Food Malaysia

10 Most Popular Food In Malaysia

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here

The 10 Most Popular Food In Malaysia. Malaysians love to eat and we are blessed to have a wide range of delicious food to fill our tummies. The food in Malaysia represents the multi-ethnic population here. Among them are the Malays, Chinese, Indians and the large list of minority groups.

However being a Malaysian, I can proudly say that we don’t differentiate our food according to our races. We can all enjoy the different types of food as long as it doesn’t go against one’s religion. For example the Muslim’s can’t eat pork and the Hindus have to avoid eating beef.

Popular Food In Malaysia

What Is The Most Popular Food In Malaysia?

If you ask any Malaysian what is the most popular food in Malaysia, I am sure 99% will give you the same answer which is NASI LEMAK. I can assure you that every Malaysian love this dish. You can even brand nasi lemak as our national dish. It is sold almost everywhere in Malaysia.

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked with santan (coconut milk) and daun pandan (screwpine leaves). It is usually served with sambal (spicy chilli sauce), fried ikan bilis (anchovies), peanuts, boiled egg and a few slices of cucumber.

Nasi Lemak

It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and actually at any part of the day. Nasi Lemak is usually tastier when it is wrapped in banana leaf.


Satay is a skewered grilled meat that is marinated with various ingredients. It is served with kuah kacang (peanut sauce), ketupat or nasi impit (rice cakes), cucumber and onions.


Satay is usually made of sliced chicken meat, beef or mutton. Some places also served rabbit and deer satay. The sliced meat are first marinated before it is skewered, usually using bamboo skewers. And finally it is barbecued or grilled over charcoal fire.

Roti Canai

Roti Canai is a very popular food in Malaysia. The word ‘Roti’ means bread while Canai is the art of rolling out the dough. Roti Canai has a lot of Indian influence. This flatbread is usually served with Dhal (lentil curry), chicken curry or even fish curry.

Roti Canai

Though Roti Canai is considered a breakfast dish. You can still see Malaysians having it for lunch or even dinner.


Namely, there are two types of Rojak… Rojak Mamak and Rojak Buah. Both consists of different main ingredients. But I can assure you both are absolutely delicious. The meaning of Rojak is a mixture of many things.

Rojak Mamak
Rojak Mamak

Rojak Mamak or Rojak Mee consists of fried dough fritters, prawn fritters, fried bean curd, hard boiled egg, beansprout and cucumber. A thick spicy and sweet peanut sauce is then poured over it. You can also have it with yellow mee but many prefer it without the mee.

Rojak Buah
Rojak Buah

Rojak Buah resembles more of a fruit salad. Some of the must-have ingredients in rojak buah is cucumber, pineapple, turnips or jicama. Usually, deep-fried tofu is also added. All these ingredients are cut and mixed with a spicy sauce. The sauce is made of shrimp paste, sugar, chili and lime juice.


Cendol is a sweet iced dessert. It contains green rice flour jelly in coconut milk and palm sugar syrup. Other toppings that can also be added are steamed glutinous rice, corn, red beans and durian.


This cold, sweet and creamy dessert is very popular in Malaysia and you can see people queuing up to buy it during the hot season. In Malaysia it is usually hot throughout the whole year.

Char Kway Teow

Char Kway Teow refers to stir-fried rice noodles strips. This noodle dish has a Chinese influence to it. Its main ingredients consist of flat rice noodles which is stir-fried with egg, prawns, cockles and chives.

Char Kuey Teow

Even though it is said to be an unhealthy dish because of its high saturated fat content, Char Kway Teow remains a much sought after dish not only in Malaysia but also in Southeast Asia. And I also heard that it is a popular takeway in Australia and New Zealand too.


There are two types of Laksa that is popular in Malaysia. One is sourish and spicy while the other one is creamy and spicy. Both are equally delicious.

Asam Laksa
Asam Laksa

Asam Laksa which has a sour and spicy gravy is made of shredded fish and tamarind. Also added to this gravy is chili paste, shrimp paste and bunga kantan or pink torch ginger. The gravy is then poured into a bowl of rice noodles combined with sliced cucumber, onions, chilies, pineapple, mint leaf and hard boiled egg.

