Street food culture: Malaysia Edition

  • Street food culture: Malaysia Edition

    Posted by Vanessa Therese on August 13, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    The street food culture in Malaysia is also very much a part of Malaysian life and reflects the diversity of Malaysia’s many ethnic groups such as Chinese, Indian, Malay or other ethnicities. Thus, visitors to Malaysia will find that there are plenty of dishes to appeal to their diverse tastes and bums to sit on! Do share your favourite street food in Malaysia here!

    Charles Tan replied 2 years, 8 months ago 14 Members · 16 Replies
  • 16 Replies
  • Rory Lo

    August 13, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    For me, my favourite street food culture is Nasi lemak tepi jalan (which basically mean by the roadside) . Nasi Lemak is a dish popular in Malaysia. “Nasi” means rice while “lemak” means fat or greasy in Malay. It consists of rice which is cooked with coconut milk, dried anchovies and curry meatballs. It is served on the side of crispy roast peanuts, hard-boiled eggs and starchy vegetables such as pumpkin or taro root. Sometimes the curried meatballs are replaced with grilled chicken or fish. The dish is found everywhere in Malaysia. However, most of the nasi lemak found in Malaysia is heavily influenced by Indian spices.

    The dish originated in Malaysia, where it is generally available for breakfast or supper. It is also popular in Indonesia and Singapore (where it is called nasi lemak). It can also be found in Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam by different names. It is also found available in restaurants or stalls and food stalls in Indonesia and other countries in the region. In Indonesia, nasi lemak is often fried and served with sambal (chilli sauce).

    Originally, a wide variety of spices were used to cook the rice: including curry powder, turmeric powder, coriander seed powder and lemongrass. However, today throughout Malaysia and Singapore this combination of spices still remains the most popular way of making nasi lemak. The dish can be accompanied by other dishes or food such as vegetables, anchovies and chicken.

    Indian Muslims were known to have brought this style of rice into Malaysia from India. But in Malaysia it is said that Malaccan Muslims like Syed Mashor Jasin popularized this rice all around Malaysia as well as other parts of South-East Asia. This rice is also popular among Malay Islander Muslims of Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia.

    If you are in Malaysia and looking for the truly authentic taste of nasi lemak, head to a local food court or by the roadside stalls. You will find stalls selling freshly made nasi lemak dishes with coconut milk that are not overly spiced. Pure, unprocessed and authentic nasi lemak is only found at a few nasi lemak stall vendors.

  • Manpreet Kaur

    August 13, 2021 at 3:33 pm


    There are many good and interesting things about roadside satay in Malaysia. It is easy to find. When you are travelling, it’s not hard to stop by a roadside place that sells satay because there are so many of them around the country. The price is also affordable for most people who buy it. But what makes this satay stand out from the rest? It’s cooked with coconut milk and served on banana leaves with an assortment of condiments, Malaysian style!

    When you stop by the place, you’ll be amazed by the amount of satay roadside stalls sell. They even have rice and soup on the side for you to enjoy while waiting for your food.

    There are several kinds of satay that you can choose from, such as lemang (glutinous rice), chicken, beef or sambal (chilli paste). You can also get roasted fish and prawns on a stick. It is considered rude to stuff your face with too much satay at once. You should just take the amount that fits in your stomach. Satay Kajang is one of the famous satay in Selangor.

    Restoran Satay Kajang

    Kajang is famous today because of the Satay Kajang Haji Samuri, where he first opened his satay business back in 1995. Kajang is also known as the satay town to the local folks. Ever since then, he had about 19 restaurants/outlets selling satay Kajang across KL and Selangor. Those who love satay would still travel all the way to Kajang just to have the famous satay because of the authentic taste of the original restaurant, where it all started.

    Satay Kajang Haji Samuri has become a symbol of community solidarity within Malaysians because Malay, Chinese, Indians, and East Malaysians who visit West Malaysia also appreciate and enjoy satay Kajang.

