, murtabak and nasi kandar. Indian pancakes such as tosei, chapati and roti canai, served with an assortment of curry are favourite breakfast meals. Some popular Indian food are:


an assortment of shredded vegetables (turnip, cucumber, bean sprout) and deep fried dough made from flour, spices with some prawns. Served with a  hot and spicy dressing and dusted with a sprinkling of ground peanuts.

Roti canai

flat pancake of wheat flour served with curry


flat pancake made of atta (wholemeal) flour served with curry

Mee Goreng

noodles fried with egg, bean sprout, bean curd and vegetables.

Nasi Kandar

 rice meal of white or spiced rice served with a selection of spicy curry, vegetables and side dishes.

Fish head curry

 hot curry immensely popular with Malaysian. It is spicy curry prepared with large-sized heads of cods, groupers, salmons or red snappers.


thin pancake shaped on a flat plate, made from rice floor, served with curry.

Banana leaf rice

white rice served with an assortment of curry and condiments on a banana leaf.


Chutney is an Indian condiment similar to achar. It is usually served with curry, meat and vegetables. Sweet chutney is used as a spread for crackers or bread as a snack or small meal. Mango is the most common fruit used for making chutney. It can be served as a condiment for a formal meal or as a dip or spread with tortilla chips or crackers. Mango chutney has a tasty, sweet and sour taste uniquely combined.

Mango chutney recipe HERE


Malaysian food recipes here

Malaysian Kueh

Malaysian Nyonya recipes here


Local Food  Recipes

Malaysia and Singapore Food and Recipes

Malaysian Chinese New Year cookies

Nyonya (Nonya) Food or Peranakan Food

Malay Food, Chinese Food and Indian Food

Malaysian cakes, pancakes cookies, kueh / kuih

Chinese New Year Cakes and Cookies

Penang Char Kway Teow, Nasi Lemak, peanut cookies


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