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Food in Malaysia

With Malaysia’s multicultural society, it’s hardly a surprise that the food too is a fantastically varied blend of Chinese, Indian, European and other influences. Rice is the staple cereal, but wheat noodles of different types, Indian breads and breads (a legacy of colonial times) supplement vegetables, meats (Muslims do not eat pork), fish, poultry, and a range of spices; the range and variety of flavours are enough to bewilder any Westerner. Important flavourings include the ubiquitous coconut milk, which finds its way into everything from soups and stews to gravies and sauces; and rempah, a spice mix of garlic, chillies, galangal and ginger. Malaysian desserts round off the meal but the best desserts of all are the fruits- durians, mangosteens, passionfruit, star fruit, mangoes, guavas, and more.

While in Malaysia, try some of their specialties- satay (grilled meat with a spicy peanut sauce), nasi lemak/goreng (a traditional rice dish), and a wide range of Chinese and Indian dishes you can sample at roadside stalls.

A unique cuisine of the country is that of the Nonyas or Straits Chinese (the Peranakans). A blend of Malay and Chinese cuisine, Nonya cooking has a flavour all its own, combining spices and coconut milk with typically Chinese flavours like soya sauce.