By Presto
26 August 2022


If there’s one thing that Malaysians can all agree on, it’s probably their shared passion for FOOD. Regardless of ethnicity, language, and religion—Malaysians are generally avid foodies!

Why, you ask? It’s due to the fact that Malaysia has inherited a vast array of cuisines from its melting pot of cultures. Drawing from Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnicities, there are no shortage of flavours colliding in the nation’s cooking.

Read on to discover the signature foods of Malaysia that will make your mouth watery! Psst, you’re in for a treat!


Nasi Lemak

Can you think of a better food to top the list? We don’t think so!

Some call nasi lemak Malaysia's unofficial national dish. Everyone else calls it delicious. Its name, which in Malaysian literally means ‘oily or fatty rice’, is taken in this context to mean ‘rich’ or ‘creamy’, and refers to the cooking process.

To make the dish, rice is soaked in coconut cream and then steamed with a pandan leaves, to provide a delicious aromatic flavour. This is then wrapped in banana leaf and served with cucumbers, roasted peanuts, hard-boiled egg, and fried anchovies in shrimp paste and chili sauce.

You just can’t go wrong with nasi lemak—be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!


Roti Canai

"Neh,roti canai satu!''

Sounds familiar? You’ve probably heard this a lot at mamak stalls!

An Indian-inspired flatbread, roti canai is made with flour, butter and water, though some will toss condensed milk in to sweeten it up.

Admit it, we all love to watch how the concoction is flattened, folded, oiled and cooked on a heavily oiled skillet—resulting in a sublimely fluffy piece of bread with a crispy exterior. You can eat this one as a snack on its own or use it to scoop up a side of curry.


Char Kuey Teow

Another one to thank China's migrants for, char kuey teow! This popular Chinese dish is traditionally stir-fried in pork fat, but there are also halal variants for Muslim diners to enjoy.

While its recipe seems simple, it takes a lot of skill to fry the rice noodles, soy sauce, chilli, belacan, prawns, cockles, and bean sprouts in a wok over very high heat. Essential to the dish is good "wok hei" or breath of wok, the qualities and tastes imparted by cooking on a wok using high heat.


Mee Goreng Mamak

This Indian Muslim dish is the complete package. Yellow noodles. Beef or chicken. Shrimp. Soy sauce, veggies and eggs. A bit of chili tossed in for an irresistible jolt.

Sounds simple, right? Sadly, you can try to replicate this one at home, but it's just not going to taste the way it did when you chowed down at that gritty Malaysian hawker stall.


Maggi Goreng

Another late night mamak’s guilty pleasure, this fried instant noodle dish is named after the popular Maggi brand of instant noodles. All Maggi goreng plates start with the same noodles but the additives vary dramatically, with the result that no two versions are ever the same. Fascinating, right?

The noodles are boiled, and then stir-fried in a wok with vegetables, eggs, and soy sauce. It can be jazzed up with meat, seafood, and tofu. Oh, let’s not forget the Maggi powder seasoning that gives the dish its kick!


Banana Leaf Rice

As the name suggests, this dish is served on a large banana leaf. Hailing from South India, it revolves around rice, several dishes, pickles, rasam (a sour spiced soup), various curries, and papadam (crispy fried crackers).

It is also popular among vegetarians since meat is optional.


Nasi Kandar

Did you know that the name of this dish reflects the way that hawkers used to balance 2 containers of ‘nasi’ (rice) on a kandar pole on their shoulder? Now you know!

Nasi Kandar is a popular northern Malaysian food, originating from Penang. This dish is essentially steamed rice served with a variety of curries and side dishes, which often include curry, fried chicken, prawns or squid, egg, and okra.

Here’s another fun fact: lots of people like to eat the sauced-soaked rice with their bare fingers, leaving their hands smelling delicious long after they have been washed.



Who knew that meat on a stick would taste this good?

At first glance, satay appears to be nothing beyond slightly charred, skewered meat. But good satay is juicy and flavourful, especially when it has been fanned lovingly over a charcoal grill.

Served with cubes of rice (also known as ketupat) and peanut drip, satay is delicious with or without them, and is available in chicken, lamb, and beef. It’s so good the Malaysia Airlines has it as a staple on their flights!


Ais Kacang

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? Look no further than this irresistible dessert!

Ais Kacang is commonly known as ‘ABC’, which stands for Air Batu Campur.

Traditionally, this Malaysian dessert is made from shaved ice and red beans, but today it comes in bright colours and with all kinds of fruit and dressings, such as palm seed, sweet corn, jelly cubes, cendol, peanuts and ice cream.

It is then topped with evaporated and condensed milk and coconut milk, red rose syrup and sarsi syrup are drizzled over the ice.



A dessert much like ice-kacang with the difference that instead of shaved ice, there is an abundance of coconut milk mixed with palm sugar syrup, topped with green rice jelly and other condiments. A creamy alternative to the ais kacang for those with sensitive teeth.


Nothing Beats Having Your Favorite Food Delivered to You in the Comfort of Your Home!

Craving for a specific food? Just open the Presto App and order from the comfort of your home—it’s that simple!

Whether you’re in the mood for Malay, Chinese or Indian food—Presto has got them all! What are you waiting for? Jom makan!



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