Street food is a huge part of Malaysian culture. It’s cheap, delicious, and often served fresh from the back of a covered pickup truck. Here are our favorite recipes for making these dishes at home!
Popiah is a Chinese-influenced wrap from Malaysia. It’s essentially a thin savoury crepe filled with vegetables, meat, or seafood and then rolled into a cone shape. Popiah can be eaten on its own as an appetizer or snack but it’s often served with a sweet and spicy sauce for dipping.
- 1 cup flour (+ more for rolling)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or less if you have salted broth)
- 4 tablespoons oil (you can use any vegetable oil – I prefer peanut oil)
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Satay Kajang is a popular Malaysian street food dish that consists of a skewer of coconut-tree sugar, chicken and beef. The chicken satay is flavoured with spices such as lemongrass, galanga and cumin; the beef satay is seasoned with turmeric, garlic and coriander seeds. Both are served with peanut sauce made from ground peanuts mixed in water or oil. You can also add other ingredients to your satay including onions, cucumber or pineapple chunks!
Satay Kajang is best served hot on an open coal fire but it can also be cooked on an electric stovetop using skewers that have been soaked in water beforehand (to prevent burning).
To eat this delicious dish simply hold one end of the skewer in your hand then use your fingers to pull pieces off as you bite down into them – don’t forget to dip them into some peanut sauce too!
Rojak is a salad made from a mixture of chopped fruits, vegetables and beansprouts in a spicy sauce. It is popularly sold by hawkers in Malaysia and Singapore as a street food. Ingredients include cucumber, pineapple, sliced zucchini, bean sprouts (taugeh), onion and fried tofu puffs.
1 medium-sized cucumber – cut into cubes
1 large tomato – cut into cubes
1 small carrot – cut into cubes
2 stalks of bean sprouts – washed thoroughly with water until thoroughly cleaned
Nasi Kandar is a popular rice dish in Malaysia. It is usually served with a variety of curries and condiments, and the most common is a curry made from coconut milk. The rice is cooked, then topped with some kind of meat (usually chicken), a few pieces of cucumber, an egg and sambal sauce.
1 cup uncooked rice (I used jasmine) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 clove garlic 3 pieces fresh red chilies 2 tablespoons cooking oil 1 small onion diced (about 1/4 cup) 1 piece ginger sliced into thin strips 4 pieces lemongrass cut in half lengthwise 2 cloves 5 whole black peppercorns 2 star anise 2 cardamom pods 4 cups chicken stock Salt to taste Preparation: Cook the rice according to package instructions and set aside to cool slightly before adding the other ingredients. Heat up some oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes until hot but not smoking hot – you can test this by dropping an onion slice into it to see if it starts sizzling immediately when added! When ready add chopped onions & garlic along with salt; stir-fry until fragrant (about 10 seconds). Add sliced chili peppers followed by ginger strips & lemongrass halves; continue stir-frying until fragrant (about another 30 seconds). Add spices while continuing stirring occasionally until aromatic as well – this should take no longer than another minute at most! Pour over chicken broth which will begin boiling instantly due to how hot your pan still should be at this point; reduce heat slightly so that bubbles form around edge only while liquid simmers gently below surface level most times throughout cooking process(es).
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Roti canai is a flatbread, usually made with whole-wheat flour and stuffed with egg. It’s served with a curry sauce for dipping and toasted, or with butter and sugar. The bread is so popular in Malaysia that it has its own festival: Roti Canai Day!
To make roti canai, start by mixing flour and water together on a flat surface until you have a soft dough that is no longer sticky (about 5 minutes). Let the dough rest while you prepare the filling by beating together eggs, salt and pepper. Roll out your dough into an oval shape about ½ inch thick—you may need to dust your rolling pin occasionally with more flour to prevent sticking—then spread one side of it liberally with butter before folding over half of it so that there are three layers of dough left on top. Cut across these three layers into strips about 2 inches wide; then cut each strip into 1-inch pieces vertically through all four layers at once using a sharp knife or pizza cutter; repeat until all of your pieces are cut up but not yet cooked pan fry them in hot oil over medium heat until they turn golden brown on both sides
Murtabak is a Malaysian pancake, similar to a Chinese baozi. It consists of a flour-based dough folded into a semi-circular shape and stuffed with various ingredients, usually including minced chicken or beef. The stuffing is traditionally served with a spicy curry sauce or peanut sauce.
Murtabak can be made using either fresh or dried noodles; in this recipe we’ll use dried rice vermicelli noodles soaked in hot water for about 15 minutes until pliable and soft (unlike fresh ramen which should never be cooked until soft).
