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Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

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Malaysian Main Dishes Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

Malaysia, with its rich and diverse culture, offers a culinary experience like no other. Influenced by Chinese, Indian, and Malay cultures, Malaysian cuisine presents a unique blend of tantalizing flavors and ingredients. From spicy curries to savory noodles, the top ten Malaysian main dishes are sure to take your taste buds on a delightful journey.

1. Nasi Lemak – A Fragrant Coconut Delight

Nasi Lemak Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

Nasi Lemak, a beloved Malaysian main dish, delights the senses with its fragrant coconut rice accompanied by an array of delectable accompaniments. This dish typically includes fried anchovies, peanuts, boiled eggs, cucumber slices, and a spicy sambal sauce. Although it is commonly enjoyed as a breakfast treat, it also serves as a satisfying main meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of jasmine rice
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 2 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of fried anchovies
  • 1 cup of roasted peanuts
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 200g of sambal sauce (spicy chili sauce)

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Rice

Rinse the jasmine rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch and ensures fluffy rice.

In a saucepan or rice cooker, add the rinsed rice, coconut milk, pandan leaves, and salt. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

Step 2: Cook the Rice

If using a saucepan, place it over medium heat and bring the rice mixture to a gentle boil.

Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a lid, and let the rice simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked.

If using a rice cooker, simply switch it on and let it cook until it automatically turns off.

Step 3: Prepare the Accompaniments

While the rice is cooking, prepare the accompaniments. Fry the anchovies in a pan with a little oil until they turn crispy. Set them aside for later use.

In the same pan, dry roast the peanuts until they are golden brown. Remove them from the heat and let them cool down before peeling off the skin.

Hard-boil the eggs, then peel and cut them into halves.

Slice the cucumber into thin slices.

Step 4: Prepare the Sambal Sauce

If you have ready-made sambal sauce, you can skip this step. Otherwise, you can make a simple sambal sauce by sautéing blended chili paste with a little oil until fragrant. Add a pinch of salt and sugar to taste.

Step 5: Serve the Nasi Lemak

Once the rice is cooked and ready, fluff it up with a fork to separate the grains and remove the pandan leaves.

  • To serve, place a scoop of fragrant coconut rice on a plate or banana leaf (traditionally used in Malaysia).
  • Arrange the fried anchovies, roasted peanuts, hard-boiled eggs, and cucumber slices on the side of the rice.
  • Drizzle the sambal sauce over the rice or serve it on the side, depending on your preference.
  • Nasi Lemak is best enjoyed while still warm, and the contrasting flavours of the accompaniments complement the fragrant coconut rice perfectly. This dish is a true representation of Malaysia’s diverse culinary heritage and is sure to satisfy your taste buds whether you have it for breakfast or as a main meal.

Note: If you want to add a touch of authenticity to the dish, you can also include some fried chicken, fried ikan bilis (anchovies), and sliced boiled eggs in addition to the traditional accompaniments mentioned above. Enjoy your flavourful Nasi Lemak!

2. Char Kway Teow – Stir-Fried Noodles with Shrimp

Char Kway Teow Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

Char Kway Teow is a popular Malaysian dish featuring flat rice noodles stir-fried to perfection with shrimp, eggs, bean sprouts, and Chinese sausage. The dish is elevated with a sweet and spicy sauce, making it an enticing choice for street food enthusiasts.

Ingredients:

  • 300g flat rice noodles
  • 200g fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 2 Chinese sausages, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Chopped spring onions and sliced red chilies for garnish

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Noodles

Soak the flat rice noodles in cold water for about 30 minutes to soften them. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Ingredients

  • Prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking. Peel and devein the fresh shrimp, slice the Chinese sausages, mince the garlic, and lightly beat the eggs.

Step 3: Stir-Fry the Ingredients

  • In a wok or a large frying pan, heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the minced garlic to the hot oil and stir-fry until it becomes fragrant.
  • Add the sliced Chinese sausages and shrimp to the wok. Stir-fry until the shrimp turns pink and is cooked through.
  • Push the ingredients to one side of the wok, creating an empty space on the other side.
  • Pour the lightly beaten eggs into the empty space of the wok. Scramble the eggs until they are almost cooked.

