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. You will be hit with the smells and sounds of dozens of dishes being cooked right in front of you upon arriving at Georgetown. It would be a crime not to try as much as possible.
Penang’s assam laksa consists of mackerels broth filled with thick noodles, garnished with thinly sliced onion, lime, chillies and mint leaves. The dish is usually served with dark and rich Malaysian-style shrimp paste known as hae ko. I personally prefer this refreshing tangy dish compared to other coconut milk-based laksas.
Char Kway Teow
Char Kway Teow, literally translated into fried rice noodles, 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 or soup with wontons, char siew pork, steamed greens and pickled chillies.
Kuih refers to bite-sized snacks or desserts 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. Made from glutinous rice and colorfully decorated, these snacks can be dangerously addictive.
Similar to Japanese eating Sushi, Dim Sum comes in small portion and usually accompanied by tea. There are a wide variety of dishes to choose from, ranging from steamed or fried items.
Chee Cheong Fun
Another 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, made with wheat flour wrapping that filled with a blend of ingredients: turnips, bean sprouts, grated carrots, lettuce leaves, sliced beancurd skin, 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.
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
This is a dish of thin layer of rice flour batter, pan-fried with fresh oysters to a mixture of eggs and chives. This crispy dish is best when served with chili sauce and a garlic paste dip.
Mee Jian Kueh
This is an Asian pancake 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.
An Indian crepe-like snack made with sugar, eggs, coconut milk, and flour. Just watching the making with the mini-woks 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 it’s still not enough, you can add scoops of ice cream! Definitely the best way to beat the heat.
Do I need to say more?
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