Malaysian Street Food: What an Experience!

Malaysia has been in the world news for over a month because of the missing airline jet that has caused so much grief among the families of the passengers and crew. It is sad because the effect trickled down to Malaysian shows or shows that feature Malaysia having to be stopped temporarily out of respect for the affected people. It also has had a tremendous negative impact on Malaysian tourism of which street food plays a huge role.

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Malaysian street food is tempting, flavorful, quick, and simply amazing in its simplicity, texture, and use of spices. There are many street vendors in almost every corner or jalan of Malaysia. Jalan is a Malaysian word for “street” or “road.”  Here are the street foods that have to be tried if you ever get a chance to bump into a Malaysian chef or street food vendor. However, before that be ready to accept food packed in plastic bags including drinks if you ask for the food ‘to go.” If you plan on eating the food on the spot, it will be given to you in plastic melamine plates or bowls with a pair of chopsticks. It would be a good idea to wipe the chopsticks or bring your own pair with you. Some vendors are not very particular about where they get their water to wash their plates, bowls, and chopsticks, so be forewarned.

Assam Laksa – This is rice noodles served in sour fish soup. The soup is flavored with tamarind which would account for the sourness. You will also see ginger, cucumber, and chilies.

Rojak – Rojak is a vegetable and fruit fresh salad that may even come with a bit of fried squid and a sweet sauce. It is served with shrimp paste which may seem odd but the end result is incredibly flavorful and delicious.

Roti Canai – Roti canai is the Malaysian version of flatbread. It is flaky and dipped in a curry sauce. It is very common breakfast fare and goes well with coffee or hot milk.

Apom Balik – This is rice flour pancakes with creamed corn filling.  It is cooked right in front of you and eaten right away. It has a crispy texture with a sticky filling.

Other Malaysian street food are the chendul which is a cold dessert, satay which is a grilled chicken, shrimp, beef, or fruit on skewers, duck soap or koay chiap.

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