Step 4: Add the Noodles

  • Add the soaked and drained flat rice noodles to the wok. Toss the noodles with the scrambled eggs, shrimp, and Chinese sausages.
  • Drizzle the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, and chili paste over the noodles. Mix well to ensure the noodles are evenly coated and get the desired colour.

Step 5: Finish and Garnish

  • Add the bean sprouts to the wok and stir-fry for another minute or until they are slightly cooked but still crunchy.
  • Turn off the heat and transfer the Char Kway Teow to a serving plate.
  • Garnish with chopped spring onions and sliced red chilies to add a burst of colour and flavour.
  • Char Kway Teow is best enjoyed hot and fresh. The combination of tender flat rice noodles, succulent shrimp, savoury Chinese sausages, and crunchy bean sprouts, all coated in a delightful blend of soy sauces and chili paste, creates a symphony of flavours that will leave you craving for more.

This beloved Malaysian food delicacy is easy to make at home, and with this recipe, you can experience the authentic taste of Char Kway Teow right in your kitchen. Enjoy this delicious dish as a satisfying meal or a delightful snack any time of the day.

3. Roti Canai – A Malaysian Flatbread Favorite

Roti Canai 1 Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

Roti Canai, a beloved flatbread, has found a special place in the hearts of Malaysians. Made with a combination of flour, ghee, and water, this flaky bread is often served with an array of accompaniments such as curry, dhal, or sambal. It is a delightful breakfast option, perfect when paired with a steaming cup of tea or coffee.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee or clarified butter
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • Vegetable oil or ghee for frying

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt.
  • Add the ghee or clarified butter to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Slowly add water to the mixture while continuously kneading the dough. Knead until you achieve a smooth and elastic dough. You may need to adjust the amount of water slightly to get the right consistency.
  • Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 1 hour. Allowing the dough to rest will make it easier to roll out later.

Step 2: Divide and Shape the Dough

  • After the resting period, divide the dough into small balls, approximately the size of golf balls.
  • Take one ball of dough and coat it with a little vegetable oil or ghee to prevent sticking. Place it on a clean surface or a lightly floured board.

Step 3: Stretch and Flatten the Dough

  • Using your fingers, press down on the dough ball to flatten it into a small disc.
  • Start stretching and pulling the dough gently from the edges. The goal is to make it as thin as possible without tearing the dough. You can also use a rolling pin to help with the stretching process.
  • Once you have a thin and almost translucent sheet of dough, fold it over itself like a fan or accordion.

Step 4: Cook the Roti Canai

  • Heat a flat griddle or non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add a little vegetable oil or ghee to coat the surface lightly.
  • Take one folded piece of dough and carefully stretch it out into a flat circle again on the griddle.
  • Cook the Roti Canai for about 1-2 minutes on each side or until it turns golden brown and crispy. Repeat the process for the remaining dough balls.

Step 5: Serve the Roti Canai

  • Once cooked, remove the Roti Canai from the griddle and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  • Serve the hot and flaky Roti Canai with your choice of accompaniments such as curry, dhal, or sambal. You can tear pieces of the Roti Canai and dip them into the accompanying sauces for a delightful eating experience.

For a traditional Malaysian main dish for breakfast, enjoy the Roti Canai with a steaming cup of tea or coffee.Roti Canai is a versatile and delicious flatbread that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Its flaky and tender texture, combined with the rich flavours of accompaniments like curry or dhal, makes it a favourite among Malaysians and anyone who experiences its culinary charm. 

With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can now create this Malaysian culinary gem in your own kitchen. Enjoy the delightful taste of Roti Canai and savor its cultural significance in every bite.

4. Satay – Skewered Delights with a Peanut Sauce

Satay Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

Satay, a tantalizing Malaysian main dish, consists of skewered meat pieces marinated in a flavorful blend of spices and grilled over charcoal. This delightful treat is traditionally served with a spicy peanut sauce and accompanied by cucumber slices. Satay is a popular street food and a delightful appetizer or snack.