Curry Laksa or Nyonya Laksa
Curry Laksa

Curry Laksa or Nyonya Laksa which has a peranakan influence to it is made of coconut milk curry. This creamy and usually spicy curry is poured into a bowl that consists of yellow mee, rice vermicelli or rice noodles. Other ingredients that makes this dish delicious is fish cakes. bean curd puffs, cockles and beansprout. The curry laksa is also served with a spoonful of sambal or chilli paste to make the curry more spicier. C

Mi Goreng Mamak

I have earlier mentioned rojak mamak and now its Mi Goreng Mamak. Goreng means fried. Both of these two dishes are sold at hawker stalls and restaurants. The term Mamak is referring to Indian Muslims in Malaysia.

Mi Goreng Mamak

This is a spicy noodles dish that also includes the yellow noodles, egg, vegetables, soya sauce, dough or prawn fritters and chili paste.

Apam Balik

Apam Balik is a sort of pancake with fillings. The pancake batter is cooked in a thick round iron frying pan. The fillings consist of crushed peanuts. sweetcorn and sugar. Some add in chocolate and cheese as well.

Apam Balik

The pancake is then folded in half and that’s where the name Apam Balik comes from, which means turnover pancake. The apam balik is then cut into several pieces.

Ais Kacang or ABC

Ais Kacang or ABC (Air Batu Campur) is another iced dessert that is enjoyed by Malaysians. Though it has the green rice flour jelly and palm sugar syrup like the cendol, it somehow has its very own unique taste and presentation.

Ais Kacang

The Ais Kacang is served in bright colours and consists of many yummy toppings. A motorised ice shaving machine is used to churn out the shaved ice which is then formed into a mountain of ice. Next, red bean, sweet corn, grass jelly, colourful agar-agar (jelly) and roasted peanuts are added to it. Finally to make this dessert sweet and attractive, evaporated milk or coconut milk and red rose syrup is drizzled over the mountain of shaved ice. Sometimes a scoop of vanilla ice cream is also added at the top.

10 Most popular Food In Malaysia

My List Of The 10 Most Popular Food In Malaysia

Well there you go, that is my very own list of the 10 most popular food in Malaysia. I can assure you that 99.99% of Malaysians will agree with me on this.

Have you tasted any of these? Or which would you love to taste from my list of the 10 Most Popular Food In Malaysia?

Source of pictures: Google

Sharing Is Caring

You may also like...


  1. When it comes to food, you always find me at the forefront! I love to discover exotic and very different foods, far from the ones I usually eat!

    1. karenmonica says:

      Then you must taste these Malaysian dishes. I am sure you would love them.

  2. These all look delicious! I can say I am a massive fan of Chicken Satay skewers. I’ll be exploring some of the other dishes you have mentioned though!

    1. karenmonica says:

      Honestly, these are all delicious. Do try them if you have a chance.

  3. Every dish looks so tempting, wish I could be there and try them out. Going to bookmark this for sure.

    1. karenmonica says:

      Do try all of these food if you do come to Malaysia 🙂

  4. Oh wow, this post made me smile, all these dishes looked so good, now I’m hungry 🙂

    1. karenmonica says:

      Oops sorry to make you feel hungry…lol. They not only look good, they taste delicious as well 🙂

  5. I have a recipe blog myself but never tried preparing Malesyan food. Those meals look delicious!

    1. karenmonica says:

      I will try to share some recipes with you.

  6. I can honestly say I have never tasted any of these dishes. I love food and am always eager to try new foods from other cultures. I will have to find a place in the US where I can try food from Malaysia. All these dishes do look delicious!

    1. karenmonica says:

      I hope you can find a place that sell these food so you can try them out. I am sure you would love.

  7. When it comes to food, especially vegetarian tasty food, I would have most of it. I would definitely NAsi Lemak,Roti Canai(as we have roti’s in our country), and Apam Malik. These are must for me. So thank you for this knowledge.

    1. karenmonica says:

      I am sure you would enjoy all those food if you are in Malaysia. Since you love vegetarian food, I would suggest you try Banana Leaf rice as well. I am not sure if it’s the same as in your country.

