Malaysian Street Food

One thing I missed about Malaysia when I was in Sydney was the little road side stalls selling an assortment of food and drinks. These stalls usually open during the mornings to catch the morning rush where people would purchase some of these foods to bring along to work for a simple meal or during the afternoons where people would pick out some tea time treats to get them through the late afternoon slump.

These stalls vary in size, ranging from just a couple of plastic tables to an entire row of such tables set up with the food neatly arranged side by side, packets of nasi lemak (coconut milk rice with chilli paste, anchovies, egg and cucumbers), fried flat rice noodles, fried vermicelli, fried yellow noodles, the kuih-muih (assortment of cakes) in oblong plastic containers ready to be picked up by tongs and slipped into plastic bags. Some stalls sell drinks too, freshly chopped coconuts, its soft, translucent flesh alongside its nutritious coconut water emptied into plastic bags ready to be sucked up by a straw and freshly squeezed sugarcane juice. Others sell cincau (grass jelly), soy milk, rose syrup, air bandung (a blend of rose syrup with milk) and the like.

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It is often joked that Malaysians love their food so much that they plan their meals ahead of time: they plan for lunch while having breakfast, plan for dinner during lunch and wonder about what to have for supper during dinnertime. I’ll be the first to admit to being guilty of that sometimes. We Malaysians take our food seriously.

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Having been back in Malaysia for sometime, there’s one of these little stalls that we frequent where RM1 (USD 0.24) can buy you a packet of spicy fried noodles or nasi lemak or 3 pieces of kuih-muih. They really hits the spot. Washing it down with refreshing coconut water which costs RM2.50 (USD 0.60) cools one down during the typically hot and humid Malaysian afternoon.

I hope this post inspires you to try some Malaysian street food! Till next time!

Jacinta Kee