Ingredients:

For the Satay:

  • 500g boneless chicken thighs or beef, cut into thin strips
  • Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • For the Marinade:
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • For the Peanut Sauce:
  • 150g unsalted peanuts, roasted and finely ground
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoons of palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of chili paste (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
  • Salt to taste
  • For Serving:
  • Cucumber slices
  • Red onion slices
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Lime wedges

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Marinade

  • In a bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients – minced garlic, chopped shallot, lemongrass, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric powder, soy sauce, and vegetable oil.
  • Add the chicken or beef strips to the marinade and mix well, ensuring the meat is evenly coated with the flavorful mixture.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film or a lid and let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. This will allow the meat to absorb the delicious flavours.

Step 2: Prepare the Peanut Sauce

  • In a saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add the finely chopped onion and minced garlic to the pan. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  • Stir in the roasted and finely ground peanuts, tamarind paste, palm sugar (or brown sugar), coconut milk, water, soy sauce, and chili paste.
  • Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring continuously, until the sauce thickens and the flavours meld together. Add salt to taste. If the sauce is too thick, you can adjust the consistency by adding more water.

Step 3: Skewer and Grill the Satay

  • Preheat your grill or barbecue to medium-high heat.
  • Thread the marinated chicken or beef strips onto the soaked wooden skewers. Be sure to thread the meat tightly for even grilling.
  • Brush the grill with vegetable oil to prevent sticking.
  • Grill the skewered meat for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until they are cooked through and have a beautiful charred appearance.

Step 4: Serve the Satay

  • Arrange the grilled Satay on a serving platter, garnished with cucumber slices and red onion slices.
  • Serve the delightful skewers with the prepared peanut sauce on the side. Provide lime wedges for an extra burst of flavour.
  • Sprinkle some fresh coriander leaves over the Satay to add a touch of vibrancy.

Satay is best enjoyed while still warm and dipped generously in the creamy and spicy peanut sauce. This tantalizing Malaysian dish brings together a perfect harmony of flavours and textures that will surely satisfy your taste buds. Whether served as an appetizer or a snack, Satay is a culinary delight that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Malaysia with each delectable bite.

5. Mee Goreng – Spiced Noodle Stir-Fry

Mee Goreng Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

Mee Goreng, a mouthwatering Malaysian dish, is a delightful stir-fry that brings together noodles, vegetables, and an assortment of spices. The dish is served with a side of chili sauce and a refreshing squeeze of lime. A staple of Malaysian street food, Mee Goreng serves as a hearty and satisfying main meal.

Ingredients:

  • 300g egg noodles or yellow noodles
  • 150g chicken, prawns, or tofu, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce (vegetarian oyster sauce for a meatless version)
  • 1 tablespoon of chili sauce (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lime wedges for serving

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Noodles

  • Boil the egg noodles or yellow noodles in a pot of salted boiling water according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain the noodles and set them aside.

Step 2: Stir-Fry the Meat or Tofu

  • In a wok or a large frying pan, heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the minced garlic and sliced onion to the hot oil and stir-fry until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  • If using meat or prawns, add them to the wok and stir-fry until they are cooked through. If using tofu, add it to the wok and stir-fry until it is lightly browned on all sides. Set aside the cooked meat or tofu.

Step 3: Stir-Fry the Vegetables

  • In the same wok, heat another tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the bean sprouts to the wok and stir-fry for about 1-2 minutes until they are slightly cooked but still crunchy.
  • Add the cooked noodles to the wok and toss them with the bean sprouts.

Step 4: Prepare the Sauce

  • In a small bowl, mix together the sweet soy sauce, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili sauce, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric powder, salt, and pepper.

Step 5: Combine and Serve

  • Pour the prepared sauce over the noodles and vegetables in the wok. Toss everything together until the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce and spices.
  • Add the stir-fried meat or tofu back into the wok and toss everything together again for another minute to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.

