Often referred to as the food capital of Malaysia, Penang is definitely home to some delicious dishes wonderfully mix of traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian favors. When it comes to the famous must-try food Penang, there is no shortage of quality options available. As soon as you arrive in Georgetown, you’re hit with the smells and sounds of dozens of dishes being cooked right in front of you. It would be a crime not to try as much as possible.
With a distinctive tangy taste, Penang assam laksa is made of mackerels broth filled with thick noodles, and garnished with thinly sliced onion, lime, chillies and mint leaves. Traditionally, the dish should be served with hae ko, a dark and rich Malaysian-style shrimp paste. This is a refreshing dish compared to other coconut milk-based laksas.
Char Kway Teow
The literal translation of Char Kway Teow is fried rice noodles; it is a heavenly dish throughout in Malaysia. The main ingredient of the dish is flat rice noodles, stir-fried over a very hot heat with soy sauce, chilli, duck eggs, Chinese sausage, prawns, cockles, bean sprouts and chives. If you can’t take spicy food, politely ask the hawker stall owner to fry a non-spicy version.
A yummy dish with fresh egg noodles tossed in a dark sauce with wontons and soup, char siew pork, steamed greens and pickled chillies.
Kuih are bite-sized snacks or dessert commonly found across Southeast Asia. It is a fairly broad term which include items that known as cakes, cookies, dumplings, pudding, or pastries in Western. These snacks are usually made from glutinous rice and dangerously addictive.
Chee Cheong Fun
A Chinese-influenced dish of rolled up fresh rice noodles served with a black shrimp sauce, chilli paste and a scattering of roasted sesame seeds and crispy fried shallots.
Here’s a little healthy and tasty snack. Popiah is made with wheat flour wrapping that filled with a blend of ingredients: turnips, bean sprouts, grated carrots, lettuce leaves, sliced beancurd, chopped peanuts, fried shallot, and shredded omelet, with sweet sauce added.
Another snack you will undoubtedly come across on the streets is Lok-Lok. It is a communal steamboat whereby you the food are on sticks and you just pick it up and dip into a central pot of boiling water. A variety of ingredients are typically fresh seafood, meatballs, fish cakes, mushrooms, dumplings, eggs, and offal. The sticks are labeled with different colors to indicate the prices, all of which are added up when you’re done!
With a crusty tart shell and an almost-gooey filling egg custard, egg tarts is my all time favourite snacks which I can eat at least 5 even after a meal!
Or Luak / Or Chien
In English, it is basically fried omelette with oysters. The dish is made by adding fresh oysters to a mixture of eggs, chives, starch and rice flour batter to give a crispier texture. Best served with chili sauce and a garlic paste dip.
Mee Jian Kueh
This is a traditional pancake is made over a fire, filling some small circular metal trays with dough and other ingredients that are cooked until the base becomes crunchy. At its simplest, the pancake is filled with crushed peanuts red bean paste and creamed corn. Nowadays, it can come in many other varieties of ingredients like chocolate, brown sugar, egg, banana, etc.
Traditionally an Indian crepe-like snack made with sugar, eggs, coconut milk, and flour. The batter is poured into mini-woks to form thin crisp edges around a fluffy center. Just watching the making of it is an experience like watching a street hustler play the shell game.
Cendol is an extremely popular shaved ice dessert dish and is made from a mixture of coconut milk and palm sugar syrup, with pandan-flavored jelly noodles. Kidney beans or red beans are added as an additional topping.
Another popular Malaysian dessert made with shaved ice, red beans, palm seed, agar agar jelly, creamed corn, roasted crushed peanuts, finished with rose syrup, palm sugar syrup and condensed milk. If still not enough, you can add scoops of ice cream! Definitely the best way to beat the heat.
Lastly, if you want to keep a track of all my photos and travels, remember to follow @wanderrsaurus on Instagram!