    Restoran Satay KL

    Restoran Satay Kl is a restaurant and bar located on the popular Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The restaurant specializes in serving authentic Malaysian food. Espacially “Satay” The menu is designed to cater for all tastes, ranging from fried rice to curry served with chicken and mutton stir fry. The service team at Restoran Satay Kl is friendly and welcoming, making this place a favorite of locals as well as tourists visiting Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    The menu includes dishes such as fried rice with pandan leaf, roti canai with egg omelet (omelette), grilled chicken and mutton meatball curry or stir-fried pea shoots with pork sauce stewed in brown sugar. In addition to the usual Malaysian dishes, there are also a variety of Western and Chinese dishes served here, all of which are prepared and cooked to perfection by the team at Satay Kl.

    This is Satay Kajang. Picture from the malaymail

  • Tony Looi

    August 16, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    In Malaysia, Rojak is a popular dish that consists of ingredients such as water chestnuts, cucumbers, pineapple, squid, and mango. It also may include other possible ingredients like deep-fried tofu garnished with finely chopped peanuts. Rojak is often served with sambal. Rojak is popular street food in Malaysia, most commonly sold at Malay and Chinese hawkers. The dish is also known by many other nicknames that invoke similar sentiments, such as: Gudeg (Malay), Gado-gado (Sundanese), Gow kyut from the Thai language.

    Rojak can be found at stalls along the streets of Malaysia’s capital city Kuala Lumpur. This dish is also available in many other parts of Malaysia, such as in the states of Selangor and Penang where there are many street hawkers selling this dish. Each state has their own twist on rojak as the taste, ingredients and preparation method might not be the same for each state. The distinctive appearance of rojak can be attributed to the use of different spices. Rojak is not only popular throughout Malaysia, but it also enjoys popularity abroad.

    Rojak is prepared by first frying some of the ingredients with a little oil. The ingredients are then ground into a paste using a mortar and pestle or food processor. Lastly, this paste is mixed with the rest of the ingredients and heated in a pan. This dish is commonly eaten with sambal, a chili mixture that consists of ground red chilies and shrimp paste.

  • Mateo Gabriel

    August 16, 2021 at 5:52 pm


    Popiah is a Malaysian dish made of a filling of ground white rice wrapped in thin and crispy round bao dough then deep-fried. The wrapping is traditionally made with the leaves from plants such as taro, pandan, or even lettuce but most often it is used today with plain white flour dough. The best popiah is found in the morning and sold fresh by street hawkers from vendors with food stalls on pavements. It is commonly eaten with a green chili paste which gives it a hint of spiciness.

    The popiah is made of thin, soft rice flour pancakes filled with various fillings like turnip, tofu, fish fillets and roast pork. The fillings are usually sweetened by adding a sauce made from mashed preserved plums, tamarind juice and sugar to it. To enjoy eating this delicious street food item, it should be eaten with a special peanut sauce and wrapped with lettuce before putting the sauce into the mouth.

    The most common popiah are:

    The rice-filled popiah is made of white or brown rice, a filling of minced meat or fish, crushed egg, crushed peanuts, and sometimes hot pepper sauce. The filling ingredients are usually prepared in advance and wrapped in banana leaves before being steamed in the ground over charcoal fires until they expand to double their size.

  • Sabeeh Khan

    August 23, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Vada Pav
    Vada pav is a popular street food among the Indians. This dish originated in Mumbai and it is sold on the streets during most part of the day. It consists of four or five small cabbage or aloo vadas sandwiched between pav, which is a type of bread. The dish may be topped with chutney, tamarind sauce, green coriander chutney and onion rings. Sometimes, it is served with onions, tomato sauce and chillies.

  • Hugo Henderson

    August 23, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    I am a huge fan of Chinese Cuisine. The dish that converted me to Chinese cuisine is Hokkien Mee!

    It is also a very popular street food that originated from the Chinese community is the Hokkien mee made of chicken and prawns cooked with okra and shrimp paste. The dish can also be called mee suppress or chilli egg noodles because of the additional chilli sauce to dip it in before eating. While this dish is usually cooked in a large wok, smaller utensils can also be used for this dish to take home.

    Chinese origin Hokkien mee is a dish of noodles, spicy and sour sauce. The noodles are usually long and flat, but can also be round. Rice noodle served in a sweet and savory soup with vegetables or beef dishes is called Hokkien mee. Sometimes, pork chop or chicken are also used.

    • Ng Chap Chae

      August 23, 2021 at 1:03 pm

      If you are a fan of Chinese then I recommend you try Shahe Fen.