Step 6: Serve the Mee Goreng

  • Transfer the Mee Goreng to serving plates.
  • Serve the delicious stir-fry hot with a side of lime wedges for a refreshing squeeze of citrus.

Mee Goreng is a harmonious fusion of flavours and textures, creating a delightful dish that will surely satisfy your taste buds. Whether you prefer it with chicken, prawns, or tofu, this Malaysian street food delicacy is sure to become a family favourite. With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can now prepare the authentic taste of Mee Goreng right in your kitchen and enjoy a taste of Malaysia’s vibrant culinary culture.

6. Laksa – Spicy Coconut Noodle Soup

Laksa Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

Laksa, a spicy coconut-based soup with noodles, is a signature Malaysian dish. The delightful broth is enhanced with a variety of accompaniments such as shrimp, fish cakes, tofu, and boiled eggs. Savored as a popular street food, Laksa makes for a delectable main course.

Ingredients:

For the Laksa Paste:

  • 5 dried red chilies, soaked in hot water until softened
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of turmeric or 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • For the Soup:
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 200g cooked prawns
  • 150g fish cakes, sliced
  • 150g tofu, cubed
  • 4 boiled eggs, halved
  • 200g rice vermicelli noodles, soaked in hot water until softened
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of palm sugar or brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • For Serving:
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Lime wedges
  • Sambal chili sauce (optional for added spice)

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Laksa Paste

  • In a blender or food processor, blend the softened dried red chilies, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, galangal, turmeric, and shrimp paste until you get a smooth and fragrant paste.
  • In a large pot or wok, heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add the Laksa paste to the pot and sauté it until it becomes aromatic and the oil begins to separate from the paste. This step helps release the full flavor of the spices.

Step 2: Cook the Soup

  • Pour in the coconut milk and chicken or vegetable stock into the pot with the Laksa paste. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Add the tamarind paste, fish sauce, and palm sugar to the soup. Mix well to balance the sweet, sour, and savory flavors.
  • Let the soup simmer for about 15-20 minutes over medium heat to allow the flavors to meld together and develop a rich and creamy broth.
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt according to your taste preferences.

Step 3: Prepare the Accompaniments

  • While the soup is simmering, prepare the accompaniments. Cook the prawns, fish cakes, tofu, and boiled eggs separately, if they are not pre-cooked.
  • Soak the rice vermicelli noodles in hot water until they are softened, then drain them well.
  • Wash the bean sprouts and set them aside.

Step 4: Assemble the Laksa

  • To serve, place a portion of softened rice vermicelli noodles into individual serving bowls.
  • Add a few pieces of cooked prawns, sliced fish cakes, tofu cubes, and halved boiled eggs on top of the noodles.
  • Ladle the hot and flavorful Laksa soup over the ingredients in the serving bowls.

Step 5: Garnish and Serve

  • Garnish each bowl of Laksa with bean sprouts, fresh coriander leaves, and lime wedges.
  • For an added kick of spice, serve the Laksa with sambal chili sauce on the side.

Laksa is best enjoyed hot and fresh, with its luscious coconut-based broth, tender noodles, and an assortment of savory accompaniments that come together in a symphony of flavors. With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can now create the authentic taste of Laksa in your own kitchen and experience the joy of this delightful Malaysian street food at home. Indulge in the comforting and spicy goodness of Laksa and immerse yourself in the diverse culinary culture of Malaysia.

7. Nasi Kandar – Flavorsome Rice with Assorted Accompaniments

Nasi Kandar Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

Nasi Kandar is a flavorful Malaysian dish comprising steamed rice and an assortment of accompaniments, including curries, vegetables, and meats. It is complemented with a side of chili sauce and a refreshing squeeze of lime. As a popular street food choice, Nasi Kandar satisfies as a fulfilling main meal.

