The best Malay food you can ever find is obviously in Malaysia. If you ever get the opportunity to visit incredible Malaysia, there is some must-have, best Malay food that would feel absolutely wrong if you didn't try them. And if you don't, well, then you can just hope that your local Asian restaurant nearby serves great authentic Malaysian food.
1. Nasi Lemak
I would put this on the Malaysian flag if I could. Yes, it's that significant. It's the best Malay food by far. It kind of puts people off when you translate to English because it just means "fat rice". But rest assured, the rice is cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaf, and the "fat" comes form the fact the rice is so plump and fluffed up. It's normally served with boiled eggs, anchovies, peanuts and sambal.
Basically, sambal is a chili paste/sauce kinda thing. There are so many variations of sambal made with fish, prawn, and even cuttlefish! You can have it with most anything. It's like the Malaysian version of salsa minus the peppers.
Rendang is a spicy coconut-y meat dish. 'But isn't that like curry?' No, it isn't. It's dark and somehow tastes sweet as well. It's traditionally served dry, but in Malaysia, you'll find it moist most of the time, served with rice like most Asian dishes. It goes well with 'Nasi Lemak' too.
This is like Rendang flavored meet floss. It's normally beef and sometimes chicken but rarely pork because it's not Halal and Malaysia's an Islamic country. This travels quite well surprisingly.It can be flown all the way to London, sat at room temperature for an entire month before consuming and still tastes amazing!
Laksa is a spicy (no surprise there) noodle soup dish. There's two main variations in Malaysia which is Curry Laksa and Asam Laksa. I used to get confused with the both of them because it didn't occur to me that they were different despite the major tip-off with the different names. But now I know that Asam is sour and fishy whereas curry is coconut milky. You can actually get Asam Laksa instant noodle from Maggi.
Who doesn't like barbecued meat on a stick? That smoky flavor paired with peanut sauce is Malaysian street food at its absolute best. You can serve this as party food for your guests and the best thing about this is that you don't have to wait long for it to cook.
Of all the Malaysian kuih, this is my favorite. That moment when the gula melaka explodes inside your mouth, you think you might have just died and gone to heaven. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating but it's just such a great feeling popping that tiny little rice cake into your mouth. Not just any rice cake though. They're boiled, chewy and coated with freshly grated coconut. One will never be enough, trust me.
Some may say that Malaysian food isn't actually from Malaysia. Well, with its history, who can argue with that? But throughout the course of history, the food has become part of the country's culture and lifestyle. People might question the origin, but right now, it's Malaysian without a doubt and I love it. What are the cuisines that you enjoy?