This dish makes an excellent breakfast food as it’s fast to prepare and has many variations depending on how much you like your food sweet/spicy/savory.
- What is Chicken Rice?*
Chicken rice is a popular street food from Malaysia. It’s typically served with a side of soup and vegetables, like cabbage, cucumber and carrots. You can also add other ingredients like eggs or meat depending on your preference. We’ll cover those in the recipe below!
- How to Make Chicken Rice:*
- In a large pot over med-high heat, bring the chicken broth to boil and add chicken pieces along with ginger slices (you can leave out if you don’t have fresh ginger). Let it simmer for 10 minutes until cooked throughly. However if you want your soup base even more flavorful, feel free to throw in some salt too! With this step done we now have our delicious soup base ready for us to use later on when making our noodle dish 🙂
- Now let’s move onto preparing our noodles! First measure out 3 cups of flour for use in this recipe then place them into large mixing bowl along with 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp oil (I used vegetable oil). Mix well until fully combined then knead until smooth dough forms; kneading will take about 5 minutes total time but don’t worry about getting any calluses on your hands 🙂 Once done put aside for 15 minutes so let’s start working on some other things while waiting patiently here 😉
Char Kway Teow (Fried Flat Rice Noodles)
To make your own Char Kway Teow, you’ll need:
- 3 tablespoons oil (peanut or vegetable)
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
- 2 cups of flat rice noodles (preferably the thicker variety) cut into 3-inch lengths
- 2 eggs beaten with 1 teaspoon sugar, salt and pepper to taste
Preheat a wok over high heat until it is hot enough to make water sizzle in it. Add the oil and swirl so that it coats the bottom of the wok well. Put in your sliced pork belly, chili powder and salt if desired (this is optional). Stir-fry until cooked through and roughly browned on both sides. Remove from pan immediately onto a plate lined with paper towels . Set aside for now but don’t discard fat from wok yet as we will be using it again later!
Asam Laksa Penang
Asam Laksa Penang
- 1 tablespoon oil (canola, vegetable or peanut)
- 6 oz. rice noodles/200 grs rice sticks/250 grs vermicelli noodles (bihun)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 shallots 1 inch chopped lengthwise and cut into thin slices (or substitute with 1 medium onion)
- 4 cloves crushed garlic for the marinade
- Boil the water in a large pan (for example, 7 quarts). Add salt to taste and stir well until dissolved. Place the bean sprouts in a steamer basket that is sitting over boiling water until tender and bright green; this should take about 2 minutes of steaming since they are already cooked. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.* In a wok or heavy pot over medium high heat add oil then sauté garlic, shallots & ginger until fragrant (not browned), about 30 seconds.* Put in a large bowl all marinated ingredients except for fish balls & tofu puffs; toss them well with hands so that all sides are covered with marinade – let sit 10 minutes at room temperature.* Add fish balls & tofu puffs to wok along with curry powder; cook stirring constantly until fragrant – 20 seconds max* Add coconut milk then bring mixture back up to serving temperature while stirring frequently
Pisang Goreng (Fried Banana Fritters)
Pisang goreng is a popular Malaysian street food that consists of fried bananas, served with a sweet and spicy sauce. It is usually sold from hawkers or roadside stalls in Malaysia. Pisang goreng can be eaten as a snack or dessert, but it also makes for a great breakfast dish.
This recipe calls for sliced bananas dipped in batter and deep-fried until golden brown, then drizzled with sweet chili sauce, garnished with sesame seeds and served warm. If you don’t have time to make your own banana fritters at home, you can find them at most Asian grocery stores or markets!
Delicious Malaysian street food recipes to try
This section of the blog is to help you make delicious Malaysian street food recipes at home, so you can enjoy the experience of eating in Malaysia without having to go there.
I’ve picked out 10 of my favourite Malaysian street food recipes and made them easy for you to prepare at home!
- Kueh Chap
Kueh Chap is a type of steamed Chinese pastry that’s often eaten during Chinese New Year celebrations as it symbolises prosperity and good fortune. It’s also popularly eaten with coffee or tea during Ramadan, Eid and Hari Raya festivities in Malaysia too! This recipe takes around 30 minutes to prepare, costs under $10 USD (less than AUD$10) per portion when using store-bought ingredients and it makes four servings – so good value too! The kueh chap dough needs time to rest after mixing together before cutting into pieces or rolling into balls so if you’re short on time, make this dish early in the day then bake later in one big batch instead! If not, try making small batches which will take about 15 minutes each instead (you will need an extra baking tray).
So there you have it, 10 popular Malaysian street food recipes to try at home. We hope that these recipes will give you some inspiration for when planning your next dinner party or family get together.