Ingredients:

For the Rice:

  • 2 cups of long-grain Basmati rice or Jasmine rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 pandan leaves, tied into a knot (optional for fragrance)
  • Salt to taste
  • For the Accompaniments:
  • Assorted curries (chicken, beef, fish, or vegetable curry)
  • Stir-fried vegetables (cabbage, beans, or okra)
  • Fried chicken or fish
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Sambal sauce (spicy chili sauce)
  • For the Chili Sauce:
  • 10 dried red chilies, soaked in hot water until softened
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon of palm sugar or brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • For Serving:
  • Cucumber slices
  • Lime wedges

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Rice

  • Rinse the Basmati or Jasmine rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain the rice well.
  • In a rice cooker or a pot, add the washed rice, water, pandan leaves (if using), and a pinch of salt. Stir gently to combine.
  • Cook the rice according to the rice cooker’s instructions or over medium heat in a covered pot until the water is fully absorbed and the rice is fluffy and cooked.

Step 2: Prepare the Accompaniments

  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the accompaniments. You can use a variety of curries (chicken, beef, fish, or vegetable) to offer a diverse selection for your Nasi Kandar.
  • Stir-fry some vegetables with your choice of seasoning to create a tasty side dish.
  • Optionally, fry some chicken or fish until golden brown and crispy, making it a delicious addition to your Nasi Kandar.
  • Boil some eggs until they are hard-boiled and set them aside.

Step 3: Prepare the Chili Sauce

  • In a blender or food processor, blend the soaked dried red chilies, garlic, shallots, tamarind paste, palm sugar, and salt until you get a smooth paste. You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or fewer chilies.

Step 4: Assemble the Nasi Kandar

  • Once the rice is cooked and ready, fluff it up with a fork and remove the pandan leaves if used.
  • In a serving plate, place a generous portion of the cooked rice in the center.
  • Arrange the assorted accompaniments around the rice, such as curries, stir-fried vegetables, fried chicken or fish, and hard-boiled eggs.

Step 5: Serve the Nasi Kandar

  • Drizzle some sambal sauce over the rice or serve it on the side for an extra kick of spice.
  • Add cucumber slices and lime wedges to the plate for a refreshing touch.

Nasi Kandar is best enjoyed when all the different accompaniments and sauces come together, creating an explosion of flavors with each bite. The diverse combination of curries, vegetables, and proteins, along with the fragrant rice, offers a complete and satisfying meal that celebrates the richness of Malaysian cuisine.

With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can now prepare the authentic taste of Nasi Kandar in your own kitchen and experience the joy of this delightful Malaysian street food at home. Enjoy the hearty and flavorsome goodness of Nasi Kandar and immerse yourself in the vibrant culinary culture of Malaysia.

8. Curry Puffs – Spicy Potato Pastry

Curry Puffs Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

Curry Puffs, a delightful Malaysian snack, features a pastry shell filled with a tantalizing mix of spicy potato and onion. Often served with a side of chili sauce and a hint of lime, these puffs make for a delectable street food appetizer or snack.

Ingredients:

For the Pastry:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup of cold water
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 large potatoes, boiled, peeled, and diced into small cubes
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • For Frying:
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • For Serving:
  • Chili sauce
  • Lime wedges

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Pastry

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt.
  • Add the chilled and cubed unsalted butter to the dry ingredients. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  • Gradually add cold water to the mixture and knead gently until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, cover it with cling film, and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes to firm up.

Step 2: Prepare the Filling

  • In a frying pan or skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add the finely chopped onions and minced garlic to the hot oil and sauté until the onions become translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  • Stir in the curry powder, turmeric powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, and chili powder. Cook the spices for about 1 minute to release their flavors.
  • Add the diced potatoes to the pan, along with a tablespoon of water. Mix well to coat the potatoes with the aromatic spice mixture.
  • Season the filling with salt according to your taste preferences. Cook for a few more minutes until the potatoes are tender and evenly coated with the spices. Remove the pan from the heat and let the filling cool down.

