Malaysian cuisine is influenced by various cultures from all around the world. Malaysia's population consists mostly of three ethnic groups: Malays, Chinese and Indians. As a result of historical migrations and Malaysia's geographical advantage, Malaysia's culinary style is a mixture of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Portuguese, Thai and Arabian cuisines.
Variety is the spice in Malay food. The traditional culinary style has been greatly influenced by the long-ago traders from neighboring countries, such as Indonesia, India, the Middle East, and China. Malay food is often described as spicy and flavorful as it utilizes a melting pot of spices and herbs
Rice is the staple diet of Malaysian food. It is often served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper too. Most meals are eaten by using your fingers, and eating utensils are kept to a minimum. All dishes are served at the same time, accompanied by a refreshing drink. Fish is popular together with other seafood such as shrimps and cuttlefish. Beef and mutton is very common as is chicken.
Traditional (native) food is called Nyonya which is about the blending of spices, employing pungent roots like galangal, turmeric and ginger; aromatic leaves like pandan leaf, fragrant lime leaf and laksa leaf, together with other ingredients like candlenuts, shallots, shrimp paste and chilies. Lemon, tamarind, belimbing (carambola) or green mangoes are used to add a tangy taste to many dishes.
For dessert, fruits are seldom served and are instead replaced by cakes. Nyonya cakes are rich and varied, made from ingredients like sweet potato, glutinous rice, palm sugar, and coconut milk.
it’s not just these foods that make up the Malaysian food culture. There is a little (or big) something called hawker food. Hawker food is basically food you get from roadside stalls, and are usually fairly inexpensive. There is a wide variety of food available, and you can always find many kopitiams (directly translated as “coffee stalls” – or hawker centres/food courts (a place with a variety of stalls) all over the country.
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