Malay Food in Penang
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Malay Food in Penang

Malaysian cuisine is influenced by a variety of ethnic groups, mainly Malay, Chinese and Indian, each has a wide variety of gastronomic delights. Malay cuisines are famous for its spicy flavour as it utilizes a melting pot of spices and herbs. The traditional culinary style has been greatly influenced by the Iong~ago traders from neighboring countries, such as Indonesia, India, the Middle East and China.

The Ingredients for Malay Cuisine

Natural homegrown ingredients figure prominently in Malay Food. Coconut, chili, lemongrass, lime leaves, spices, and turmeric are basic ingredients cooked with meat,fish or vegetables. Fresh aromatic herbs and roots are used widely, some familiar, such as semi (lemongrass), ginger, garlic, shallots, kaffir limes, and fresh chilies. Both fresh and dried chilies are used, usually ground into a samba! (chili paste) to add hotness to dishes.

There are however, less commonly known herbs and roots such as daun kesum (polygonum,commonly called laksa leaf),daun kemangi (a type of basil), galangal (wild ginger root), bunga kantan (wild ginger buds or torch ginger), kunyit (turmeric root), pandan or pandanus (screwpine leaves). Dried spices used in Malay cooking are ketumbar (coriander),jintan putih (cumin), jintan manis (fennel), cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and star anise. Both fresh and dried ingredients are usually ground into a rempah (spice paste). Another ingredient commonly used is santan, which is coconut milk. The milk is squeezed from the flesh of the grated coconut. Nowadays, it can be found in powder or liquid form, sold in the supermarket.

Like most countries of Southeast Asia, the staple food of the Malays is rice, boiled to white fluffy texture. It is often served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper, with dishes of meat (chicken
or beef), fish shrimp, squid, and vegetables. Meat and fish are usually prepared as sambal or curry dish. All dishes are served at the same time and usually accompanied bya refreshing
drink such as plain water or iced syrup drinks.

Malay Cuisine Cooking Style

Depending on the main basic flavouring ingredients, Malay dishes can be more or less distinguished into several types of cooking: masaklemak (coconut milk),masak kicap (dark sweet soy sauce), masak assam pedas (tamarind and sambal, hot chillies), masak merah (tomato) and masak pedas (sambal and hot chillies). These basic styles of cooking can be applied to meats, poultry and vegetables to all kinds 0f Seafood.



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