      Shahe Fen is another popular noodle dish from Chinese origin. Many locals mix the two types of noodles together for a unique dish. The noodles are usually served in a soup with meat, vegetables, tofu or chicken. This dish is made up of soy sauce based thick gravy cooked with white rice and meat to make it very filling yet very tasty. A variation called rice vermicelli with gravy was created by the Malaysian Chinese at Ipoh in Perak State (Malaysia). It uses several

      ingredients such as rice vermicelli and a special thin gravy made from cooking fat, tomatoes, onions and some type of protein.

  • Aleeya Asri

    August 23, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    The best roadside food in Malaysia is the Roti Canai. The ingredients are flour, eggs, butter and water. There are two types of roti canai: soft and crispy. Either way it is still the same. This dish is eaten with ketchup, curry leaves, and minced chili. It is usually eaten as breakfast in Malaysia. You can find it on the streets of Kuala Lumpur or Penang.

    Most Malay people will eat this for breakfast along with a teh tarik or some milk tea. The roti canai itself will be served on a metal plate with some lid rice and vegetables like cucumber, radish and onion rings to dip into the sauce mixture for dipping. The sauce is usually made of coconut milk, sugar, peanut and pandan leaves.

    Roti canai was first made by Singh making them and selling them on a cart in Alor Gajah, Malacca. So it became popular there and started to spread to other states in Malaysia.

    Roti canai is a very good seller as it is light and fluffy which goes well with the curry leaves mixture. It is very chewy as well which makes it taste even better. The best part of this dish is that the dough is made right in front of you so it’s fresh when they hand it to you.

  • sonia

    August 23, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    Pani Puri

    Pani puri is a popular street food that is typically sold by vendors as they walk along the streets. It is made from a mixture of white rice, chickpea flour, and lentils powder which is then deep-fried. The pani puri batter for this particular type of recipe can vary based on the recipe and what ingredients are used in it. It usually includes turmeric and coriander leaves. The mixture is then arranged in a bowl and a ball of the same mixture is placed in the center. The bowl is then filled with water causing the pani puri to expand. At this point, a small bowl filled with tamarind chutney is added directly on top of the pani puri bun and it is eaten as it is without any other accompaniments.

    Pani Puri consists of fried chaat items such as bhajias (deep fried dough balls), pani puri (fried puris made from wheat flour) and litti-chokha (deep fried fritters). Normally, the gol guppi is sold in small paper cone-like cups. The gol guppi is eaten by dipping it into a bowl of spicy water made from tomato sauce and chili powder. Once the gol guppi is fully soaked with this water, it is eaten as a snack.

  • Chunga Ailee

    August 23, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    I know a very famous street food dish named Mee rebus is a noodle dish cooked in a thick, brown gravy known as sambal. The gravy is often made at the commissary, using coconut milk, ground peanuts and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. It is served with slices of hard boiled eggs.

    Mee rebus originated from Sumatra but it can be found throughout Malaysia because of its popularity. It is eaten with lots of fried shallots on top or alternatively wrapped in lettuce leaves along with cucumber slices and condiments such as sambal (chili sauce) or kuah cendol.

  • Chunga Ailee

    August 23, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    Mee Goreng Mamak is a popular Malaysian dish of stir-fried noodles with prawns, eggs, and onions. It is quite similar to the Thai Pad Thai dish. Mee Goreng Mamak is served with fried banana leaves and topped with Malaysian curry powder paste, sour tamarind sauce, chili oil and crispy crackers.

    The dish is a Malay or Malaysian favourite. In Malay, the dish is known as “Mee Goreng Mamak” which means “Stir-fried Noodles with Prawns and Eggs”. In Punjabi it is known as Makhni Doi which means “Stir-fried” or “Braised”.

    The preparation of Mee Goreng Mamak is very similar to Indonesian Padangnese Makhani Padang, both in cooking method and flavour. As the word indicates, it is certainly a mamak dish which was brought by Indian Muslims traders from South India to Malay Archipelago including Malaysia when Malacca was an important port for spices trading in the 15th century.

    It is available at Mamak stalls in most Malaysian cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang etc.

    People usually use the banana leaves you can find in any local market as a plate when making the mee goreng mamak dish.

