One of the greatest gifts of life has to be food! Not only is food an essential to survive, but food can be our comforter, our friend, and for some, the love of their life! Have you even been at a restaurant and just didn’t know what halal food to order? Menus that include detailed descriptions and pictures can be handy, but at the same time rather depressing when we can’t order it all! Despite the hardships we’ve all suffered when it comes to picking something off the menu, it’s always good to take a risk every now and then and order something new. One of my personal favourite cuisines is Malay food, the lovely blend of spices and creamy coconut milk in many of their dishes is absolutely mouth watering, and a must try for newbies!
If you’re not sure what Malay food is all about, take a look below and learn a few things about the Malay cuisine that will make you book your next meal out at a halal friendly Malaysian restaurant!
Malay food is the ethnic Malays cuisine in Malaysia, however it is also frequently used in other countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei, and Southern Thailand. Like most Asian countries, Malay dishes are partnered with rice which adds a great blend to the spicy yet creamy dishes. The main ingredients in Malay food are various spices and creamy coconut milk, however many other ingredients are often used to perfect the Malaysian taste. Lemon grass, onions, chilli peppers, and garlic are used in nearly all dishes, with shrimp paste also being a popular ingredient giving an amazing yet different taste. Other ingredients and spices you’ll likely find in Malay food is ginger, coriander, and black pepper, which are all blended together to produce mouth watering specialities.
Many Malay’s are of Muslim faith, which is great for those that want to ensure they food is halal friendly. You won’t find many Malay dishes with pork as an ingredient, however popular dishes that does include pork is often accompanied with beef. Other meat such as lamb, goat, and beef is rarely used, however again, some dishes do contain the certain meats, but are prepared and cooked the halal friendly way. Most Malay food contains chicken, vegetables, and lots of different seafood’s which are accompanied with various tangy, spicy, or creamy sauces and soups. One of the best things about going to a Malaysian restaurant is that the various dishes you’ll find available offer you a large range of different tastes. Whether you’re looking for something tangy, spicy, creamy, salty, or sweet, you’ll surely have no problem finding a dish that will meet your taste buds and stomachs every desire!
Though a large selection of fruits and vegetables are available in Malaysia, and Malay food friendly countries, vegetarians may struggle finding meat free food. A lot of popular dishes that’s main ingredient is vegetables still contain meat or seafood, meaty sources, or meat extracts. Most vegetarians will struggle finding the right meal for their selves, however, being at the right restaurant is a big help. Certain restaurants will cater you needs, and should be more than happy to produce a Malay friendly dish that’s meat free. Another important factor about Malay food is that it’s normally eaten with you own bare hands! Lots of Asian countries participate in this way of eating, which understandably may be a turn off for others. However, if you’re looking for the ultimate Malay food experience, then give eating with your hands a go, as many say it’s the perfect and only way to truly appreciate your meal!
Noodles, noodle soup dishes, and curry based foods are also popular among the Malay cuisine, perfect for those that want to taste the rich flavours of ingredients that make up the dish. A lot of noodle dishes are popular in Asia, where they’re not as popular in other countries. Many people are turned off by the look or presentation of certain dishes that are not just Malay, but Asian too, however what some people tend to forget is that those weird looking vegetables in a bright orange sauce is probably one of the best dishes of vegetables they’ll ever have! It’s always good to think out of the box when trying something new, and not to order based on appearance, but more on the ingredients and sauces. A lot of people are surprised how a dish can look or even sound absolutely disgusting, yet once they’ve taken their first bite they’re begging for more!
Malay food offers a large variety of delicious dishes that you’ll truly enjoy, even if you’re not a rice lover! Despite nearly all dishes being served with rice, some restaurants offer other sides that may be more to your liking. With exotic vegetables and wild sauces just waiting to explode with flavour in your mouth, you should already be on the phone booking a table or two!
So get creative when eating out, try something new! Open up your heart and mouth to the various Malay cuisines that are up for offer, and be ready for the ultimate Malaysian food experience that will definitely capture you’re heart … and stomach!