Cuisine Unveiled: What Is Typical Malaysian Food?

If you are a foodie and love to explore different cuisines, dishes considered what is typical Malaysian food should definitely be on your list.

Malaysian dishes are a fusion of different cultures and traditions, creating a unique blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisine that has been influenced by the country’s history, geography, and climate.

So, we will explore typical Malaysian street food that you should definitely try. Read on!

Typical Malaysian food for breakfast

Noodle Soup

Noodle Soup
Noodle Soup

A beloved breakfast option in Malaysia is noodle soup, a light, flavorful, and satisfying dish. It consists of yellow noodles, vegetables, and a clear broth made with either chicken or beef.

To add more flavor, chili paste, and soy sauce are typically served on the side. It’s one of the examples of what is typical Malaysian food.

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak with Boiled Egg
Nasi Lemak with Boiled Egg

Nasi Lemak, a Malaysian national dish beloved by both locals and tourists, is a fragrant rice dish that is cooked with coconut cream and pandan leaves, giving it a rich and aromatic flavor.

This dish is typically served with various sides such as shrimp paste sambal, crispy fried anchovies, boiled eggs, and refreshing cucumber slices, making nasi lemak a delicious and satisfying meal.

Roti Canai

Roti Canai with Curry
Roti Canai with Curry

Roti Canai is a popular breakfast dish loved by Malaysians of all ages. It is a flaky and buttery bread that is similar to Indian bread.

Typically served with curry or dhal on the side, it is a savory and delicious option enjoyed throughout Malaysia.

Typical Malaysian food for lunch

Nasi Kandar

Nasi Kandar
Nasi Kandar

Originating from the northern state of Penang, Nasi Kandar is a popular Malaysian food consisting of rice served with various curries and side dishes like fried chicken, beef, and fish.

This spicy and flavorful dish is typically served with chili sauce and is enjoyed by many Malaysians.


Penang Laksa
Penang Laksa

Laksa, a famous spicy noodle soup enjoyed in Malaysia and Singapore, is a coconut milk-based soup flavored with lemongrass, galangal, and chili.

It is served with prawns, fish cake, and tofu puffs, creating a satisfying and flavorful meal. Some variations of Laksa also include condensed milk, adding a touch of sweetness to balance out the spiciness.

Nasi Kerabu

Nasi Kerabu with Salted Egg
Nasi Kerabu with Salted Egg

Nasi Kerabu is a rice dish popular in the eastern state of Kelantan.

It is a blue-colored rice dish that is cooked with butterfly pea flowers. It is served with various side dishes such as fried chicken, fish crackers, and pickles.

Typical Malaysian food for dinner

Hokkien Mee

Hokkien Mee
Hokkien Mee

Hokkien Mee, a dinner favorite among Malaysians, is a flat rice noodle dish that blends Chinese and Malay cuisine. It is cooked with a variety of ingredients, including pork, shrimp, and vegetables, resulting in a hearty and flavorful dish that is beloved by many.

A hard-boiled egg is occasionally included in the dish for an extra boost of flavor and protein.


Rojak Pasembur
Rojak Pasembur

Pasembur is a popular Malaysian salad that can be enjoyed as either a side or a main dish. It is made using a variety of fresh vegetables, including cucumber, bean sprouts, and potatoes.

The salad is traditionally served with a spicy peanut sauce, adding a rich and satisfying flavor to the dish.

Kolok Mee

Kolok Mee
Kolok Mee

Originating from Sarawak, Kolok Mee is a beloved Malaysian noodle dish made with yellow noodles, pork, soy sauce, and chili.

The dish is usually enjoyed for breakfast or lunch and is found in hawker stalls and coffee shops throughout Malaysia. What makes Kolok Mee stand out from other noodle dishes is its simple yet satisfying flavor, with the perfect balance of sweet and savory notes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Malaysian food similar to Thai food?

Yes, Malaysian and Thai cuisine shares some similarities, but they are not the same. Both cuisines use a lot of herbs and spices, but Thai food is generally spicier and sweeter, while Malaysian food is more complex and diverse.

What does Malaysian taste like?

Malaysian food has a unique taste that blends different cultures and traditions. It is a combination of sweet, sour, spicy, and salty flavors.

The aromatic and flavorful nature of Malaysian cuisine is largely attributed to the use of herbs and spices like lemongrass, galangal, cumin, and coriander. Another key ingredient is coconut milk, which is often used in dishes to add richness and depth of flavor.

What is Malaysian cuisine cooking style?

Malaysian cuisine is characterized by various cooking styles, such as stir-frying, grilling, steaming, and braising, which vary depending on the dish and ingredients.

Spicy curries cooked with coconut milk and fresh seafood grilled or fried are some of the signature dishes of Malaysian cuisine.


These examples of what is typical Malaysian food offer you a truly unique and diverse culinary experience that combines a range of cultures and traditions. Whether you’re a foodie looking to explore new cuisines or simply seeking a delicious and satisfying meal, Malaysian cuisine has something to offer.

From hearty breakfast options to spicy lunches and flavorful dinners, the range of dishes and ingredients available in Malaysian food is sure to impress and satisfy your cravings.

Andrea Abbondanza

Andrea Abbondanza, born in Milan (Italy) and now a proud Australian citizen, is a passionate food lover and the dynamic CEO of With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes around the world elevate their online presence. His journey from Italy to Australia has infused his work with a unique blend of European flair and Aussie charm, making him a go-to resource for cafes and restaurants looking to elevate their digital presence and grow their businesses.

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Andrea Abbondanza is a passionate food lover and the CEO of Seo for Restaurants. With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes worldwide elevate their online presence and increase

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