  • Puteri Faitlia

    August 23, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    A very popular street food that originated from the Indians and locals of Malacca are the Nyonya Mee which are a type of noodle soup that has been made by smearing pieces of rice flour on a flat surface and then stirring in eggs, meat or fish mince as well as various vegetables such as slices of carrots and turnip. The word “nyonya” comes from the Nyonyas, the women’s society that allowed Chinese women to migrate to Malacca.

    The ingredients used for this dish are usually cooked in a large wok, but smaller utensils can be used for this dish at home. Similarly, the nyonya mee can also be enjoyed with other fragrant Malaysian dishes such as laksa and satay.

  • Sabeeh Khan

    August 23, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    The Samosa are a popular Indian snack food made with fried and spiced flaky dough, which is then traditionally filled with a spiced potato mixture. This dish originated from northern India, but like many other Indian dishes the ingredients vary depending on location. Other popular fillings include lentil or peas mixed with vegetables or crumbled cheese. In Malaysia it is usually made of a deep fried triangular pastry. The pastry is filled with minced beef, chicken or lamb, and vegetables such as peas, carrots, sweetcorn or cabbage. These are normally served with a side of creamy tomato sauce called coleslaw in Malaysia.

    • Manpreet Kaur

      August 23, 2021 at 1:33 pm

      Idli and dosa are two of the most popular Indian breakfast options Idli is a South Indian snack. It is made by steaming a batter called “idli” in special style idli pan. Idli pancake is dumplings which are made from fermented rice batter. It can be dipped in sweetened coconut sauce or with sambar (South Indian rasam) to make the dish even more flavourful. This type of food is very popular among Indians who live in South India as well as people who migrated to Singapore and Malaysia may like it too if they do not know what it is because they are fond of sweet food or they cannot read South Indian script. It’s normally served with sambar, coconut chutney, and vegetable pappadum to make one of the most popular Indian breakfast dishes

      Dosa is a popular street food among the Indians. This dish originated in Hyderabad and it is sold on the streets during most part of the day. It consists of rice flour, black gram, urad dal, salt and water. The batter is mixed with oil to make it softer and more spreadable. Sometimes, it is topped with chutney or peanut chutney before being cooked on a tawa or griddle pan over high heat until crisp on both sides. Dosa can be made from a variety of flours such as rice or wheat flour which is all cooked on a griddle until crisp before being served with sambar. This savory dish has been one of the most well-loved street food items in India since the early 20th century.

      One of my favorite is Masala Dosa which is especially popular in people from Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. It consists of a crispy crepe made from rice batter and black gram lentil. Masala Dosa is served with hot sambhar, chutney and coconut chutney for dipping or spreading. The variation in fillings inside the dosa has given rise to many different types of dosa such as masala dosa (with potato filling), Mysore masala dosa (with onion filling) and rava masala dosa. The dish can be eaten at any time of the day breakfast, dinner or as a snack.

  • Syaira Sya

    August 23, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    The popular snack items include prawn fritters which are deep fried prawns coated with a thin crumb batter. Deep fried minced fish balls and grilled fishballs are also common. Popiah, or spring rolls, are commonly eaten as snacks. Opor ayam or chicken porridge is another popular street food. Opor ayam is made by boiling chicken with herbs and spices like pandan leaves and ginger. It is served in a banana leaf or a bowl. Some of the other popular street foods include ikan bakar (grilled fish), mee goreng (fried noodles) and chili sauce, otak-otak (fish cakes), omelette, chilled drinks and fruit juices.

  • Charles Tan

    August 23, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    5 Ways to Eat Street Food Safely

    1) Avoid raw vegetables and fruit; they should be cooked first or peeled. Raw apples or pears are often coated in dangerous pesticides to prevent them from being eaten by animals when growing on trees, but this may not always be visible from afar and can lead to health problems if consumed.

    2) Wash your hands before eating. Not only will this keep you from getting sick, it will also remove any germs that may be contained in the street vendor’s food.

    3) Try street food only once or twice a week. If consumed too frequently, the health benefits of fresh food from a street vendor will disappear quickly and can lead to many health problems such as high cholesterol and weight gain.

    4) Always buy food from experienced vendors. These usually include people in good physical condition who know how to cook and keep their food clean, which is more important than looks when it comes to street food.

    5) Avoid eating any “street” or “pulut” meat (raw meat).

Log in to reply.

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.