  8. Whenever it comes to food, I always go out for tasty vegtarian foods. Now, you have given me option what I can have, if I ever go to Malaysia. I would have Nasi Lemak for Dinner and Lunches. So I am not worried that much now.

    1. karenmonica says:

      Yes, you definitely don’t have to worry about food in Malaysia. We have a wide range of delicious vegetarian food too.

  9. These foods are making me hungry! I wish I could eat them all! Thanks for sharing ♥️ ♥️ By any chance you are interested on doing collaborations, you can check out the collaborations portal of and connect with amazing brands!


    1. karenmonica says:

      Wow, that’s great. Will drop by at in a while 🙂

  10. The Curry Laska and of course the ABC caught my eyes. I am not sure if the Currey Laska reminds me of another meal I have had before or if I am just hungry but It looks delicious

    1. karenmonica says:

      I am sure you will enjoy both. The Curry Laksa is spicy, so the ABC can cool down the spiciness 😀

  11. Omg these all look so delicious! I have never had Malaysian food, but now I want to try it!

    1. karenmonica says:

      You must try them all. I am sure you would love all these food 🙂

  12. Kristine Nicole Alessandra says:

    Laksa is my favorite, and I cannot say “no” to Nasi Lemak and Pork Satay. Yum. You made me want to go to our favorite Malaysian restaurant with these photos!

    1. karenmonica says:

      Glad to hear that you enjoy Malaysian food. By the way, where is your favourite Malaysian restaurant?

  13. These look absolutely delicious! I love foreign foods I would love to try these foods one day!

    1. karenmonica says:

      Then I am sure you would love all of the Malaysian food listed in this post.

  14. The pancake with filling looks so delicious and unique. I’d love to try Malaysian food. It looks so full of different flavors.

    1. karenmonica says:

      Every different filling gives a unique taste to the pancake. Yes do try the other Malaysian food too, all are rich in flavours.

  15. Mmmmm all of these look so delicious!!! Some of the dishes remind me of food I’ve had in Thailand. Hope to experience beautiful Malaysia and its wonderful looking food one day!

    1. karenmonica says:

      Some of the food is almost the same since we are a neighbouring country with Thailand. But do visit Malaysia one day to try out all these. I am sure you would love all of the delicious food we have here.

  16. Hannah Marie says:

    All the food looks so good! I thing I’ve tasted the Laksa and Satay already, so delicious!

    1. karenmonica says:

      Glad you enjoyed the laksa and satay. I would suggest for you to try Nasi Lemak

  17. We have been to Malaysia two times and do enjoy the place… I would love to taste that dessert. I wish I could grab and take a bit… Sweet tooth is talking!

    1. karenmonica says:

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay in Malaysia. The next time you are here, do try cendol and ABC. Since you are a sweet tooth, you would love it 🙂

  18. Marjie Mare says:

    Those dishes look absolutely delicious. I used to go to a restaurant NJ and my favorite was Roti Canai. This post brings so much memory. I am looking for a Malaysian restaurant where I am until I can travel to Malaysia for real authentic food.

    1. karenmonica says:

      I am hoping you will find a Malaysian restaurant that serves any of this popular food. But one day when you do travel to Malaysia, don’t forget to try them all.

  19. I am not really a huge fan of Malaysian food except chicken satay. It’s really delicious. I was able to try it first during my trip to Kuala Lumpur that I ended up eating it every day during my whole stay.

    1. karenmonica says:

      I hope you enjoyed your stay in Kuala Lumpur. Having satay everyday? Wow, I am sure you are a Satay fan then 🙂

  20. I would love to visit Malaysia the food looks so incredible! I love Satay so I think that would have to be my top followed closely by the Laksa.

    1. karenmonica says:

      Please do visit Malaysia one day, I am sure you are going to love the food 🙂

  21. Melissa says:

    All of these foods look so good! How fun to try so many different things.

    1. karenmonica says:

      Yes, it’s a blessing to try so many different kinds of food 🙂

  22. Claire Roach says:

    These look incredible! Why is there no local Malaysian restaurants near me! I could eat everything on this list right now!

