Malaysian cuisine is a melting pot of flavours, influenced by the arrival of ships to the Malay peninsula from India, Indonesia, Europe, China, and the Middle East over the centuries. It’s unique flavours are drawn from Thai, Chinese, Indonesian and Indian cuisines. Known for its flavoursome spiciness it incorporates the fragrant combinations of cumin and coriander with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cardamom, star anise and fenugreek.
Nasi Lemak is considered Malaysia’s national dish, a rice dish steamed with coconut milk and served with dried anchovies, dried shrimp, peanuts, hardboiled eggs, cucumber and sambal. It can be eaten for any meal, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner! It can be served with a curry or rendang (a slow cooked dry curry dish spiced with ginger, turmeric, kaffir lime and chilli). Rice, noodles and Indian breads, such as roti, are staples.
The spicy noodle soup laksa is very popular in Australia. There are two types – curry laksa and asam laksa. The curry laksa is a coconut curry soup and asam laksa is a sour fish soup, both have noodles. The laksa comes from the Malaysian-Chinese cooking style of the Peranakans, the Chinese-Malays. Then there’s the satays (spicy peanut sauce dishes), mee goreng, stir fried noodles which takes any form, nasi goreng, stir-fried rice dish with chilis, garlic and kecap manis (sweet soy) served with chicken or shrimps and fried egg. Sambal is served with pretty much every dish, it’s a blend of chilies, shrimp paste belacan and Calamansi lime.
Head over to 185 Russell Street, Melbourne to TANG The Asian Food Emporium to get a taste of Malaysia; there you’ll find all the ingredients for cooking Malaysian cuisine. They are conveniently open from 10am to 11pm every day.