Let’s be honest, we Malaysians are passionate about our food. Those Malaysian food memes that you see on the Internet? They’re pretty much accurate. Our country is a melting pot of cuisines and cultures inherited from traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian heritage, and that is what makes our food so special. Today we’ll be talking about snacks, including our childhood favourite treats. Keep reading to find out if you guys have tried all of it!
10 Best Snacks in Malaysia You Should Know To Prove That You’re A Malaysian:
#1 Keropok Lekor
A specialty snack coming from the Terengganu region, most Malaysians grew up eating Keropok Lekor or, have at least tried once. It is mostly made up of ground fish, like herring, ikan selayang, ikan tamban and mixed with sago flour to form into sausage-like shapes. These fish sausages are then boiled and froze before frying them until golden brown. Think savoury fish sausage, but extra crispy when served hot. Keropok Lekor can be commonly found in night markets or roadside stalls.
One of Malaysian’s favourite snack that originates from the Indian subcontinent. The word ‘Murukku’ is derived from Tamil which means ‘twisted.” And yes, one of the most basic forms of Murukku is the twisted, round, spiral-shaped deep-fried snack. The ingredients are simple: spices, rice and urad dal flour mixed with either cumin seeds or sesame seeds. There are many types of Murruku available in the market, and our favourite is those noodle pieces mixed with peanuts. This type of snack is available all-year round, and is also one of the festive snacks during Deepavali.
#3 Wheel Biscuit
One of our childhood favourites, this off-white cracker looks exactly like a wheel, hence its name. Wheel biscuits are super crunchy, with a tang of saltiness, and it’s super addictive. It’s that kind of snack where you go “once you start you can’t stop.” We don’t know about you, but we like to lick off the flavour coating before munching them. This kind of snack is often packed in a clear plastic bag, which can be commonly found in those nostalgic biscuit shops, night markets or on pushcarts.
You’re not a Malaysian if you have never had a Karipap. It is the most common fried pastry snack that can be easily found at roadside stalls, bakeries and even cafes. While there are many versions of it, the most iconic type would be the one filled with curry chicken and potatoes, wrapped in pastry skin and deep-fried to perfection. it would be a plus point if there’s egg in these fried pastry pockets.
#5 Haw Flakes
Hands up if you love Haw Flakes, also known as Shan Zha Bing in Mandarin. Remember we used to get these in those old-school mini marts that costs maybe about 10-20 cents each back then? This is also a popular snack that we get during Children’s Day in our goodie bags. Made out of Chinese hawthorn tree – the haw berries, it’s slight sweet and sour. You’ll have to peel off the paper packaging bit by bit to reveal these disc candies.
#6 Ice Gem Biscuit
Another childhood snack that most Malaysians grew up with! Also known as ‘naval biscuits,’ it’s actually a basic bite-size biscuit topped with icing that comes in different colours. Our favourite part is always the icing, like we would always pick our favourite colour and devour the icing first before eating the biscuit. Just like the Wheel Biscuit, Ice Gem Biscuit is commonly found in those nostalgic biscuit shops that stores all of their treats in huge aluminium tins.
When it comes down to Kuih, the choices are endless. ‘Kuih’ is a Malay word used to describe bite-sized snacks. There are different varieties of Kuih, inherited from the traditional Malay or Peranakan heritage. There are so many options when it comes to Kuih, from Kuih Talam to Kaya Kuih, Onde-Onde, Kuih Ubi Bengka and more. Most of these Kuih are very colourful, in which those colours are derived from plants, like pandan leaves and butterfly pea flowers. They are added into tapioca flour and mostly mixed with coconut milk.
An electic mix of fruits and vegetable, Rojak is most commonly understood as the local salad. It’s a unique dessert or snack covered with sticky local prawn paste, chopped peanuts, chilli paste (optional), lime and sugar. Though a very common dish in Malaysia, some might love it, while some couldn’t digest its complex flavours. Nonetheless, it’s still a snack worth trying at least once!
#9 Roti Pisang
A sweet twist to the traditional Malaysian roti, Roti Pisang is basically roti dough stretched thin, combined or topped with star ingredient: banana. The dough is then pan-fried to golden brown and cut into square bite-sized pieces, dusted with sugar and drizzled with condensed milk. It’s sweet and savoury at the same time, perfect for those who’re looking for the perfect balance of a dessert and pastries.
#10 Fried Snacks
Who could resist those crispy, savoury deep-fried snacks? If you’re walking through the streets of Malaysia and smell something savoury, oily and aromatic, chances are they’re one of those fried snacks stalls that you could easily spot from miles away. These stalls offer different types of fried snacks, from pisang goreng (banana fritters), to yam fritters, sesame balls, radish cake and more.
Our favourite is the fried nian gao, which is sweet glutinous cake slices sandwiched with sweet potatoes, coated with batter and deep-fried until golden brown, they’re so addictive. Hey, while fried snacks are good, beware of excessive consumption as they could cause ‘yit hei’ (internal body heat). Here’s a tip: Get some Ubat Batuk Cap Ibu dan Anak aka Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa, a trusted brand since 1964. It helps to reduce ‘yit hei,’ soothe sore throat and cough.
Foodies, out of the ten snacks that we listed, which one have you or have you not tried? There are definitely more than these ten snack options out there, so let us know in your comments what are your favourite Malaysian snacks! While snacks are good especially deep-friend, be careful that nothing can be consumed in excess.
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