    1. karenmonica says:

      I am sorry about that. But you can come to Malaysia anytime and try all these food 🙂

  23. This post made me feel so hungry! The pictures look so yummy – i’d be especially keen to give Mi Goreng Mamak a try!

    1. karenmonica says:

      You would love the Mi Goreng Mamak if you love spicy food 🙂

  24. I’ve not visited Malaysia yet… although some of these dishes are familiar to me. And they all sound delicious!

    1. karenmonica says:

      If you do visit Malaysia, do try out all these food 🙂

  25. Dalene Ekirapa says:

    Oh Karen! Well, I’m unsure of what I’d take first while in Malaysia! But above all, the dessert , fragrant rice and satay will be my favorites. Looking so yummy!

    1. karenmonica says:

      I am sure you would love them all Darlene 🙂

  26. roti canai sounds so good! I’m always a sucker for flat bread and I love finding interesting new ways to enjoy it!

    1. karenmonica says:

      I am sure you are going to love the roti canai 🙂

  27. Wow, I’ve never heard of any of these dishes, but they all look amazing! I’d love to try any of them, although couldn’t have a few with a peanut allergy and my body just doesn’t like spicy. But trying out new foods in different cultures is always so fun.

    1. karenmonica says:

      If that is the case, then you must try the roti canai. The lentil curry is usually not spicy at all.

  28. Elizabeth O says:

    Thanks for sharing. All the food looks so good! If anyone is planning to visit there then this article is so helpful

    1. karenmonica says:

      Hopefully this can be a guide for tourist searching for Malaysian food 🙂

  29. All of those plates/meals look soooooooo delicious and now when I have my lunch it will look sad compared to these photos of popular foods in Malaysia… I want to vacation there just for the food alone ; )

    1. karenmonica says:

      Do come to Malaysia and taste the food. I am guessing that you would love all the food 🙂

  30. reesa says:

    Everything looks delicious! I don’t know I am that adventurous!

    1. karenmonica says:

      Let me assure you that once you try it, you would love it 🙂

  31. MERCY! That all looks so delicious! I’ve been to the Philippines and some of these dishes looked like Filipino cuisine, but there are also so many that are new to me and now I NEED to find a Malaysian restaurant!!!

    1. karenmonica says:

      If you can’t find a Malaysian restaurant anywhere around then do come and visit Malaysia one day to try out these food 🙂

  32. This made me hungry! I’ve only tried Satay and I loved it. I’ll try the other food on my visit to Malaysia.

    1. karenmonica says:

      If you loved Satay, I am sure you would love the other food too 🙂

  33. These all look so yummy! I love satay, but haven’t eaten many of the others yet!

    1. karenmonica says:

      You must try the others too Liz. All are very yummy too

  34. I never had Malay food but I would love to try some, especially the ABC ice!

    1. karenmonica says:

      The ABC is sweet and very refreshing on a hot day 🙂

  35. WOW! I have never even HEARD of any of these, let alone tasted them. But you now have me thinking a trip to Malaysia would be fun, if only to eat my way through 🙂

    1. karenmonica says:

      If you do come on a trip to Malaysia, you must taste all of these. I am sure you are going to love them all

  36. I have not heard of most all of these so that is super cool to know about these. I would love to see you add the phonetic way to sound out the names of the dishes. I would love to try to sound them out to know how to say them.

    1. karenmonica says:

      That is a good idea. I will try to add them next time 🙂

  37. Elizabeth O says:

    All those delicious dishes and photos had me salivating. I went to school with a few Malay kids and they introduced me to the cuisine.

    1. karenmonica says:

      Did you? I am sure you have tasted some of this food then 🙂

  38. All of this looks so good! That satay looks to die for!

    1. karenmonica says:

      The satay is very delicious 🙂

  39. All food items looks so delicious. I want to eat those satay – looks so yum…

    1. karenmonica says:

      The satay is very delicious and so are the other food on the list too 🙂

  40. These all sound and look really good! I have never has Malaysian food but I think I will look into places here in the US.

    1. karenmonica says:

      I hope you will find a place that serves yummy Malaysian food 🙂

  41. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the food options here. It all looks pretty tasty to me.

    1. karenmonica says:

      Yes all of these food are very tasty 🙂

  42. This is fantastic! Everything looks and sounds delicious. I love Malaysian food too!

    1. karenmonica says:

      Do you? I am sure you have tried many from this list then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *