I love street food, also known as hawker food. To me, it’s better than restaurant food. If I am to visit another country, I would dive for street food and not those at the restaurants. There is something about street food that fascinates me and keeps me craving for more. On top of that, they are way cheaper than restaurant food.
On my recent trip back to Malaysia, a very good friend took us around for a few days trying out all the best street food in my home town, Sibu, a town in the state of Sarawak…….the best coffee shops for the best local food and the best drink. In Malaysia, street foods are mainly sold in small coffee shops or sometimes at the evening or night markets, called ‘pasar malam‘.
Here are some of the best street food that my family indulged in almost everyday while back home for holiday. If you ever make a trip to Malaysia, don’t miss out on these wonderful food. At least give a try.
Suresh at 3 Hungry Tummies is hosting Malaysian Monday Blog Event this month. His blog is choked full of wonderful Asian home cooking. Anyone who cooks Malaysian food or talks anything about Malaysia can join. That’s fun! I’m submitting this post. A hot topic in Malaysia now is politics as our election is coming soon. Back home, everywhere people were seen enjoying food but talking about politics. Well, as for me, food and my craving come first…..haha. Still so much to learn and enjoy! But I read a lot about the Malaysian political stories too.
I was first introduced to this delicious food, ‘roti canai‘, also called ‘paratha‘, when I visited Penang many years ago. I didn’t like it at first. It was served with some sugar sprinkled over it. Later I was introduced by my friends to eat it with lentil curry. I fell in love with it immediately! Ever since then it’s one of my top favourite street food.
In Malaysia, roti canai is usually made by the Indians or Malays. The art of making it is very fascinating but sadly I didn’t manage to take pictures of it. This griddle-fried pancake comes in many thin layers which is just perfect for mopping up the curry sauce. It goes great with any curry. I have also tried the mutton curry (left picture above). However we still prefer the lentil curry (right picture above).
A later creation from ‘roti canai’ is the ‘roti tisu‘ (shown in the first picture above). It’s the same dough as the ‘roti canai’ but the pancake is thin like tissue paper which earned its name ‘roti tisu’. It tastes very delicious too. It can be drizzled with condensed milk, chocolate or peanut butter or dipped in curry sauce. It’s crispy and chewy at the same time. I love it’s presentation…like a pyramid!
For us, a roti canai meal is never complete without ‘teh tarik‘. Translated, it is ‘pulled tea’ where 2 little pots are used to pour the tea from one to another from a certain height to incorporate air into the tea to give it a special fragrance. Not all tea makes a good ‘teh tarik’. It is mainly made from tea dust. Not every shop sells nice ‘teh tarik’. I must have tried at least 6 shops and only one is considered good. It has to be hot, fragrant and the right sweetness. The tea must be freshly made, too, so as not to carry that unpleasant, bitter after taste.
If you ever transit at Kuala Lumpur Sepang International Airport, you can go to Food Garden at second level. It’s one place we never miss if we ever have to transit there. There are lots of local food there at very reasonable price. The roti canai and the teh tarik there are good.
This popular noodle dish, known as ‘kampua‘ in Sibu, is another of my family top favourite. We ate this for breakfast almost everyday while in Sibu. I thought it was quite addictive. Our friend even took us to a shop where ministers always frequent. He called it ‘Minister Kampua’…haha.
It’s amazing how this ‘kampua’ looks simple but it tastes really delicious. In Kuching, this dish is called ‘kolo mee‘. I was told that the only difference is the meat used as topping. ‘Kolo mee‘ uses minced meat while ‘kampua’ uses thin sliced meat. Some people love the noodles black with soya sauce or spicy with chili sauce. But we love it plain.
This is called ‘pulut panggang‘ locally. It is glutinous rice pre-cooked with coconut cream, then wrapped in banana leaves and then grilled over charcoal. Some are plain while some are filled with spicy sambal. I like both. It’s not easy to get very good pulut panggang. A very good pulut panggang is one where the rice is very fragrant and with the right texture as pictured above. You can still see the rice grains. I have tried many but most are very disappointing. This one above is really good, sold at Sibu airport. It was first introduced by my dad many years ago. I always buy a few before departure, to eat along the way.
We had this popular prawn noodle in Kuala Lumpur at Lot 10 food court. The colour already half explained that it was very delicious. Indeed it was. There’s a punch to it. The taste, fragrance and spiciness were very well balanced. I’m glad I can cook quite a similar one here in Scotland. Check out my recent post: Malaysian Prawn Soup Noodles
This is another very delicious dish we tried at Lot 10….congee with crullers. It looks quite plain but it’s very tasty and delicious. Eating congee with crullers gives a very satisfying feeling.
Malaysia has too many good local street food. It is just impossible to try all. I wish I could! These are just a few of my favourite ones. The trip was too short to try all and on several occasions I was too tired (by the heat and humidity) to bother to take any pictures. Maybe now I regret!
Have you been to Malaysia? What are your favourite local food there? Please share, add and comment in the comment box below.
Quote of the day……
“The first requisite of success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem without growing weary.”