With its multicultural history, Malaysian cuisine is a melting pot of cooking traditions and styles influenced by indigenous people, traders, colonizers, and migrants. Malaysia’s geographical location on the crossroads of the Asian spice trade routes has played an important role in the formation of modern Malaysian cuisine. Contributions made by Malay, Chinese, Indian, and other ethnic groups made Malaysian food unique with a splendid array of flavors. Colorful, flavorful, and fiery are the words that describe Malaysian cuisine.
In Part 1 of Malasian Cuisine, I will be talking about 4 dishes I tried in Johor Bahru: Nasi Lemak, Roti Jala, Laksa Nyonya, and Nasi Ambeng. I very much enjoyed all of them and plan on adding them to my menu, and I have to admit that my taste buds went on a wild ride during my trip to Malaysia.
Nasi Lemak, unofficial national dish of Malaysia, is one of the most popular Malay dishes. It comes in many varieties, but the traditional Nasi Lemak consists of the rice cooked in coconut milk with pandan leaf, fried anchovies, fried peanuts, cucumber slices, sambal (spicy chili sauce), and a hard-boiled or fried egg. Fried chicken, fried fish, or beef stewed in coconut milk are added to the dish for a protein rich meal. Even though it is commonly eaten for breakfast, Nasi Lemak is widely available throughout the day in restaurants and with street vendors.