Step 3: Shape and Fill the Puffs

  • Preheat the vegetable oil for deep-frying in a large pot or deep fryer to 180°C (350°F).
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled pastry dough to a thickness of about 3-4 mm (1/8 inch).
  • Use a round cookie cutter or a small bowl to cut out circles from the rolled-out dough.
  • Place a small spoonful of the cooled potato filling in the center of each pastry circle.
  • Fold the pastry over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Press the edges together to seal the puffs.
  • You can crimp the edges with a fork to ensure a tight seal and add a decorative touch.

Step 4: Fry the Curry Puffs

  • Carefully lower the filled puffs into the preheated oil and deep-fry them until they turn golden brown and crispy. Fry in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot.
  • Once cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove the puffs from the oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Step 5: Serve the Curry Puffs

  • Serve the hot and crispy Curry Puffs with a side of chili sauce and lime wedges.
  • Enjoy these delectable spicy potato pastries as a delightful snack or appetizer.

Curry Puffs are best enjoyed when fresh and warm, with their flaky pastry and flavorful potato filling. The blend of aromatic spices and the delightful texture of the pastry make them an irresistible treat. With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can now prepare the authentic taste of Curry Puffs in your own kitchen and experience the joy of this popular Malaysian street food at home. Indulge in the delicious and spicy goodness of Curry Puffs and savour the culinary delights of Malaysia.

9. Assam Laksa – Sour and Spicy Noodle Soup

Assam Laksa Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

Assam Laksa, a sour and spicy fish-based soup with noodles, offers a distinctive burst of flavors. The dish is elevated with a variety of accompaniments, such as shrimp, fish cakes, tofu, and boiled eggs. As a beloved street food choice, Assam Laksa satisfies as a flavorful main course.

Ingredients:

For the Soup Base:

  • 500g mackerel or any white fish, cleaned and cut into chunks
  • 1.5 liters water
  • 3 stalks of lemongrass, bruised
  • 3 pieces of tamarind peel (asam keping) or 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of palm sugar or brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • For the Laksa Paste:
  • 5 dried red chilies, soaked in hot water until softened
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of turmeric or 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • For the Accompaniments:
  • 200g rice vermicelli noodles, soaked in hot water until softened
  • 200g cooked prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 150g fish cakes, sliced
  • 150g tofu, cubed
  • 4 boiled eggs, halved
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Chopped red chili (optional for added spiciness)
  • Calamansi lime wedges

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Soup Base

  • In a large pot, bring the water to a boil.
  • Add the fish chunks, lemongrass stalks, tamarind peel (or tamarind paste), and kaffir lime leaves to the boiling water.
  • Lower the heat to a simmer and let the soup base cook for about 20-25 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the flavors are infused into the broth.

Step 2: Prepare the Laksa Paste

  • While the soup base is simmering, prepare the Laksa paste.
  • In a blender or food processor, blend the softened dried red chilies, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, galangal, turmeric, and shrimp paste until you get a smooth and fragrant paste.
  • In a wok or a large frying pan, heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add the Laksa paste to the hot oil and sauté it until it becomes aromatic and the oil begins to separate from the paste. This step helps release the full flavor of the spices.

Step 3: Finish the Soup

  • Once the soup base is ready, strain the fish stock to remove any solid ingredients, leaving behind a clear and flavorful broth.
  • Stir the sautéed Laksa paste into the fish broth, and let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Add fish sauce, palm sugar (or brown sugar), and salt to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference, balancing the sour and spicy flavors.

Step 4: Prepare the Accompaniments

  • While the soup is simmering, prepare the accompaniments.
  • Soak the rice vermicelli noodles in hot water until they are softened, then drain them well.
  • Cook the prawns, fish cakes, tofu, and boil the eggs separately if they are not pre-cooked.

Step 5: Assemble the Assam Laksa

  • To serve, place a portion of softened rice vermicelli noodles into individual serving bowls.
  • Add a few pieces of cooked prawns, sliced fish cakes, tofu cubes, and halved boiled eggs on top of the noodles.
  • Ladle the hot and flavorful Assam Laksa soup over the ingredients in the serving bowls.

