Malaysia is a gastronomical paradise. We have food reigning supreme on all different levels of flavour. From sweet to savoury to umami, we have it all. It’s a no-brainer as to why people always crave our food when they leave. With that being said, with such a variety in our menu, derivates from chinese, indian, malay and nyonya cuisine, there must be a few stand-out dishes that tickles our taste buds at all time. So much so that they are considered to be quintessentially classical Malaysian dishes that can never be replaced.
- Nasi Lemak
Nasi Lemak is a fan favourite in this country. Not only is it Malaysia’s national dish but it is easily the greatest thing that has come out of Malaysia. It is so loved by consumers that you can find it everywhere and at anytime. Nasi lemak even inspires other dishes like the nasi lemak burger that is trending right now. From the fragrant coconut rice to the salty and crunchy anchovies. A little texture coming from the roasted peanuts. Spiciness kicking in from the roasted chilli paste (sambal). And not to mention the extra protein like fried chicken or sunny-side up egg. All of that resting in a beautiful banana leaf, plucked from our very own trees. A completely tropical and delicious dish!
As the reigning king of Malaysian dishes, the nasi lemak is a worth champion of our hearts and mostly our tummies. It will never and can never be replaced.
Apart from appreciation to Allah (s.w.t) and the spirit of family and togetherness, what is the best part of Raya? The food. During raya time (especially Raya Aidilfitri (Eid)), rows and rows of houses in the neighbourhood are whiffing off the spirit of celebration. Lights are brightening the streets, children playing is a sight that softens the heart and the aroma of the foods being prepared make us salivate. One of the foods that we specifically are drawn to is, none other than, rendang. From beef rendang to chicken rendang : we all line up to get into the open houses because of it. And why wouldn’t we? The succulent beef/chicken is cooked in a mixture of spices and flavours that can’t be found anywhere else.
In reality, the taste of rendang is so unique and individualised that you cannot find a similar flavour palate : making this dish as absolutely irreplaceable.
Meat on a stick? Been there, done that. But satay is more than just meat on a stick. Oh yes, it is. It is sweet and salty marinated chicken or beef skewered onto a wooden stick and grilled over a bed of hot coal. It is paired with the cooling sensations of a cucumber, the sharp and pungent flavour of raw onion and a cube of compacted cooked rice (ketupat). And to top it all off, the meat is drenched in a peanut sauce that enhances the flavour of the meat and the texture of the overall bite. Honestly, it’s a lot to handle. Satay is the exact type of pick-me-up that we all need after a stressful day at work or the type of sharing-friendly food when we watch a football/badminton match.
Every country has their version of a meat on a stick but Malaysian satay knows how to confuse but also satisfy your taste buds all at once.