Don’t leave Malaysia without first trying these delicious street food
Malaysia is one of the best countries in the world for trying hawker food. Straightforward, often spicy and great value, hawker food is a staple for Malaysians. Here are some popular favourites found in most hawker centres.
This dish is made up of fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves, served with spicy sambal chilli paste, fried anchovies and peanuts, sliced cucumber and egg, whether hard boiled or fried. Most places serve nasi lemak wrapped in banana leaf, giving the dish an even more enticing aroma. Some places offer additional side dishes, such as crispy spiced fried chicken, squid in chilli paste or beef rending, which is beef cooked in spices and chilli.
There are variations of this noodle dish in most hawker centres, but the most popular style is from Penang. The prawn mee (noodle) is usually served with either plain yellow noodles or a mix of yellow noodles and vermicelli, in a bowl of steaming hot, spicy prawn broth. The dish is topped with sliced meat, shrimp, slices of hard boiled eggs and greens. The spice level differs from stall to stall, however, should you require an added kick ask the cook for extra chilli paste.
Another noodle dish popular at hawker stalls is curry laksa. Served similarly with yellow noodles or a mix with vermicelli, the broth of this dish is made using chilli paste and coconut milk, giving it a rich and creamy taste. It contains chicken pieces, bean sprouts and fried tofu skin, and some hawkers will add roast pork, clotted pig’s blood and fish maw slices as additional toppings.
If you like your soup to be spicy and sour, try assam laksa. Served with rice noodles, this thick, spicy, sour fish broth comes with fish pieces, julienned pineapple and cucumber, sliced onions, mint leaves and bunga kantan (ginger flower). An additional serving of sweet, thick prawn paste is served on the side should you prefer the broth to be less spicy, or if you like the rich taste in your broth.