Step 6: Garnish and Serve

  • Garnish each bowl of Assam Laksa with bean sprouts, fresh mint leaves, and coriander leaves. You can also add chopped red chili if you desire more spiciness.
  • Serve the Assam Laksa hot, along with calamansi lime wedges for a tangy kick.

Assam Laksa is best enjoyed while hot, with its tangy, spicy, and savory flavors beautifully blended into a refreshing and appetizing soup. The assortment of accompaniments adds depth and texture to this delicious Malaysian dish. With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can now create the authentic taste of Assam Laksa in your own kitchen and experience the joy of this popular Malaysian street food at home. Indulge in the mouthwatering and sour-spicy goodness of Assam Laksa and savour the diverse culinary delights of Malaysia.

10. Cendol – A Refreshing Malaysian Dessert

Cendol Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes (with Recipes)

Cendol, a beloved Malaysian dessert, combines the richness of coconut milk, the fragrance of pandan leaves, and the coolness of shaved ice. Topped with red beans, palm sugar, and jackfruit, this sweet treat is a popular street food and a delightful choice for dessert or a quick snack.

Ingredients:

For the Cendol Noodles:

  • 100g rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon of green pea flour (mung bean flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 200ml pandan juice (from pandan leaves)
  • 2 cups of ice water
  • For the Coconut Milk Mixture:
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 50g palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • For Serving:
  • Shaved ice
  • Cooked red beans
  • Chopped jackfruit (or any desired fruit)
  • Palm sugar syrup
  • Cendol noodles
  • Coconut milk mixture

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Cendol Noodles

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, green pea flour, and salt.
  • Gradually add the pandan juice and ice water to the flour mixture. Stir well to form a smooth batter.
  • Pour the batter into a muslin cloth or a colander with large holes over a pot of boiling water. Press the batter through the holes to form long and thin strands (Cendol noodles) directly into the boiling water.
  • Cook the Cendol noodles in the boiling water for about 2-3 minutes or until they are cooked and have a chewy texture.
  • Remove the cooked Cendol noodles from the boiling water and immediately rinse them under cold running water. This helps to stop the cooking process and keep the noodles firm.
  • Set aside the Cendol noodles for serving later.

Step 2: Prepare the Coconut Milk Mixture

  • In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk over low to medium heat. Do not let it boil.
  • Stir in the palm sugar (or brown sugar) and salt. Continue to heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved, and the coconut milk becomes slightly thickened. Once done, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture cool down.

Step 3: Assemble the Cendol

  • In individual serving bowls or glasses, add a generous amount of shaved ice.
  • Top the shaved ice with a portion of the cooked Cendol noodles, cooked red beans, and chopped jackfruit (or any desired fruit).
  • Drizzle a generous amount of palm sugar syrup over the ingredients.
  • Finally, pour the cooled coconut milk mixture over the top of the ingredients in the serving bowls.

Step 4: Serve the Cendol

  • Serve the Cendol immediately while it is fresh and the shaved ice remains cold and refreshing.
  • Enjoy this delightful Malaysian dessert as a cool and sweet treat, perfect for hot and sunny days.

Cendol is a delightful and refreshing dessert that provides a combination of flavors and textures that will leave you craving for more. The creamy coconut milk, the aromatic pandan-infused noodles, and the sweetness of palm sugar create a symphony of tastes in every spoonful. With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can now prepare the authentic taste of Cendol in your own kitchen and experience the joy of this popular Malaysian street food at home. Savour the cool and delightful goodness of Cendol and immerse yourself in the diverse culinary delights of Malaysia.

Top Ten Malaysian Main Dishes Conclusion

Malaysian cuisine’s fusion of Chinese, Indian, and Malay influences offers an extraordinary gastronomic experience. From the fragrant Nasi Lemak to the refreshing Cendol, these top ten Malaysian main dishes showcase the richness of the country’s culinary heritage. Whether you crave a quick snack or a satisfying meal, these delightful dishes will surely satiate your taste buds and leave you longing for more.

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